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Ratliff-Becher named 2020 Louisburg Sports Zone Female Athlete of the Year

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When Reilly Ratliff-Becher looked at the list of fellow nominees, it was one that seemed fairly daunting to overcome.

It included a four-time state cross country medalist in Trinity Moore, a 12-time varsity letter winner in Haley Cain along with a two-time team captain for girls soccer in Erin Lemke. The Louisburg senior was just happy to be nominated in such great company.

As it turned out, Ratliff-Becher found herself at the top of the list as she was named as the 2020 Louisburg Sports Zone Female Athlete of the Year.

“I really mean this, I was surprised when I won because Erin, Haley and Trinity are A+ athletes in my book,” Ratliff-Becher said. “But, it means a lot to me considering that whenever I think about my favorite moments in high school, it was during sports. I’m very grateful that my coaches enjoyed me so much to even consider honoring me with this award.”

The award, which is in its third year, is to recognize an outstanding LHS student athlete. Louisburg Sports Zone asked the head coaches at LHS to submit nominations and those nominations were then organized and submitted back to the coaches for a vote.

The coaches then submitted their top two choices and the number of votes were added up, which decided the winner.

Ratliff-Becher was a three-sport athlete for Louisburg High School, and it all started in volleyball where she was a part of two state runner-up teams and she helped the Lady Cats to a fourth place finish at state this past season.

As the team’s libero, Ratliff-Becher earned honorable mention All-Frontier League honors and she finished with a team-high 359 digs to go along with 85 assists and 17 aces.

“I’m excited for Reilly to win this award, and she is very deserving,” Louisburg volleyball coach Jessica Compliment said. “Reilly was a quiet, yet powerful voice on the volleyball team for the past four years. She worked her tail off during the offseason and hardly ever missed an opportunity to improve her skill, strength, speed, agility, etc.  She also consistently pushed her teammates to improve as well and was a great leader on the team. Her work ethic showed in her other activities as well.”

It was that tenacity to get better that also led to her to great things in the world of powerlifting.

Ratliff-Becher became a two-time state champion in powerlifting this past year as she won 180-pound class and took first in bench, squat and clean. She is also the school’s all-time record holder in power clean.

“I can’t say enough about Reilly,” Louisburg weightlifting coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “She is the hardest worker that we had in our school. I’ve never seen an athlete with more focus, drive, and determination to be her best. Back to back state champion in powerlifting and the all-time school record holder in power clean is quite an accomplishment. She’s earned every bit of it.

“Reilly is a high-character kid. We are really going to miss her leadership and she is going to be successful in the future with whatever she decides to do.”

Ratliff-Becher was also a key piece on the Lady Cat softball team’s regional championship a year ago and was one of seven seniors ready to defend that title this year. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic took that opportunity away as the spring season was cancelled.

Still, competing in all three sports has been a blessing for Reilly as she said goodbye to all three and will be attending Pittsburg State in the fall. All three have given her traits she can use for later in life.

“I enjoyed volleyball so much because of the speed of the game,” she said. “Momentum and mental state was key for our team and we exceeded a lot of people’s expectations. It was definitely my favorite program through high school and I made some of the best friends because of it. Weightlifting was something that just challenged me, the harder I worked, the better results I would get and I was addicted to seeing what my body could do and I still am.

“I know I didn’t play basketball my junior or senior year, but it was super fun, just wasn’t for me. I am very grateful for the lessons I learned and memories I made though. Softball holds a very deep meaning in my heart. I loved it and I loved all the girls I played with. Practices were a lot different than my other sports because it was solely working on technique and patience.”

Playing sports and staying active all throughout high school has been what has helped Ratliff-Becher through the difficult times in life.

“I could go on and on about how much of an impact being a part of teams and being active helped me in school,” Ratliff-Becher said. “It was my safe place, nothing else mattered except getting better at whatever it was I was doing. I gained confidence, great social skills, amazing friends, mentors and coaches, strength, special opportunities and countless memories. Makes me so sad thinking about how it’s all over, but looking forward for what’s to come.”

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