TENNERTON — In continuing to bring you the best sports coverage in Upshur County, the My Buckhannon sports department is pleased to present another edition of our exclusive — Raising the Jolly Roger With…
In ‘Raising the Jolly Roger With…’ the My Buckhannon sports department will interview a senior student-athlete from Buckhannon-Upshur to get to know them better and what makes them tick both on and off the field. Don’t settle for cheap knockoffs!
Our student-athlete this week is Kyleigh Keener — enjoy!
1. Please list all the sports you have played at B-U and what year you played them? I have played soccer for B-UMS in 2017, ‘18 and ‘19 and for B-UHS in 2020, ‘21 ‘22, and rounding out my career as a Buccaneer in the 2023 season. I have ran track for B-UMS in 2018, ‘19, and ‘20 then for B-UHS in 2021, ‘23 and I plan to run my last season in 2024.
2. What has been your favorite athletic moment at Buckhannon-Upshur that you participated in? My favorite athletic moment as a Buccaneer has been my entire senior soccer season. It started off a bit rocky with teammates leaving and a new head coach, but these girls have made this season unforgettable. Each of them means so much to me in their own way, and they’ve all made a lasting impact on me.
3. Describe your toughest practice at Buckhannon-Upshur. What sport and who was the coach? The toughest practice I can remember was during the 2022 season before our game against Philip Barbour. It was my first game back after a concussion, so I missed half of the practice while getting cleared by my doctor. I returned just in time to participate in one drill, which wasn’t even difficult, but it reminded me of the privilege of being back on the field. Mentally, it was one of the most challenging practices I’ve experienced. Knowing that our time on the field was limited. However, Coach Robert Greenough reassured me and my teammate who had also been out that no matter how many mistakes we made, we were still valued members of the team.
4. Do you have a favorite saying from one of your head coaches? Coach Greenough often shook his head and told us to “Get our act together!”
5. What was or is your favorite class you have taken at Buckhannon-Upshur and who taught it? Why was it your favorite? My favorite class at B-UHS was English 10 Honors, taught by the incredible Mrs. Cain. It was definitely one of the most challenging classes I’ve taken, but it provided me with valuable skills that I still utilize today, both inside and outside the classroom. Mrs. Cain is not only an exceptional educator, but she is also kind, caring, and a strong advocate for students and teachers a like.
6. What is your favorite thing about being a Buccaneer? Being a Buccaneer, the best part is the close-knit, family-like environment. Sure, we have our challenges, but leaving Mrs. Holly’s classroom without a heartfelt “Goodbye, I love you all!” or walking around a corner without a teacher wishing you a good morning or afternoon? That’s unheard of! And if you ever need help, there’s always someone there ready to lend a hand.
7. If you were asked to play another sport, what would it be and why? If I had to pick another sport, basketball would probably be my choice. It shares similarities with soccer in terms of the tight-knit, competitive environment that the players create. But honestly, any sport you choose at B-U is bound to be enjoyable and provide a valuable experience.
8. Who is your hero and why? If I had to pick a hero, I would say Malala Yousafzai. I read about her courage in Mrs. Cains class and her determined to fight for girls’ education, even in the face of adversity, is truly inspiring. She has become a global symbol of activism and empowerment, and her story motivates me to stand up for what I believe in.
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? When I grow up , my aspiration is to become a staunch advocate for universal rights. Regardless of the career path I pursue, my objective is to unwaveringly uphold my beliefs and consistently champion the rights of both myself and others.
10. What are your initial plans after graduation this spring? After graduating, my initial plans involve embarking on a senior trip to Europe to explore and experience different cultures.
11. What question do you hate to answer? My least favorite question is ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ mainly because I believe life is an experience to be enjoyed, not something you can plan out for eternity.
12. Who is the best athlete in your family? My family has all been involved in athletics throughout their lives. When it comes to determining the “best,” we each have our own opinions and believe it to be ourselves. However, sports have instilled in us unique qualities such as leadership, understanding, coachability, and humility, making us all individually distinct.
13. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where? My favorite vacation spot is Anna Maria Island. It’s a truly enchanting place where you feel completely disconnected from the world and surrounded by breathtaking beauty.
14. What is your favorite food and one thing you won’t eat? Cookies are my absolute favorite food, but I can’t bring myself to eat cooked carrots.
15. What advice would you give to a young athlete ready to start his/her time as a Buccaneer? The best advice I can give to aspiring athletes is to trust in God. Remember, the time you spend on the field is a privilege granted by God, so never take it for granted.