Athlete Spotlight: Clayton Perona and Macey Lottmann
Story and graphics by Tommy Briner, senior
Clayton Perona is a senior wrestler, cross country runner, and tennis player.
Clayton has been a four-year wrestler in a program that’s seen some legends come through in the last decade. He hoped to help continue the success of the Westminster wrestling program, but this season is now his final chance to do so as he was sidelined with an injury for all of last year.
He recognizes the effects that older students have on their younger counterparts.
“We have a tradition that’s been around since before I was even a freshman where we go out to eat after every tournament. I remember as a freshman it was always cool to be a part of the team with great wrestlers like Charlie McCracken,” Clayton said. “The senior guys always wanted me to come with them and they implemented a team culture through those events. Now that I’m one of the older guys on the team, I always try to make sure that I can bring that sense of team unity that JT Fuller, Blake Potter, and Lucas Chimento showed me.”
On the first day of practice last season, Clayton suffered a concussion that kept him out of competition for the entire season. He returned this year after working hard and following all of the protocols to get himself back on the mats.
“My goals for the year are to stay healthy and make it to State. Hopefully, I’ll win a few matches at State and compete for a medal,” Clayton said. “Having an end goal has always motivated me. Whenever I can see where something is leading, I can push myself to continue even when it is hard.”
During the fall season, Clayton ran cross country to get in shape and start cutting weight for the upcoming wrestling season.
“Cross country helps me with both the mental and physical side of wrestling. It gets me in shape and helps me build my metabolism. At the same time, it’s another individual sport where no one else can help me when I’m competing. It taught me how to be mentally tough and find the energy and will to win from inside me, something that I carry over onto the mats.”
Clayton is a gifted, well-read student, and a deep thinker holding a 4.36 grade point average while taking five Advanced Placement courses. He engages with material in classrooms as much as any student in any classroom and is always ready for an argument. From math to English to government, Clayton is the type of person who helps other students learn because of his wide range of knowledge. He also participates in Student Council where he tries to affect real change around the halls of Westminster.
Clayton Perona is gifted as an athlete, as a student, and as a friend. His well-roundedness and engaging nature are model characteristics for Westminster students.
Macey Lottmann is a senior basketball and soccer player.
As a four-year member of the varsity basketball team, Macey’s early basketball experience was in a struggling program. However, as she’s developed, so has the team. This year’s team is the best of Macey’s career, and she’s a big part of that.
“Our goal is to win Districts,” she said.
Macey is not the team’s leading scorer, but she still averages around seven points per game. As one of only two seniors on her team, she supports her team by being a leader, playing tough defense, and knocking down open three-pointers. She’s shooting 40 percent from three-point range this season.
Over the Christmas break, the girls basketball team participated in the highly regarded Visitation Christmas tournament. Besides scoring 11 points in her team’s landmark victory against Parkway Central, Macey received the tournament’s “100 Percent Award,” a prize given to one player from the entire tournament who gives superior effort throughout the entire tournament. Macey made her team and school proud by winning this award.
“Confidence is something I’ve struggled with in the past, so this year I’ve just been trying to stay positive and work my hardest. No one plays well when they are frustrated with themselves or their team, so my goal was just to keep a positive attitude and encourage others, and it’s much more fun that way.”
Both on and off the court, Macey is a friend to all. She’s befriended underclassmen on the basketball team and constantly has a smile on her face in the hallways.
“I enjoy just hanging out before our games, and we’ve gotten to go to some college basketball games together which have been fun,” Macey said. “Also, my favorite part about school is getting to see my friends every day.”
In the classroom, Macey maintains a 4.17 grade point average and takes two Advanced Placement classes.
Macey Lottmann is a well-rounded student-athlete who is a leader and reliable friend to her teammates and everyone around the school.