A-K Valley High School Athletes of the Week: Rylen Campbell and Madilyn Boyer
Saturday, January 1, 2022 | 5:22 PM
Report card: Campbell won the 106-pound title at the Southmoreland Holiday Classic on Tuesday. He was the sixth seed but worked his way through the bracket and upset top-seeded Ana Malovich of Butler via a pin in the second period in the final. Campbell is 11-1 this season.
How did it feel to win your first varsity wrestling tournament title, especially as an underdog?
I don’t really know how to explain it. It was hard work. The semifinal was a really hard match. I wrestled (Michael Bridge) from Somerset. He wasn’t even seeded, I don’t think, but he ended up beating the two seed and then we went against each other. It was a close match. He put me on my back and almost pinned me in the second period, and I had to make a comeback in the third period.
What was the key to winning the championship match?
I knew I had put in the work for it, so I just needed a mental edge and not think about the seedings or anything. I had a wing and a half and just ran it and got the pin. I was pumped after the match.
What does this win do for you going into the rest of the season?
It definitely builds up my confidence a lot. Honestly I was expecting to do well, but I didn’t know how well I’d do. I just tried to do my best.
What got you interested in wrestling?
I was a big WWE fan growing up, and my dad encouraged me to try wrestling. I used to love playing football, but I made the switch to wrestling and have enjoyed it ever since.
Do you have any pre-match routines or superstitions?
I make sure I get a good warmup in. I drill hard for a good 15 minutes. I do neutral for 10 and then top and bottom for five.
Report card: Boyer had a big week at the Kiski Area Tournament, scoring 20 or more points in all three games. She had 24 points in a 68-17 win against Ligonier Valley on Tuesday. She followed that with 22 points in a 50-17 victory over the host Cavaliers on Wednesday and finished out the week with a 21-point effort in a 56-24 win over Yough.
How did it feel to have a successful holiday tournament, helping the team earn three victories?
It felt good. We were all getting back into the groove and into the swing of things. It felt good being back and getting to play with everyone.
What can you take from those three games with you into the new year?
We talked more as a team on defense. We were better as a team communicating, especially on defense.
Do you have any college plans?
I’m still deciding whether or not to play in college, but I would like to study biology.
Who would win a team-wide game of knockout?
I would like to say myself, but I’m going to say Hattie McGraw. She’s a sharpshooter. We always say a 3-pointer is a layup for her.
Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?
Nothing in particular. I really don’t have any superstitions.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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