|Messenger photo by Rachel Scofield|
|Pickerington North senior Tahnai Annis, 18, has been selected Ohio Division I Girls Soccer Player of the Year.|
"She’s a great all-around athlete," Coach Greg Van Kannel said. "She is fast and she can jump – a great kid who has fun playing the game. She is almost embarrassed when people bring attention to her. She’s all about the team first."
Annis performed double-duty for the Lady Panthers soccer team by playing forward and midfielder. She scored 18 goals this season and assisted on five more.
She received a full scholarship to play soccer at the University of Florida next year. She is undecided about a major, but said it would probably involve sports or physical activity.
Annis hopes to play midfielder for the Gators because the position enables her to play offense and defense and she would have the opportunity to set-up her teammates for goals.
She said she believes she was chosen for the state player of the year honor because she has a high profile around the state as two years ago she attended Tri Valley High School in Dresden, Ohio. Because she attended two different high schools, more coaches could see her play than if she had only attended one.
She also makes an impression because of her tiny stature.
"To still do very well at my size, I’m easy to pick out," Annis said. "I’m very small – 5’1"."
"I definitely would not have achieved (the state honor) without my teammates and coach," Annis continued. "My coach pushed me to be a leader."
When Annis was a young child she was a gymnast, but at age eight her father, Rusty, encouraged her to try soccer. He had played soccer for two years at Grace College, Annis said.
The Lady Panthers reached the state soccer semi-finals this year where they lost to Cincinnati St. Ursula 1-0 in overtime.