When it came time to make an university option, Birmingham, Alabama indigenous Hailey Whitaker simply had to look a number of hours away as she made a decision to become an Auburn Tiger in 2018. While she may be a little southeast of her hometown, Whitaker is happy to stand for Birmingham as well as her residence state on the football pitch. “My neighborhood that I came from is what makes Alabama so special,” Hailey clarified to BGN. “I get support from old instructors, old trainers, parents as well as little youngsters that I don’t understand directly, yet they sustain me due to the fact that I am from our small area. It makes me feel unique, and also it offers me much more motivation to play hard.”

“I want all of them to delight in viewing me play and to continue supporting me and supporting me on. I ‘d say what most people do not learn about Alabama is that Birmingham is an up and also coming city. It is super wonderful, as well as I seem like everyone in Alabama must come go to because there are a great deal of enjoyable and amazing points to do there!”

You don’t need to be from Alabama to know how huge the rivalry is between Auburn and also the University of Alabama. That’s why Whitaker’s performance last October vs. the Crimson Tide was an unique one. She racked up the opening goal and got 2 helps, including on the match-winner in additional time. “The Iron Bowl is always a substantial, emotional and also physical video game. The competition is so solid, as well as it just gets you so pumped to get out there and also wish to assist the team win,” she claimed. “The Iron Dish last year was extremely special. It was like an out-of-body experience and really did not also really feel real at the time.”

“Most of us combated so hard for each other and also it was a tough, high-scoring video game. We are additionally currently on a lengthy winning touch, and keeping the Iron Dish prize in Auburn likewise places a little fire under us. War Eagle to that!”

After improving her production of objectives and also aids from her freshman to her sophomore period, Whitaker prepares to transform it up another notch as a junior in 2020. Hailey said, “I definitely have high expectations for myself this period. Not just am I aging and I have the experience, yet I have actually been making use of a great deal of this time around to come to be a pupil of the video game.”

“I really feel as though myself, and my group, have actually only gotten on the cusp of our potential and also a whole lot of advantages came out of being embeded quarantine and being far from competing.”

As a trainee of the game, Whitaker has actually definitely chosen a fantastic pair of gamers as her favorites. “My preferred football players need to be Alex Morgan and also Messi. I value just how scientific Alex Morgan is in front of the objective and also when it involves racking up objectives. Messi will constantly be an all-time fave. He is a vibrant player with simple and easy dripping as well as foot skills, as well as he is so enjoyable to view.”

While those two are her faves, exists a player that she designs her video game after or that resembles her skillset most? “I actually don’t have somebody particular that I try to design my game after,” she addressed. “There is nobody specifically like me, so every video game I attempt to do everything I am efficient as well as capable of, whether I am an onward or an attacking mid. Although, I do get suggestions, inspiration, and also motivation from seeing great soccer gamers to help boost my game.”

Whitaker committed the earlier months in 2020 to the mission of improving her game as well as boosting individually. “I recognize for myself, I took those months to obtain more regular with the little details like finishing, first touch, quickness, 1-v-1’s, and viewing film of our past games and of various other groups,” she stated. “I really feel sharp, which offers me confidence entering into the period, specifically seeing how well myself and my colleagues have been doing at methods thus far. I am super excited to see what we can complete this season!”

Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic that has actually influenced the beginning to Auburn’s season, unrelenting racism in the USA has gotten on spotlight in 2020. As a young Black lady, Hailey’s fed up. “Watching the racial chaos take place in America is discouraging and very frustrating. Nobody ought to be discriminated based upon their skin color, and also there needs to be a change,” she said. “I desire to claim I am recognized to be a part of a group that supports me regardless of what as well as that most of us can value each various other’s sights as well as opinions also if they may differ from our own. Auburn Sports has gone out of the way to make every person really feel listened to, appreciated and respected, as well as that’s all I can ask for as a student-athlete.”

“I wish that when reflect on my time here in Auburn, I can claim with assurance that I utilized my system to transform the narrative and help develop an extra inclusive setting for black pupils and student-athletes for future generations.”

Whitaker and also Auburn will be back in NCAA activity on Tuesday vs. Ole Miss after a set of postponements as well as a season-opening draw back in September. The suit kicks off at 4 PM CT and also will be survive the SEC Network.