Sep. 23—Dakota Moton enjoys being part of a team, both on and off the field.
The McAlester senior said he didn't start his career in football until junior high, when he was given a little encouragement from a fellow Buffalo.
"Actually, my assistant principal, coach (Austin) Maddox told me to play it," Moton said. "I was always not scared to play, but just didn't until seventh grade."
Moton said one of his favorite things about being a Buff has been the camaraderie that comes from going to battle each and every day with his teammates who become something a little closer.
"Just being around my team, making new friends around you and bonds that just won't break," he said. "And just that feeling that they'll have your back."
It's been quite the journey for Moton and his fellow senior teammates. They've reached new heights with McAlester football, and are hoping to reach the pinnacle in their final season. But looking back, Moton said he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
"It was a ride," he said. "It really is."
Before a game, Moton said it's all about the music when he's getting ready in the locker room. Some of his preferred artists include NBA Youngboy, as the tunes help lock his brain in on the task ahead.
"I like to listen to music," Moton said. "It kind of helps me get into that mindset."
The running back has seen a lot of success out on the field so far in his career. But as he keeps building upon it, he hopes to fulfill his dream of playing college football somewhere after graduation.
And looking back, Moton says he's had plenty of people in his corner as they've helped him along the journey he set himself on all those years ago. And he was thankful for those special folks that have meant so much to him.
"Definitely my mom and my brother. They're top two," he said. "And my friends. I've got my small circle that definitely help me out a lot, more than I can ask for."
As Moton and his classmates will be hanging up their black and gold at the end of this season, he knows too that it'll be a signal for the next generation to fill their shoes. But he was quick to remind those Buffs that you have to put in the work on the field and in school in order to be successful.
"Stick to the classes early," Moton said. "Trust — that was a big thing for me when I got into high school. I didn't take it seriously at first, and I wish I did. And stick to the grind."
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.