Alva’s Payne Louthan – Character Counts Presented by Integris Health

By Derrick Smith

The key to being a great athlete is to know your weaknesses and try to improve on those areas you lack in. And Payne Louthan says fixing your flaws is an important part of getting better.

“Self-improvement has always been a priority for me,” Louthan said. “I have tried to single out my flaws and take steps in the right direction. Advice from my coaches and my teammates always lets me know what I am doing wrong, and what could be done to fix it.”

Payne is a junior at Alva High School, where he is a member of the soccer team and cheerleading squad. This was his first year for cheer, but he has played soccer since his freshman year. While the wins may not be coming this season in soccer, Louthan and his teammates are using this season to grow.

“This season our team has won only one game, but every time we play we seem to be understanding the sport more and more,” he said. “Personally, I have improved a great deal since my freshman year, and I strive to continue getting better.”

As the Alva Character Counts athlete, Louthan says that to earn that title, you have to display character both on and off the field.

“Being a Character Athlete is more than competing well in whatever sport you are playing,” he said. “It is about showing good sportsmanship to your team, to your coach, and to your opponent. It is important to show leadership skills and to be kind, whether you are on the field or in your school. Having a good impact on your peers by having a personality and being positive when it counts.”

Role models and influencers are something that Payne has a lot of in his life and they are always there for him to look up to.

“I have plenty of different role models that I think of whenever I make important decisions,” Payne said. “My parents, as well as some other members of my family such as my brother, help me through the day. Since Alva has such a small community, there are multiple examples of very successful people that I respect, and try to take lessons from. My present and past coaches and teachers such as Halah Simon, Mrs. Murrow, Steve Gale, Ryan Brandt, Mrs. Mead, and Brandy Brown are very important role models to me.”

In the classroom, Louthan’s favorite teacher was his English teacher.

“My favorite teacher is Mrs. Murrow,” he said. “Whenever I was in her classroom I felt like I could truly think and be myself. I had a voice for my thoughts and could speak and think with freedom. She always managed her classroom very nicely and taught us very well. She encouraged me to read books and write in a creative way. Consequently, I love reading, and I love creative writing.”

Outside of athletics, Payne is the secretary of the junior class and treasurer of the History Club. He also works at Gambino’s. He has a lot of love for his hometown and will continue to be proud to be a Goldbug, even after he graduates.

“I could not ask for a better town to live in,” he said. “I love my high school. After graduation, I plan to go to college to become an English teacher.”