Apr. 27—Janai Riddle decided to jump back into playing soccer, and she's glad she did.
The McAlester senior played volleyball her entire high school tenure, but rejoined the soccer program for her final season.
"I've played volleyball the past four years, and this is my first year back in soccer since freshman year," Riddle said.
She said she enjoys the game because of the team aspect, and the many relationships that have formed — leading to a lot of success for the Lady Buffs.
"I just like how we all come together as a team," Riddle said. "We all just connect with each other and have good team (bond)."
Riddle said game days are a serious affair, but sprinkled in with a little relaxation and support among team members.
"I just talk to a bunch of the other girls. Usually, we listen to music," Riddle said. "We kind of say a few encouraging words, and then we head out there."
Riddle loves hanging out with her friends and teammates across her multiple sports, and has been enjoying her final year at McAlester. But she said her upcoming graduation ceremony has been on her mind for quite some time.
"Oh, yes. It hit me junior year," Riddle laughed.
After graduation, she plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College to study in the field of science, but hasn't decided on a specific career just yet.
Still, she's thankful for all the support she's been given throughout her life, especially from her mother, grandmother, and uncle.
And she's grateful for getting the chance to be a Lady Buff. Although she'll miss high school, Riddle said she's also excited for the next adventure.
"I already know I'm going to be sad," she said. "But at the same time, I'm going to be happy for summer and happy to have it over with."
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.