The East County Observer and Bogey’s Restaurant and Sports Pub have teamed up to showcase the East County’s top athletes. Each recipient’s article will be featured on the restaurant’s wall.
Lakewood Ranch High junior wrestler Kyle Riley-Hawkins won the 189-pound weight class of the Jerry Mita Invitational Dec. 12-13 at Pinellas Park High. Riley-Hawkins’ finish help propel the Mustangs to an eighth-place finish at the 24-team tournament. Here is an inside look at this week’s Athlete of the Week:
What is the toughest part about wrestling?
Wrestling is just tough in general. It’s a tough sport. Everything you have to do is hard, but it’s what I expected. I did the Kids Club when I was younger, and I knew I wanted to be part of the high school team, so I just worked really hard.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Australia. I’ve never been there before. My dad and I watch a lot of international rugby, and they’re one of the top three teams in the (world), so I think it would be really cool to go and visit.
What’s your favorite subject?
My philosophy is you make school enjoyable, so every subject I guess you could say is fun for me. I just try to make school enjoyable.
What’s your favorite food?
I like absolutely everything. I have no preferences when it comes to food. During wrestling season, I can’t really eat anything, so when it’s over, I just pile everything on my plate and don’t really (see) what it is. I try to eat healthy though.
Were you born in Florida?
No. I was born in Denver, Colo., and moved to Florida when I was in first grade.
Who is a better wrestler — you or your brother?
My brother. He’s so technical and fluid. Every time I see him wrestle, I wish I could do what he does.
What’s your favorite type of music?
I love all types of music, but I really like to listen to oldies like The Spinners and The Temptations. I also like jazz, especially Louis Armstrong.
How did you get into playing the saxophone?
During the sixth-grade wheel, when you pick your elective, I really liked band. I started out playing clarinet and then switched to sax. Now, I’m in the jazz band and the wind ensemble.
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Merchants on Lakewood Ranch Main Street continue to mourn the surprising loss of fellow business owner Rebekah Hatmaker, co-owner of Serendipity Boutique.