Chicken Express Community Heroes: Flatonia's Caitlin Betak and Hebron's Vinson Miller

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FLATONIA'S CAITLIN BETAK

Caitlin Betak is not only a multi-sport athlete that excels at basketball for Flatonia High School, she is also a well-regarded leader that sets an example for her peers on the basketball court, classroom and around the community.

 “The thing that stands out about Caitlin is her demeanor and how she carries herself,” Flatonia ISD girls athletic director Shawn Bruns said. “She is an excellent motivator and leads by example.”

Betak, the daughter of a coach and a teacher, succeeds in anything that she puts her mind to. The rising senior is a straight-A student and loves to write and express her thoughts in the classroom. She is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as heavily involved around the community.

“I am on court for the Fayette County Fair Association, in which I raise money for the community fair,” Betak said. “I do a lot of community service, am an NHS member, and participate in blood drives. But my favorite thing to do is help with the local fair.”

Betak has tried her hand at a handful of different sports at Flatonia High, including basketball, track and field, softball, and cheerleading. She suffered setback last year, and coach Bruns came away impressed with her work ethic to return to the court.

“Caitlin got hurt during the offseason last year,” Bruns said. “I was proud of how she knew what she had to do to get better and recover and rehab from the injury. She proved that she is physically and mentally strong.”

Basketball is Betak’s favorite sport to play, and her favorite thing to do as point guard is shoot the three. She looks up to 2020 WNBA No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu and hopes to continue playing basketball after she graduates high school next spring. Bruns described Betak’s leadership style as someone who leads by example, but she explained that she also is not afraid to show her emotions during game action.

“I like to be a vocal leader,” Betak said. “Whenever I play basketball, it shows because I am yelling at my teammates during games to push them so we can win and succeed as a team.”

Cheerleading is also important to who Betak is. As someone who is active around the school and the community, Betak explained that cheerleading is where she feels that she can leave an impression on younger generations.

“I never realized how many little girls look up to you as a varsity cheerleader on Friday nights,” Betak said. “I try to set a good example. That is my favorite overall thing to do.”

Betak hopes to stay in the state of Texas for college and wants to pursue a career as a pediatric physical therapist. Bruns is proud of Betak’s character and says he will miss having her around.

“As a coach, you come around many great people,” Bruns said. “but there are certain ones that you know you will miss. The ones that stand out are the ones that are respectful. Caitlin is very respectful and has her head on her shoulders.”

HEBRON'S VINSON MILLER

Vinson Miller is a three-sport star at Hebron, where he has picked up multiple scholarship offers to play football while contributing on the Hawks basketball and track teams. When he is not playing sports, Miller is active in church activities, where he helps in year-round shows and vacation Bible school.

“I participate and help out in different shows and activities, especially around holidays like Christmas, at Prestonwood Baptist Church,” Miller said. “They also asked me to cast in a virtual VBS this summer, too.”

In school, Miller works hard in the classroom. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, and his character stands out to those around him.

“There is a lot of respect there,” Hebron football coach Brian Brazil said. “He is not only a great player, but he is a great person. He thinks about what will make Hebron better, what will make the community better, what will make the world better.”

Brazil describes Miller as a selfless leader that leads by his actions, setting an example for the rest of the team, from the veteran seniors on the roster to the incoming freshmen.

On the field, Miller is a star football player for the Hawks, earning all-district honors last season at safety while also playing slot receiver. Two-way players are relatively rare at the 6A level; Miller explained that part of him likes to be on the offensive side and have the ball in his hands, but he is more than happy to make an impact on defense as well. That is part of what impresses Brazil.

“Selfless is the word that stands out,” Brazil said. “Vinson loves playing offense, but he is all about doing what is best for the team. He will do anything. He led our team in interceptions a year ago.”

College coaches have taken notice of Miller’s talents on the field and his character off it. Miller reports an offer from Lamar University and Oklahoma Baptist as he prepares for his final season on the high school level.

As for future goals set for himself, Miller has an entrepreneurial mind and has his eyes set on creating a product that helps athletes treat ankle injuries, something that he has had to deal with in his high school career.

“I am not a big fan of putting on tape or ankle braces because they are bulky,” Miller said. “So, I have been thinking of some kind of sleeve-type of thing where you can just strap it in. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I want to create something to prevent ankle injuries.”

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