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This Week's Student Spotlight: Ryan Smith

An exceptional student-athlete.

 

School: Senior at Albertus Magnus High School

Ryan Smith is an all-around outstanding student and athlete. He shows versatility playing ball and consistency in the classroom.  Participating in three varsity sports this year and excelling academically, he has really achieved during his senior year.

Named Most Improved player on this years Boys Varsity Soccer team he played right outside midfielder.

"Ryan was named our team’s Most Improved Player this season.  Last year, as a junior, Ryan saw a little bit of playing time and always made the most of it.  Coming into this his senior year we had quite a few holes to fill.  We were confident that Ryan would be able to contribute at least in a part time role," said Boys Varsity Soccer Head Coach Brian Fitzpatrick.

"He started our first game as an outside midfielder and I’m pretty sure he ended up playing every minute of every game.  His lack of experience was made up for with an unbelievable work ethic.  Ryan is extremely smart and coach-able and he turned into a true leader by example for us."

Smith is from the Tappan Zee (TZ) school district and is familiar with some of the players on the soccer team making the season game against TZ one of his most memorable. 

"My most exciting soccer game this year was my first game against Tappan Zee. I am from that school district so it is always fun to play them, and this one was special because they were undefeated at the time at about 7-0. It was 0-0 for almost the entire game and then TZ scored with about 15 minutes left to take the lead. We then drew a penalty kick with four minutes left and we converted the kick. In overtime, we had a corner kick, and when it was played in, one of my teammates headed the ball to me, it hit off my foot, landed in front of Matt Dale and he scored, giving us the 2-1 victory five minutes into overtime."

He also was a contributor to the Boys Varsity Basketball team this year coached by Pat McFadden.  His endurance and unwavering focus under pressure allowed him to be the go to player for his coach and team in clutch situations.

"The most exciting game was the one against Pearl River. We ended up winning by three points but for the last five minutes it was no more than a one-point game. One of our starting guards fouled out with four minutes left and I had to play the entire last four minutes and I did pretty well. We eventually took a three point lead and they missed the game tying three-pointer at the buzzer," said Ryan Smith.

As proof that he is a true athlete he decided to go out for the tennis team his senior year. Never having played formally before, only recreational, he set his mind that he wanted to make the team and he did.

"I decided to play tennis my senior year because through the last year during gym we would go out and play tennis a lot, and for gym class it was pretty intense. I played with my good friend Mike Mihovics who is one of the best players on the team and he said I wasn't that bad and he convinced me to join the team, though it took him a year," said Smith.

Although his name hasn't been splashed on all the sports news outlets he has provided a solid contribution to the teams he has played on.

When it comes to his classes Smith leaves no margin of error. He received the AP Scholar Award, which is presented to students who earn a three or higher on their AP exams. AP exams are based on a five-point scale. A score of five equalling the highest and most qualified and a score of one equalling a no-recommendation grade.

Smith got five out of five in all three AP courses he took his junior year.

He is taking a full course load this year that includes four AP classes.

"As a junior, I took AP English and Language, AP US History and AP Biology. As a senior, I am taking AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP English and Literature and AP European History," said Smith.

It is no wonder that Smith is also in the National Honor Society for foreign language, english, math, science, and social studies.

In his spare time, Smith is a volunteer for the Buddyball sports programs. He assisted with OMM Buddyball soccer, Albertus Magnus Buddyball basketball and Tappan Zee Buddyball track programs.

"Basically what I do is help and teach kids with disabilities how to play the designated sport for that season. Basketball is in the winter, soccer in the fall, and track in the spring. Also, whist teaching the kid the sport, I talk to him or her and become their friend," said Smith.

He also gives his time in some of the school groups. He is peer tutor and a senior ambassador.

He has been an asset to Albertus Magnus High School for the past four years both academically and athletically and is looking forward to attending college in the fall. Possible schools he will attend are  American University in Washington, DC, George Washington University in Washington, DC, or Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Best of luck Ryan with the rest of your tennis season and enjoy the last couple of months of your senior year.

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