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2020 Senior Spotlight: Reilly Ratliff-Becher

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Louisburg Sports Zone will be running senior spotlights through April and May everyday (Monday through Friday) in an effort to honor seniors who had their seasons taken away due to the spread of COVID-19.

Reilly Ratliff-Becher had the time of her life last year as she and the rest of the Lady Cat softball team captured their first regional title since 2014.

It was a season full of memorable moments as Louisburg pulled off upsets to higher seeds in the regional tournament to advance to state. As much fun as all that was, that wasn’t the time that Ratliff-Becher will look back on the most when she thinks of Lady Cat softball.

“My favorite memory in softball was probably our last team dinner (which was our first) for this season,” Ratliff-Becher said. “It was my favorite because it gave me so much hope and we all got to get together outside of softball and see everyone’s personalities.”

That team dinner was what Ratliff-Becher hoped was the start of something special. Nick Chapman was named as the team’s new head coach and expectations were high for the Lady Cat program.

“Since it being my senior year, I was really looking forward to it,” Ratliff-Becher said. “I was very excited because Chapman wanted to make our last year the best one yet. He wanted us to leave the program on a really high note. I had great expectations for this year and hopefully it was a trip to state. We are all very versatile so if we had some adversity come upon us, we would be fine.”

Ratliff-Becher was one of seven seniors on the Lady Cat team that will never get to know how it could have all ended. The spring season was cancelled due to spread of COVID-19 and the news obviously hit many of the seniors hard.

Despite all the heartache, Ratliff-Becher tried to find the ‘half glass full’ perspective of it all.

“I have been dealing with it pretty well,” she said. “I stay positive through things like this because I think about the bigger picture as to why we have to do this. We are protecting the ones who are at most risk. When you think of other people and not yourself, it makes it harder to be negative about what you lost in this situation.”

The Louisburg senior was all set to split catching duties with Lauren Cutshaw during the upcoming season, along with spending some time in the outfield. However, it was leadership that was her most valued assist.

“Rat has developed into a true leader,” Chapman said. “She leads by example in everything she does. I trusted that when I needed her to do something she was going to do it with all-out effort. She was at every offseason workout and encouraged our younger players to get better every day. I think she would have had a big season.”

Senior catcher Reilly Ratliff-Becher was one of seven seniors on this year’s Louisburg softball team.

However, there will be no more putting the catcher’s gear on or strolling up to the plate for Ratliff-Becher as she will now leave a sport behind that she has played since the fifth-grade – thanks to a lot of different people along the way.

“I got into this sport because of Amanda Lancaster,” Ratliff-Becher said. “She asked me to play on her team and I loved it. Dave Boles, Randy Meyer, Carl Eccher and Brian Olson were also a huge part as to why I stuck with softball growing up. These people are all huge role models to me in this sport.”

Other than softball, Louisburg Sports Zone also had a chance to catch up with Reilly on how she has been coping with an early end to her senior year and some of her other interests. Here are her responses from the rest of our Q&A.

LSZ: What have you been missing the most during this time away from everyone?

RRB: I just miss social interaction. I miss seeing all my friends and teachers, catching up with them and just going through the last few months of my high school experience.

LSZ: What is your most memorable moment as an athlete or in school, and why?

RRB: Everything is memorable to me. I wish I didn’t take anything for granted. I’m happy with what I accomplished and experienced.

LSZ: What is your favorite activity/hobby outside of sports and why?

RRB: Spending time with good friends. I’m pretty social and I don’t know if that’s considered a hobby. But, I sure do miss it. 

LSZ: What are your plans for after graduation?

RRB: My plans after graduation are attending Pittsburg State University and majoring in Psychology. Also rooming with Haley Cain. 

LSZ: What accomplishments that don’t involve athletics are you most proud of and why?

RRB: Leading the band on Friday Night Football Games as a Drum Major. It was something I always dreamed of doing as a kid, just to be in that position in front of my community is a surreal feeling.

LSZ: What do you think would be something that a lot of people don’t know about you?

RRB: A lot of people don’t know that I really like to paint and do art/craft related things.

Reilly’s Favorites

Pro athlete: Patrick Mahomes

Pro team: Kansas City Chiefs

Movie: Remember the Titans

TV Show: One Tree Hill

Song: Does To Me by Luke Combs

Band/Musician: Luke Combs

Pregame meal/snack: Apples

Class/subject: Weights

Teacher: There are so many I want to put, but Mrs. Wright stands out the most to me. She helped me through a lot of personal stuff. And she still did even when she moved school districts. I appreciate her never judging what I was feeling.

Previous Senior Spotlights

Drake Varns – Golf

Trinity Moore – Soccer

Andrew Krause – Baseball

Kayla Willey – Softball

Anthony Davis – Track and Field

Garrett Rolofson – Golf

Shayla Aye – Swimming

Allie Boles – Softball

Michael Waldron – Track and Field

Avery O’Meara – Soccer

Ryan Haight – Golf

Andie Masten – Soccer

Lauren Cutshaw – Softball

Trent Martin – Track and Field

Erin Lemke – Soccer

Luke Wickersham – Golf

Skylar Bowman – Soccer

Gabby Dugger – Softball

Sydni Keagle – Track

Olivia Chase – Soccer

Colin Cook – Golf

Morgan Messer – Soccer

August Daniels – Softball

Carter Anglin – Track and Field

Hannah Straub – Soccer

3 Comments

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