In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Grafton Bearcats Junior Athlete Skylar Wooddell.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a junior at Grafton High School. I avidly participate in a slew of extracurriculars including multiple soccer teams, swim teams, equestrian competitions, and weekly piano lessons. Over the past few years I’ve also been blessed enough to aide my mom in holding fundraisers for local cancer patients, something I’m very passionate about. I’m thankful to be a member of Middleville Baptist Church and attend weekly bible studies with not only my church youth group but also our county’s YoungLife club.
You participate in quite a few different sports. How do you find time to juggle everything?
It is quite challenging. I personally set reminders in my phone each day for schoolwork I need to complete, and I also try planing out my evening the night before in regards to practices, games, or anything else I may have to attend.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why?
Sagaba Konate, a former men’s basketball player at WVU, for what he’s done for me off of the court. A few weeks after my knee reconstruction, I had the opportunity to meet Sagaba. He was inspiring and was even willing to get a photo with me.
What would you say to one of your teammates who is really struggling to perform on a particular day?
I often try to console them and let them know I’m always available to listen. Rough days inevitably occur, and I would recommend that my teammate attempts to have a positive outlook. Because I am spiritual, I also find relief through means of prayer.
What is your favorite movie about sports?
The Big Green. It shows that any team can win on any given day.
What is the most bizarre question you have ever been asked by someone about a sport in which you participate?
“What do you do when you ride your horse?” This is a question that is practically impossible for me to explain. Riding horses requires many different skills. I can explain the events I show in, but I truly cannot completely encompass what I do while riding my horse.
What is the one thing you always do after winning a big game/match/event?
I always pray and give thanks, and I often celebrate in some way whether it be dancing or going out for a bite to eat.
What are your best and worst memories in athletics?
Some of my best memories in athletics include winning Open Cup while I was on a recreational U14 coed team, placing third at the American Quarter Horse Congress, winning the all-around at the AQHA Novice Championships, and placing fourth at the Paint Horse Youth World Show. My all time worst memory in athletics is the Preston County soccer game last school year when I tore not only my ACL, but also my lateral and medial meniscus.
What do you do to calm your butterflies before an event?
I often pray, talk to teammates or my mom, and try to shake things off by moving to get the jitters out. Before all of my soccer games, I eat at least one orange to get my blood pumping and achieve a little sugar boost.
If you could be a successful professional athlete in any sport, what sport would you choose?
I would choose horseback riding because it’s not only the sport I have to work at the hardest, but its also the most enjoyable to participate in.
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
Driven because I truly will never give up on achieving my goals.
Which sport comes the easiest to you? Which one do you have to work at the hardest?
I would say that soccer comes the easiest to me simply because I had to work extremely hard at it when I was first learning the game. Horseback riding is definitely the most challenging because you not only have to be in tune with your own performance, but you also have to be in sync with your horse.
You are recovering from a serious knee injury. Describe the feeling of being sidelined while you were waiting for it to get better.
Being sidelined while recovering from a serious knee injury was one of the hardest experiences I’ve had to endure. There is no way for me to put into words the pain I felt during the months when I was unable to play soccer and ride horses. Overall, my strong desire to return to the game and show pen is what allowed me to push through my rollercoaster of feelings in order to achieve my goals on my road to recovery.
You get to spend the day with anyone (past or present), who do you choose and why?
I would choose my mom and Michael Jordan because my mom is the most important person in my life and Michael Jordan is a very inspiring individual.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself in two different scenarios. I see myself training horses everyday and writing/journaling on the side. I also see myself as an athletic trainer, hopefully for a major sports team.
What do you think you do well as an athlete?
I think I’m good at pushing myself due to my competitiveness, however, I sometimes push myself past my limits.
Where is your favorite away venue to play a sport?
Definitely East-West Stadium because I play there often with my travel team.
Give me one word or phrase to describe athletics in Taylor County.
Lacking, because I would like to see athletics grow in Taylor County, especially in the forms of competitive recreational start-up teams and clinics.
Should kids concentrate on a single sport or play multiple sports?
I believe that playing multiple sports is very beneficial for kids because it teaches them time management skills, teamwork, improves physical fitness, and develops motor skills such as hand-eye-coordination.
What did you think of these questions?
I believe these questions were rewarding to answer because I truly had to put a lot of thought into my responses and tap into my inner self. I will admit I struggled developing responses to some of them, but I am grateful to have been asked such questions.
*Each week the Mountain Statesman features a coach, player or personality from Taylor County. We hope you enjoy the chance to learn a little bit more about them.