A-K Valley athletes of the week: Springdale’s Ryan Reinsfelder, Apollo-Ridge’s Sydney McCray

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Saturday, January 22, 2022 | 7:00 AM


Ryan Reinsfelder

Class: Senior

School: Springdale

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Reinsfelder sank eight 3-pointers and scored 27 points to lead the Dynamos to a 78-63 win over rival Riverview on Tuesday. He missed six weeks with an ankle injury, but has returned to form as an outside shooting threat.

How’d it feel to help the team beat your rival?

It was a good feeling that you really don’t get to experience much. Beating your rival and making eight 3s, to do that it just felt great.

What is a key to being a good outside shooter?

When I shoot I just try to visualize me in a gym shooting around in my own area. There’s no one around. Just me.

What was it like having to sit out due to injury and how does it feel to be back?

It was really hard to not be able to play due to the ankle injury, but I’m really happy to be back. I kept on pushing the team to get better when I was out and made sure we were doing the right things in practice and in the games.

How has it been working with new coach Kobi Phillipi?

It was a little different at first, but as the season has went on and the more games we played we started to get more comfortable with the program. Everyone started trusting each other and started to play better as a team.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

If it was from the 3-point line I think I would win, but if it was from the free throw line I think Chris Mitchell would win.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

Before every game my mom makes me something to eat, and I always have to eat it all before I go to the game. It’s steak or chicken with broccoli or rice most of the time.

What is your favorite school subject?

It’s got to be calculus right now.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

I play video games. I have an Xbox and I like to play NBA 2K on it. On the weekends I like to go out to eat with my friends and just hang out.

Sydney McCray

Class: Junior

School: Apollo-Ridge

Sport: Basketball

Report card: McCray had the first triple-double of her high school career with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals in a 66-55 win over St. Joseph on Wednesday. It was only the fourth game Apollo-Ridge had played this month. There are no seniors on the Vikings, so McCray is one of the few veterans on the team.

What was it like to record a triple-double for the first time?

The first thing I thought was “Wow, I actually did it.” One of my teammates, Brinley Toland, told me I did it, which was great. I ran over and told my parents, who were both there. It was great to share the moment with them. I told my dad at the beginning of the season that this was the year I was going to get it. He told me not to think about it and it will happen, and then I went out and did it.

Which part of the triple-double was the most difficult to achieve?

The most difficult part was probably the steals, because as a forward, I’m not usually up top where the ball is being moved around the most. I really had to look into the gaps and try to figure out when the best time was to go for steals.

How has the team stayed sharp, while going through a stretch of postponed games?

Before our last game we had four days off, due to the snow and that was a little bit of a disadvantage, because we hadn’t seen St. Joe’s play before. It was hard not having practice, but we came into the gym a little early and had a good talk about what we were going to do. We warmed up together and that got us back into it and feeling ready to go as a team again.

What’s it like to be a part of a young and up and coming team?

It is a new feeling. The past two years I have played there were seniors there to teach us things and give us their experience. This year has been about figuring out how we’re going to play, because there is a lack of experience. We have had to learn about each other, so we could be comfortable together as a team. It was definitely a struggle in the beginning, but we have come a long way from then.

Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?

That’s hard to say, because we’ve all won in the past when we play games of knockout. It’s definitely interesting to see who wins though, because it always seems like it’s a different person.

Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

I like to keep my warm-up jersey on all the way up until the game starts. No matter how hot the gym is or how much I’m sweating, I feel like I have to keep it on to make myself comfortable for the game.

What is your favorite school subject?

I really enjoy science classes. Right now I’m in an anatomy class. It’s pretty fun to have an advanced level of science at the school I’m at.

What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

Outside of basketball I play two other sports — soccer (goalie) and track (100, 200, long jump, 4-by-100 relay and occasionally 4-by-400 relay), so I stay pretty busy with athletics all school year.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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