Riley McClain Senior Goalkeeper for Independence Girls Soccer

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Riley McClain is a former Indy softball player with two years on the varsity team.  However, due to a serious shoulder injury she had to sit her entire junior year on the sidelines.  She had an opportunity to join the soccer team when coach Tyler Gibson asked her to tryout for the position as the team needed another goalkeeper.  As a former infielder at both shortstop and second base she is quick and can react to shots on goal.  Her injury was not fully healed so softball was no longer a viable option as she had discomfort throwing.

As an athlete making the conversion was just another challenge, however, she can naturally react and anticipate what direction the ball might come at her.  It’s a learning experience and I’m improving everyday,” said Riley.  She is a very upbeat young lady who has a sparkle in her eyes and is willing to work hard to help the team be successful.

When it comes to academics she approaches it as her job.  Therefore, school work is her primary job in life right now.  “The key is managing my time, planning, and being well organized is extremely important to be a good student athlete,” said Riley.  She will use her iPhone to set reminders for project due dates and procrastination is not acceptable.

She trains at an outside club building her core body strength.  She will lift weights, run drills, perform stretching exercises and do a full body work-out under the guidance of the trainers.

“What motivates me is having stability, making something out of myself and not letting myself down.  So always pushing and doing my best, giving my best effort in everything I do in the classroom or on the athletic field,” said Riley.

She will be attending Appalachian State University after graduation and plans to major in nursing.  She will consider a possible career as a veterinarian after nursing school.

Up Close and Personal with Riley:     

  • Her parents have had the biggest influence on her life.  My dad worked with me for many years at softball, and mom has always been very supportive.
  • She enjoys physically working out and loves reading.
  • Her love for animals is obvious as she has worked at animal shelters for a number of years.  She is also a lifeguard at the Windrow Swim Club and was promoted to assistant manager.
  • Her favorite sport is softball, however, soccer has become a close second.
  • Most enjoyable television program is “Friends.”
  • She enjoys listening to different music and likes the variety of choices available.
  • Best academic subjects are science and mathematics. She really enjoyed Algebra and Chemistry.
  • Advice to underclassman is to never give up, always pursue your dreams.  “If you have a passion for something continue to follow your goals,” said Riley.

Finally, she would like to acknowledge her parents for their support through the years.  Also, her sixteen year old sister Hannah who is a midfielder for Independence was very excited about Riley playing soccer with her this season.  It’s really been a lot of fun, and being part of a team again is awesome.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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