Ready for the next step

Ready for the next step

As a multi-sport standout at Ely High School in the Minnesota Arrowhead, Erika Mattson had more than her share of opportunities when it came to where she was going to continue her education, and perhaps play a sport or two upon her graduation. When it was all said and done, however, the University of Wisconsin-Superior stood out above the rest.

“UW-Superior was the last school I toured, and I knew right away that this is where I wanted to be,” Mattson said, days prior to her graduation. “I decided to come here because of the small school setting, and it was somewhere I could continue my basketball career. Seeing the success of the women’s basketball team in previous years was also motivating to me, as I wanted to get the program back to that level.”

Upon her arrival on campus, something else stood out.

“I know this campus was small, but I was surprised how many of the same friends and acquaintances I still have senior year compared to freshman year. The close-knit community, especially the student-athletes, really makes this place special.”

Mattson spent four seasons playing for the Yellowjacket women’s basketball team, and during her senior season, she helped the Yellowjackets rise back to the top, winning the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference regular season championship, and in the post-season come within one game of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

Speaking of the NCAA Tournament, Mattson was also part of the Yellowjacket softball team for three seasons, winning a UMAC regular season title (2022) and two UMAC playoff titles (2021, 2023), with the latter championships getting the Yellowjackets into the NCAA Softball Tournament.

Her time on the court and in the field has helped her enjoy a full collegiate experience.

“Being involved with two different teams has led me to build relationships with teammates that will last beyond my time at Superior. Having a part of two teams that have won conference championships has taught me how far hard work and diligence can lead you. Being a Yellowjacket means being included in a community where the expectation is success, in and out of athletics. Teammates, coaches and staff are there to push you to be the best version of yourself and your team,” she said.

Mattson accomplished all of this while double-majoring in exercise science and public health to go along with a minor in health. She plans to take her academic work from UW-Superior to graduate school at UW-Eau Claire.

“I was accepted into the Master of Athletic Training program at UW-Eau Claire. I have known since high school that I wanted to be involved in the healthcare field and sports, and once I am done with graduate school I am hoping to work at a college or university as an athletic trainer.

“I am very thankful to have great professors here at UW-Superior who have prepared me for the next step in my education.”