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For Two Latexo Seniors, The Senior Year is Bittersweet

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Kennedy Patterson

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – Latexo High School’s varsity volleyball squad is already out to a strong start. The Lady Tigers are a month into the season and already 10-2. Much is expected of the girls this year, including more trips to the playoffs. 

The two seniors on the team this year – Kennedy Patterson and Shelby Coker – are facing their final year as seniors with big plans. There is also the worry about everything the future holds. 

“I’m happy, but I’m worried,” Coker said. “I want to go to Texas Tech and study Environmental Engineering.”

Coker has been playing volleyball since her freshman year. It has been a challenge, juggling school, athletics, FFA and all the other million things 17-year-olds do with their time. 

“Doing college work gets overwhelming sometimes,” Coker explained. “And then not missing classes because we are playing sports.”

Patterson has been playing sports since the seventh grade. She has great athletic talent, having played tennis, golf and basketball along with volleyball. As a senior now, things are beginning to change. 

“I am excited, but I’m nervous too,” Patterson said. “I hopefully can go to college and play volleyball. Arlington Baptist University is really interesting to me right now. I am going to look into playing there.”

Shelby Coker

The girls have similar opinions about Head Coach and Latexo Independent School District Athletic Director Greg Horn. 

“I really like him,” Patterson said. “We like him more and more over the years. At first we all thought he was mean! I like him because he pushes us to be the best.”

Coker agreed that the relationship with the coach took some time. 

“At first was hard having a new coach, but he grows on you. I will miss my teammates very much,” Coker said. 

For most school-age athletes, it is always a fine line to walk between success on the field and success in the classroom. 

“Last year was especially hard because I wanted to keep my grades up and get ahead in a lot of classes,” Patterson explained. “I think this year will be easier. My favorite class is science. Any kind of science.”

Asked where they see themselves in five years, the pair gave interesting answers:

“Hopefully working in a hospital either as a cardiac stenographer or a radiologist technician,” Patterson concluded. 

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Coker said. “I am taking it one day at a time.

Greg Ritchie can be reached at greg@messenger-news.com

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