BSB Q&A: Growing Up Matheny

Ohio State women's ice hockey sophomore Katie Matheny, the daughter of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, spoke with about being raised by a pro athlete, rooting for the Cards in enemy territory and how she ended up playing for Ohio State.

Ohio State has its share of Reds fans on campus, but at least one student-athlete is a die-hard Cardinals fan living in enemy territory. Ohio State women's ice hockey sophomore Katie Matheny, the daughter of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, spoke with about growing up the daughter of a baseball player and how the daughter of two Michigan athletes ended up wearing the scarlet and gray.

As the daughter of parents who played baseball and field hockey in college, how did you end up playing ice hockey?
I have four brothers. When I was little, my older brother would make me play goalie and just shoot pucks at me. I was a goalie until I was about 10 years old, and every day my brother would make me go out there and he’d just shoot on me. I tried other sports, but nothing was ever as fast as hockey.

With both your parents being Michigan alums, what went into your decision to play for Ohio State?
My dad grew up in Reynoldsburg and I have grandparents here. I’m very close to my family, and I wanted to go somewhere close. The first time I came to visit Ohio State, I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I loved it here and wanted to go here. My mom is all for Ohio State. My dad said he’ll cheer for the women’s hockey team, but that’s it. He’ll wear Cardinal red but no Ohio State stuff.

What about that visit to Ohio State stood out to you?
When I was thinking about schools, I didn’t want to go to a big school. I wanted to go somewhere small and easy to get around. I came here just to see what it’s like to be an athlete at Ohio State, and I loved it. I’d seen other places and they were all really nice, but they didn’t have the feel that Ohio State did. Even my parents who went to Michigan came on the visit and loved it and thought the campus was beautiful. They treat you like no other school would.

What was it like growing up as the daughter of a Major League Baseball player?
I get this question a lot, and everyone always asks if it was so cool. To be honest, it’s an awesome experience to go and be able to cheer for your dad when he plays, but at the same time, he’s gone so much. Especially when he played in San Francisco (from 2005-06), I would go weeks or months without seeing him, and it was hard. It was fun and hard at the same time.

Do you have a favorite memory from your dad’s time in the pros?
Whenever they’d win the league championship or anything, just being able to go in the locker room and celebrate. Growing up, my brothers could all go into the locker room but as a girl, I never could. I always missed out on that. So when they would win something, we’d all get to go and we’d all get to celebrate. I’ll never forget it – just sitting there with my brothers and shaking soda cans and pouring them on each other. To me, that was the most fun thing to do. I always wanted them to go to the playoffs so I could go celebrate with them.

What’s it like trying to follow the Cardinals at a school with tons of Reds fans?
There are a bunch of Reds fans here, so nobody wants to turn the game on. I put it on my iPad and hook it up to the TV while I do my homework or I’ll track it on my phone. Our equipment manager, Jim Jeans, is a big Cardinals fan. If I go to bed early, he always updates me on what happened and how we did, so it’s kind of nice to have him on my side.

Have you been able to convert anyone to rooting for St. Louis?
I’ve converted a few teammates. Other than that, I mostly get dirty looks when I wear my Cardinals hat or pants – especially when it comes to playing the Reds. I’ve converted a few teammates. The twins (Kari and Sara Schmitt) are Detroit fans, and I’m slowly getting them to become Cardinal fans. I’m working on it.

Do you ever talk to your dad about hockey or ask him for advice?
Not so much on the sport, but just in general. He’s one of the most knowledgeable people I know, and he’s great with people and great with advice. If I ever needed advice on anything in life or on hockey, I would absolutely go to him. Obviously he doesn’t know every little detail, but he understands what it’s like to be a college athlete and understands what it’s like to be the coach of an athlete.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories