Norman’s Gaby Odetayo & Kelbie Washington – Driven Athlete Q&A – Presented by Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Norman

VYPE: How long have you played soccer and what position do you play?

Gaby: I have played soccer since 1st grade, making that about 11 years now. Starting from recreational making my way up to academy then so forth. I have played forward my whole career but in the past few years, I have recently focused on left striker.

Kelbie: I have been playing soccer since I was 5 years old and I was always have been a forward.

VYPE: What first got you interested in the sport?

Gaby: What struck my interest in the sport was from a young age, I loved to be outside and I loved to run. I was the fastest kid in 1st grade and it was important to my parents that I was active, so I tried soccer and found that to be my absolute passion!

Kelbie: I got interested in soccer because I love to be outside running and just doing something to get dirty.

VYPE: How would you describe the 2019 season?

Gaby: Our 2019 season was absolutely amazing to be apart of and honestly just to watch us grow emotionally, emotionally, and physically as a team. We came into the season with a brand-new head coach, so it was something new to us but it worked out so well. We learned from every win also. The season was all about learning where our weak spots were and evolving as a team to fix those things. Our team chemistry was truly shown through the various injuries that occurred throughout the season and the brave girls who stepped up without complaints and worked their best to help us carry on the season.

Kelbie: We had some ups and downs along the way but we improved as a team and kept it going and that’s all that matters.

VYPE: What is your favorite memory in your sport so far?

Gaby: My favorite memory by far would have to be the tournaments. If you play sports, you know how much fun comes with tournaments. It’s impossible without becoming closer to your team and that is just something special to me!

Kelbie: Playing Sapulpa and being down 2-0 and then winning with 1 minute left leaving the game 4-3.

VYPE: Do you have a favorite team to play against? If so why?

Gaby: My favorite team to play against is Norman North. The intensity in that game grows every year. I played club soccer with the majority of that team of girls and have such good bonds with some of those girls, it just makes for an intense match. It is always a close game because of both teams putting in everything they’ve got in order to beat the other. I mean its cross-town clash, it has to be the best!

Kelbie: Playing Norman North because it’s a rival game and all the tension make the game more competitive.

VYPE: What is your favorite thing about being a student athlete at Norman High?

Gaby: Being a student athlete at Norman High is an opportunity that I would recommend to everyone out there. The team spirit at Norman High is unbeatable. Not only are the students coming out to games but staff who really care about us all and want us to succeed. Everyone is excited on big game days, dressed from head to toe in orange and black.

Kelbie: My favorite thig about being a student athlete at Norman High is that it’s not hard. If you just put effort into it and being both a student and an athlete is a lot of work but you have people there to help when you might struggle.

VYPE: Who is your all-time favorite soccer player?

Gaby: My favorite player would have to be Alex Morgan because we are both forwards and she’s an amazingly talented and discipled player. She has shown from a young age that hard work will get you where you want to be! Her role as a strong young woman is something I aspire to be for others.

Kelbie: My favorite soccer player of all time is Abby Wambach because as a little girl I would look up to her and just would be so impressed on how she makes being a forward look so easy.

VYPE: Let’s talk about your teammates. Which player on your team would you not want to go up against? Who keeps everyone laughing? Who is the biggest encouragement on the field?

Gaby: A player on my team I would not want to go up against would definitely be Brooke Goodman. She is one of the other talented forwards. Her ball handling and dribbling skills are amazing, and she can dance around anyone on the field. Someone who always is making us laugh would have to be Natalia Richartz, she has such an infectious laugh no matter if something is truly funny, you can’t help but laugh. The biggest encourager on the field by far is Eden Starke. She goes out of her way to encourage our teammates when they are down and make them get back on their feet. She is such a team player and wants the best for everyone on her team despite all of our differences.

Kelbie: We have a lot of characters on the team. For example, Alayna Mendoza, midfielder, gets everyone pumped before and after the games. An amazing soccer player and an amazing girl off the field is Hannah Cartwright. She works hard and just always gives 110%. And lastly, Gabby Odetayo and Brooke Goodman, both forwards, work so hard and they work back as well to defend when needed.

VYPE: What do you look forward to for next season?

Gaby: I am 100% looking forward to my senior season. 4 years really does fly by when you’re doing what you love and love who you’re doing it with. I have come out of my shell a lot since my freshman year. I was very shy and soft spoken because I was nervous coming into an extremely talented team with relationships already built but as a senior, I want to make it my goal to make every person on this team to feel welcomed, encouraged, and needed. I love Norman High soccer and this upcoming year will be our year without a doubt. We are taking state!

Kelbie: I look forward to hopefully getting a chance to win state and just be a family and have fun with the coaches and the girls on the team!