Cancer Survivor Reagan Whatley Tough AND Unselfish

By: Doug Sarant
| Published 09/08/2021


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Welcome to this week's CISD Athlete of the Week. Our subject this week has to be the most unselfish athlete to ever don a uniform. Check out this interview. She brags about everyone, but herself.

The Woodlands High School senior, Reagan Whatley is the epitome of a team player. All she cares about is contributing while doing her best and couldn't care less about who gets the credit. Is she a leader? Of course! She not only leads by example, she's a born leader. She expects teammates to give their all, but she backs it up by giving 100% every second she's on the floor.

Please give it up for Reagan Whatley...

1) How long have you been playing volleyball? How did you become interested in volleyball? What other sports did you play growing up and why did volleyball win out?

I’ve been playing volleyball for around ten years now. I started in second grade on a YMCA team because I was a tall and lanky kid so of course I was put in volleyball. I also played soccer and was on a swim team. Once I joined a club volleyball team, I had to make a choice between continuing to play rec league volleyball and other sports or only pursuing volleyball at a higher level due to time constraints.

2) Describe the 2021 TWHS volleyball team and why you enjoy playing for the Highlanders...

The energy and chemistry of the team this year is the best I’ve ever seen. All the girls get along and we enjoy spending time together- and it's a LOT of time together. Whether it’s going out to eat before games or hanging out on the weekends, we’re not just teammates, we’re all friends and I feel like that makes a difference in how we play. A big part of that chemistry is our coaches. Coach Wade and Coach McKinney both value team bonding and they always push us to stay together when we’re down or having hard times. It has helped us get over our losses and push for a better result next time. In addition to great chemistry, this team has a lot of pure talent. Claire Dewine is a phenomenal all-around athlete. She’s consistent and a physical player who I can always count on to do her job and more. Defensively, Molly Tuozzo and Cassidy Maclean are amazing players as well. Individually they provide so much for the team but when they’re back row together, the ball rarely touches the floor. Marjorie Johnson, our middle blocker, is a solid wall. When she’s not hitting the ten-foot line or stuff blocking, she's pulling opponent blockers away from pins and hyping up teammates. Lastly, a rising star on the team is Ella Lewis, a freshman outside. She knows when to be smart and pull out the shots but she also knows when to be powerful and swing. It’s pretty crazy watching her play knowing she’s only a freshman. She’s already doing so much for this team but I can’t wait to see her thrive in the future even more.

3) Do you like TWHS and why?

I love TWHS. I came from a small private school that I attended for 9 years. The class size was 48 kids and it was the same 48 kids for all of elementary and middle school. Going to The Woodlands for high school was such a drastic change to then have 1,200 kids in your grade. I like that every year or even every day you meet someone new.

4) What colleges are you looking into attending? Do you know what your field of study will be?

I am undecided on where I will be attending but I plan to pursue medicine.

5) What do you hope to be doing after you graduate from college?

I hope to attend graduate school and become a physician's assistant in dermatology
or pediatrics.

6) What do you enjoy doing away from school and volleyball?

I love being active and trying new things with friends. This includes Just Dance or trying cycling classes but I also love just hanging out and having a night in. I love watching old Disney movies and eating pizza with friends.

7) Who is your role model for volleyball?

100% Clara Brower. She’s an amazing player who is so fun to watch and even more fun to play with. She’s aggressive and wants to win but also knows how to have fun on the court and make you laugh. Right now, she’s at University of Georgia where she’s already killing it. She’s playing six rotations as a freshman and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s not only an inspiration as a player but as a person as well. She’s an amazing friend and just a joy to be around.

8) Describe how supportive your family is in everything you do in your life.

My family is super supportive in everything I do. My dad only wants the best for me and pushes me to go for everything even if it’s scary or seems out of reach. He provides me with any help I ever need. My mom is my number one fan. She is always loving and cheering me on even if it's not my best game. I can always go to her when I’m upset about something and she provides me with unconditional love and support.

9) If you were given a million dollars and had to give it to one charity, which one
would you choose and why?

I would give the million dollars to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. They fund research for cures to childhood cancers which is really close to me because I had cancer when I was five. I spent Christmas in 2008 in the hospital after having my kidney removed from Wilms Tumor Cancer. I was super lucky in how quickly they caught my tumor and how relatively easy it was to be removed. Not everyone is that lucky so cancer research is super important which is why I would send the money there.

10) Three things that people don't know about you.

• I went on a 30-day backpacking trip this summer in Wyoming.

• I have seen The Office over ten times through.

• I have a dog named Lucky and 4 fish.

11) When was the last time you danced? Where? You any good?

The last time I danced was before the Seven Lakes game. Before any game we turn our speaker up really loud in the locker room and turn off the lights and only have strobe lights going. We get really warmed up and energized before the games. I love to dance during this time but I’m absolutely no good at it. But that’s ok because we all have fun doing it.

12) What is your favorite song in your phone now? Do you have a favorite group?

My favorite song right now is “Butterflies” by Kacey Musgraves. I really like Kacey
and Taylor Swift.

13) Your favorite movie of all time.

Crazy Stupid Love

14) If you were sentenced to death but you were allowed to go on one last date, who would the lucky guy be?

Harry Styles no doubt. I would die happily if I could go out with him.

TWHS head coach Terri Wade talks about Reagan… “Reagan has been a Varsity contributing player for three years, but she gives so much more to the team than her skill. She’s goofy and fun, but she’s also mature and level headed. She brings consistency and high expectations of herself and her team. Reagan is a leader and she’s earned that title. She gives her best in the classroom and on the court. I’m proud to have players like Reagan that show underclassmen what it means to be grateful for your talents and play selflessly for your teammates.”

When we look for subjects for our WOL Player of the Week, we look for athletes with an edge that play with class and sportsmanship. Yes, you can have an edge but still play with both.

Off the field, Reagan is a people person as evidenced by always looking out for people and doing her best to make others smile. She's content with herself and has a lot of energy for friends and even people she doesn't know.

Although Reagan deserves every ounce of credit for her accomplishments and awesome demeanor, you must recognize her parents for doing such a great job raising her.

Well, lets give Lucky some of the credit seeing as he is her best friend.

Keep killing it out there, Reagan!

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