Athlete of the Week: Rileigh Kimball

Athlete of the Week

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Teammates look up to Rileigh Kimball for more than just the obvious reason. 

“I have been tall, I’ve always been tall compared to everyone else,” Kimball said.

The 6’0” senior has become one of the vocal leaders of the girls Baldwinsville volleyball team, but it wasn’t always that way.

“I used to be the quietest person and I wouldn’t talk to anyone because I was so scared, but over the years, you learn to communicate with everyone on the team and, like, everyone works differently,” Kimball said.

Different, but always together. The Bees are embracing a ‘we over me’ mentality for success.

“We got it from Nebraska, like their volleyball team. That’s like our mindset for the season,” Kimbal said. “We’re a team. Like, if you mess up, you can’t centralize the attention on you, like we just got to shake it off and keep going.”

 Not a bad idea to take a few tricks from a five-time champion squad at the Division I level, but Baldwinsville has its own share of success. The Bees won two state championships back in 2010 and 2013 and are in the middle of a run of 11 straight sectional titles, already 10 0 this season. The players try to use past success to move forward.

“It’s hard with that like, on our backs, but it gives us a lot of motivation,” Kimball said.

Wherever this season ends up, Kimball is just happy to have always had her teammates with her.

“They all push me, especially, like, to get better. If I’m doing bad, they’ll try to cheer me up. It’s not like one person is separate, it’s just everyone is really the same,” Kimball said.

Kimball will head to Stevenson University in Maryland next year to play both indoor and beach volleyball.

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The Byrne Dairy and Deli NewsChannel 9 Athlete of the Week is designed to honor Section III varsity members who embody the true meaning of student-athlete.

The award recognizes more than just athletic ability, it recognizes a student-athlete who thrives in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community.

Athletes can be nominated by a coach, athletic director or teacher. Please send your nominations to Sports@LocalSYR.com.