May 25—Aaron Dodson didn't think he'd be having this moment.
Just days after his graduation, the McAlester senior celebrated another milestone on Tuesday by signing his commitment to play college soccer for Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City next season.
"I'm feeling pretty excited, it'll be a new step. It's not something I thought I was going to pursue," Dodson said.
He said it wasn't a case of his seeking out a college career, but the school looking for him.
"I got a message from one of the coaches, toured the campus, and just felt right about it," Dodson said.
The Buff footballer said he was thrilled with the opportunity to play at the next level for the potential benefits both on and off the pitch.
"I think it'll be a lot fun. Keep me active and entertained while I'm in college," Dodson said "I'll make new friends and better connections."
He was especially grateful to be sharing his signing experience with his parents by his side, whom Dodson said have been the reason he is taking this next journey.
"They've been a huge step in helping me even do this and helping me pursue colleges and things like that," he said. "They've always encouraged me to do the best that I can."
As Dodson is still in the middle of finals, he still took the time to look back on his time at McAlester. He said he'll remember his soccer teammates, friends, and memories made in and out of the classroom.
But he's especially proud he is carrying on a tradition of being a McAlester graduate, like his mother before him.
"Someone said at graduation something about 'you're an alumni now,'" Dodson said. "And that made me kind of think 'wow, I'm the same as my mom. She was a McAlester Buffalo, and we're both graduated out of it.' But it's pretty cool and encouraging to know that I'm going to be moving on as a Buffalo."
And as he took a moment, Dodson also imparted a little wisdom for the younger generations of Buffaloes who will be making their own journeys just as he did.
"Work hard, and find friends that can help you get through the day and through classes," Dodson said. "And just put your all in everything that you do, and reap the benefits."
Contact Derek Hatridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.