Maddie Riley hasn’t had many days after school where she hasn’t been practicing for her next sporting event during her time at Crothersville High School.
She has played basketball and volleyball both for four years, ran track, was a cheerleader for two years, and ran cross-country for one year.
“I like being around my friends,” Riley said. “That has been a big part of it. It’s definitely important to come in focused and know what you need to do through the hour and a half or two hours you’re (practicing). It’s definitely important to remember what you are working for. That’s really important for basketball because I know I want to win another sectional championship.”
In whatever she does, Riley feels it’s important to have mental toughness.
“You have to be confident in yourself,” Riley said. “Some of our girls have lacked confidence, but I think it’s really picked up as the season has progressed. I think we’ve become more confident in each other and trusted each other.”
Basketball was the first sport Riley ever got involved in.
“When I was in elementary school, I was mainly focused on basketball. Some volleyball, but up until middle school it was mainly just basketball.”
Riley earned All-Southern Athletic Conference honors in volleyball three years, helped the basketball team win a sectional, and helped the cross-country team win an SAC title.
This winter Riley has played a lot on the wing on the hardwood.
“I’ve mainly been at forward,” Riley said. “It definitely helps having two girls that can play the bigger spots so I’m out more on a wing. I’m definitely more comfortable shooting a layup or closer in.”
She said when the Tigers are on offense, she feels comfortable facing either a zone or man defense, but when the Tigers are on defense she likes playing man-to-man.
“Basketball is hard, and the wins are definitely rewarding,” Riley said. “It’s fun to go out there. You can definitely tell when the team is meshing together, and you can tell when we’re not, and we have our nights when we’re not.
“It definitely feels good to come out with a win after we’re worked hard for it. We need to keep everybody focused and staying healthy. A couple of us have been sick so we’ve got to work through that.”
She was a four-year starter in volleyball.
“All four years I played outside,” Riley said. “My freshman year I played a little right side. Right side is harder to set because that is where your setter is coming out of. On the left side it is easier for the setter to give you the ball. Back row is difficult and it takes a lot of communication.”
Riley said timing is important to getting an attack kill, and “working with the setter, too, is helpful.”
Riley said she enjoyed the home contests in both volleyball and basketball.
“We feel more comfortable playing at home,” she said. “You know your fans are there. I feel it’s more relaxing being at home.”
In track, Riley high-jumped and ran the 300 hurdles last spring. She also ran all three relays at different times during the season.
“I like the high jump,” Riley said said “It’s pretty fun. You definitely need a good approach and how you bend your back. It takes a lot to get the mats out and put them up so most days we don’t get to work on high jump. I’ll get to practice three or four times before a meet so going in and practicing before a meet is the key.
“(Coach Cheryl Nehrt) put me and another girl in the 300 lows because usually nobody wants to run it. Going into it you don’t think it’s going to be that hard, but it really is hard. There were only three or four girls in it so you were going to place no matter what so we just went out there to get points.”
Riley has run track and has cheerleading her junior and senior years.
“One of my friends and I joked around about (cheerleading), then we said we should really do it. We tried out and we made it. We both enjoy it,” Riley said.
The senior has enjoyed attending CHS.
“I pretty much know everybody in the high school, and some middle schoolers,” Riley said. “It’s awesome going to school here. The classes are pretty small, you know your teachers personally, and they know you personally, so they get to understand what you are going through and they can help you when you’re struggling with something, and that makes it easier”
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Name: Madeline Riley
High school: Crothersville
Parents: Bobby and Suzie Riley
Siblings: Brady, Baron
Sports: basketball 4 years, volleyball 4 years, track and field 2 years, cross-country 1 year, cheerleader 2 years
Athletic honors: basketball: sectional champion 2017, two assists awards, steal award; volleyball: four hitting wards, 3x All-Conference, serve reception award, mental attitude award, serving award; cross-country: conference champions.
Organizations: National Honor Society, student council
Plans after high school: attend University of Southern Indiana, major in occupational therapy
Favorite food: fried rice
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite musician: Cardi B
Favorite movie: Bring It On
Favorite team: Kentucky Wildcats