Student Athlete of the Week: St. Patrick’s Riya Malone
Our WXXV Student Athlete of the Week always excels in the classroom as well as on the court, in the gym, on the field, in the water, on the track, or any other surface a sport is played on.
Often times, our featured students are even dual-sport athletes.
This week, News 25’s Grace Boyles introduces us to a five-sport athlete out of St. Patrick: Riya Malone.
For many athletes, the off-season is a time to give their bodies a break, do some light training, and ultimately relax. Twelve-year-old Riya Malone doesn’t know what an off-season is. Fall, winter, spring, and summer, Malone is always participating in some sport that’s in-season, in addition to training for gymnastics year-round. “I do gymnastics, track, cheer, volleyball, and basketball. I just want to try new things. I like trying new things. And I want to make new friends.”
The seventh-grader currently attends St. Patrick High School where the young athlete is in good company when it comes to classmates who play multiple sports. St. Patrick Volleyball Coach Dee Blakeney said, “Our kids excel not only academically, but they excel athletically. St. Patrick’s the place to be if you want to play sports. It’s a well-rounded school. We expect a lot out of our kids so they play hard and they are very aggressive.”
Currently playing in two fall sports on top of her gymnastics training, Malone juggles an extracurricular schedule that would give most adults a run for their money. “Monday, I have volleyball games. Tuesday’s cheer practice. Wednesday, I do gym. And Thursday, volleyball game and cheer. And then Friday’s football games.”
While trying to simply keep up with her busy athletic schedule, often times playing multiple sports in one season, Malone finds herself burning the midnight oil just to keep up with her studies. “I do my homework at like 12 o’clock when I get home after gym or the volleyball game or the football game on Fridays.”
With a go-go-go life like Malone’s, there are times when she has to dig to find a way to motivate herself to keep going. “I just pray and I think this only makes you better. And there’s nothing you can do about it because my mom wants me to do really good.”
Blakeney believes Malone’s intelligence on and off whatever playing surface she’s on, along with her natural strength and athletic ability, is sure to pay off in the future, near and far. “She’s got lots of potential. I really think she’s going to be a valuable part of our high school team.”
“I want to be a professional gymnast, but I also would like to be– like I would wanna run track to make money and stuff.”
To nominate someone you believe deserves to be featured as WXXV’s Student Athlete of the Week, please reach out to Grace Boyles through email (email@example.com), Facebook (@GraceBBoyles), and Twitter (@GraceBBoyles).
Nominees can participate in any sport and be any age. Make sure to tune in every Wednesday to see which local athlete we spotlight next.