Athlete of the Week: Riley McNitt

Athlete of the Week

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — “There’s nothing like football,” Riley McNitt said. “Big hits. They pump me up and once I get pumped up, I just don’t stop.”

Westhill senior Riley McNitt lives for the big hit, whether he’s delivering it on offense or on defense.

“Hitting people. I love contact. Once I got into high school, there’s nothing like Friday nights coming out to that big crowd and playing a huge game,” said McNitt.

Through two games, McNitt has 288 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He’s delivered on the other side of the ball as well with 20 tackles so far this season. He gives every play his all. 

“I’m always trying to do what I can do to the best of my ability,” says McNitt.

McNitt started playing football when he was four and he credits his family for helping him get to this point.

“My family’s always been big supporters, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to take all the hits I’ve taken if it wasn’t for my brother. He really toughened me up, we’ll say that. He toughened me up throughout the years,” McNitt said.

McNitt hopes to continue to excel on the field after he graduates from high school, except on the lacrosse field. The midfielder has helped the Warriors reach as far as the Class C state title game.

While he has not decided on a future school, in his final football season, he’s hoping to lead Westhill to the Dome at the end of the year.

“It’s going to be my last time playing football, so I’m really trying to do everything I can and not regret anything,” McNitt said.

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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