By Sean Giggy
(WAOW) - Wausau East senior Kati Beckman has been one of the top players in the Wisconsin Valley Conference throughout her high school career and a key figure in the Lumberjacks' 7-1 record so far this season.
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Ask her teammates and they'll tell you Wausau East senior Kati Beckman isn't known as a loud, vocal leader. But look at her numbers and it's clear she sets an example through her play. Beckman is fifth in the Wisconsin Valley Conference in scoring and was a WVC first team selection as a sophomore and junior.
"I'm kind of known more as the quiet one on the field," Beckman said. "I tend to not shout as much, but the captains, all the seniors, even underclassmen we all talk to each other about what we think we need to work on and what we're doing well."
Beckman's work ethic and on field leadership have been crucial to East's early season success. The Lumberjacks have had to replace several key players from last year's team that reached the state finals.
"I think she's just a great example of being prepared as an athlete, being ready for everything: gamedays, practices, she's one of the most prepared players we have and I think that's a great example for the younger ones," said Wausau East head coach Ken Smith.
"We lost a lot of girls last year and we were unsure of how we were going to be this year, but we've actually stepped up a lot from our first game and I think we're going to continue progressing even further and better."
Last year's trip to the state finals was the first in Beckman's career, after losing in the sectional finals her first two seasons. Even with many new faces, Beckman believes this year's group has a chance to repeat last year's success and return to Milwaukee.
"Personally, I got hurt the first six minutes, so I would like to go back down there and actually play," Beckman said. "As a team, it would show you can take new players and mold them together to work as well as any team that had been playing together for years."
Online reporter: Sean Giggy