Can you see yourself “rising to the occasion” in any competitive sport’s scenario?
If your name is Zoey Riddle and you play for the Bartlett Yancey tennis team then the answer is “yes.”
Opportunity came her way recently and she was “at the right place at the right time.”
Riddle was just minding her own business and had traveled down to Carrboro to watch her fellow teammates take on the Carrboro High Jaguars in their last match of the season. She was just being a spectator and sitting in the stands when it seems that there was no Buccaneer suited up to play a singles match against a warming-up Jaguar foe. Riddle certainly wasn’t scheduled to play.
BY tennis coach, Brian Totten, takes it from there:
“Great things happen at Bartlett Yancey High School, which is the phrase we’ve been using. And, low and behold, great things are happening to Zoey Riddle on our tennis team!”exclaims Coach Totten in joint interview at the local Ignite Nutrition Smoothie and Juice Bar last Friday.
“I had to submit a few names for our last conference play and her name wasn’t one of them. I wanted all the students to go so she came along for the ride. When I got to the coaches’ meeting there, they asked me if I had anybody to play singles and I said I just submitted two doubles teams,” laughed Totten.
“We dropped her name in, and she and I had discussed that there was a possibility she would play, but she didn’t have a racquet, her personal racquet, she didn’t have her tennis shoes, either, and only was wearing sandals,” Totten adds.
So, shortly thereafter. Riddle stepped out of the stands to play in the most important singles match of her young career.
“I borrowed somebody else’s shoes and racquet, and I was scared because I’m “number six court” (ranked sixth on her team) and the girl I was playing was “number one court” and ranked highest on their team.”
For the match: “I was up (ahead) most of the time and then towards the end, I was getting slack, and the final score was 8-6. I let her catch up some, but I pushed through to win it. I used my friend’s Wilson racquet from the 8th grade and in the end, the grip was coming apart and dry-rotting in my hand!”
For this amazing effort, Zoey Riddle made All-Conference and is the only BY player scheduled to be in the regional finals.
Riddle is a 16-year-old rising junior from the Burlington-Snow Camp area.
She’s been playing tennis at BY for two years and played one year previously at Dillard Middle School.