“My calling here on earth is to serve others. What greater service than to serve my country and protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
At 5’6, Calhoun has been known to be small for a catcher but that hasn’t stopped her from being powerful behind the plate.
“I take pride in being fast because catchers get the stigma of being big and slow. I like defying the form and proving the doubters who say small girls can’t catch,” Calhoun said.
Not only does Calhoun play on the Jets softball team and take classes, she is also a part of Northern’s Presidential Leadership Council. Students in PLC must maintain a certain grade point average, participate in community service and managing school events. Calhoun was also name Miss NOC Enid in 2014.
Softball great and Olympian Crystl Bustos encouraged Calhoun at a young age to not give up.
“Crystl told me that I would not have an easy journey as a softball player. I was small and young. She was right. My journey has never been easy. But she also told me that my fire, character and work ethic would be things that would carry me far and make me stand out,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun’s coach at NOC, Bryan Howard, previously coached Calhoun as a 10-year-old. Howard always knew she would be a success story.
“Her leadership is second to none. As we all know, the best way to lead is first by example and she sets that bar high. Payton is at first a team player. Payton exemplifies this attitude and it will be a big part of why we fully expect her to be successful defending us in the Marine Corps,” Howard said.
Being a catcher means being in sync with the pitcher. Hours of work are put in communicating and getting used to each other’s rhythm.
“My mentality as a catcher is to take care of my pitcher. Everything I do is to help them and make them look good. Everything is on the catcher’s shoulders so I will take the blame before I let my pitcher get burned,” Calhoun said.
Like any other student athlete, Calhoun has invested the last two years of her life committed to her grades and her team. As her time at NOC comes to a close, Calhoun looks forward to accomplishing even more in the Marine Corps.
“My calling here on earth is to serve others. What greater service than to serve my country and protect those who cannot protect themselves,” Calhoun said.
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