Mattie Whitaker could've played any of the three sports she participated in during high school at college, but she chose basketball
DIXON — Mattie Whitaker is one of the top all-around, three-sport female student-athletes in the history of Dixon High School.
She is now a college player concentrating on one sport.
Last month Whitaker competed on the winning red team at the 2014 Gerald Pilz & Friends Girls’ All-Star Game, held at the campus of College of the Ozarks. She listed that event as the beginning of preparation for her collegiate basketball career.
Whitaker had considered playing volleyball or soccer in college but ended up deciding on basketball. She signed with John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill., and will play in that women’s basketball program during the 2014-15 school year.
An all-state selection by the Missouri Sportswriters/Sportscasters Association as well as the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, Whitaker was a four-year starter for the Dixon Lady Bulldog girls’ basketball squad - and one of the Frisco League’s better players every season.
She was also an all-district player for the Dixon volleyball squad in the fall and girls’ soccer team in the spring. She helped lead the Dixon soccer squad to the Missouri Class 1 State Tourney, falling to Clinton 3-0 in the sectional round. The Lady Bulldog soccer squad captured the Class 1 District 10 Tournament and finished 18-6-1 overall.
“I felt like the last couple of weeks it’s been (preparing for) basketball,” Whitaker said at the Pilz All-Star event, which was held July 12. “We’re going to play basketball in college, so I’m starting to get ready. I was going to play soccer. Now I look at this as a way to get more (basketball) experience.
“John Wood has given me a summer workout schedule, so I’ve been in the gym just about every day.”
Indeed, for a while, it looked like Whitaker was going to play soccer at the next level instead. She had a women’s soccer offer from Missouri Valley College. However in late March/early April she made the decision to play basketball at John Wood.
“We’ve had some good basketball teams in Dixon,” she said. “I took basketball serious at a young age.”
At Dixon Whitaker, at 5-8, played all five positions on the floor at times. At John Wood she figures to be solely a guard.
“I’ve had to play everything from post to guard (in high school),” Whitaker said. “My role in college will be as a shooting guard.
“I’ll have to work on my pull-up jumper more. I’ll miss being in the post - that’s for sure. I love getting in there and mixing it up.”