Northwest Herald Athletes of the Week for Feb. 9-15


Gabby Riley, Prairie Ridge co-op, fr.

Prairie Ridge freshman Gabby Riley won the IHSA Girls Gymnastics Schaumburg Sectional with a score of 38.2 and qualified for state in all four individual events.

Riley, who attends Cary-Grove, was voted as Northwest Herald Female Athlete of the Week for her sectional performance. She actually topped that by winning all-around at the state meet on Friday and qualifying in all four events for Saturday’s finals.

Riley answers some questions from Northwest Herald sports writer Joe Stevenson.

What do you remember most about your performance at the Schaumburg Sectional?

Riley: My teammates paved the way with some great routines on beam that gave me the confidence and strength to hit my routine, leading us to going 5 for 5.

How did you get interested in gymnastics?

Riley: My dad (Shawn) coached gymnastics and I was always at the gym.

What do you eat and how long do you eat before a meet?

Riley: I usually eat pretty basic and usually about an hour before the meet.

If you played softball, what would be your walk-up song?

Riley: “Salute” by Little Mix.

What other sport would you be good at?

Riley: Softball, I used to be a pitcher.

What is something most people don’t know about gymnastics?

Riley: It’s a sport that you practice 4 hours a day all year round.

What is your favorite class?

Riley: Math. I like figuring out solutions to the problems.

What is the best gift you ever received?

Riley: My life and my family.

What is one of your biggest pet peeves?

Riley: When people put other people down.


Shane Moran, Crystal Lake South, so., 152 pounds

Moran won the IHSA Class 2A Deerfield Sectional title last weekend, taking the title match, 4-3, against Fenton’s Daniel Ramirez. Moran went on to finish sixth at the IHSA state tournament on Saturday in Champaign.

Readers of the Northwest Herald voted him Male Athlete of the Week. He recently spoke with the Northwest Herald about wrestling, movies and more.

What will stand out most about this season?

The start was kind of tough because I was coming off an injury from football. I had a late start. I hurt my knee. I started off a month late. … State was fun. It was a great time. Last year, I was an alternate, so I didn’t get to wrestle. It’s a different experience, being able to wrestle.

Describe your wrestling style?

Moran: I would say it’s a traditional style. Basic stuff with a little bit of funk in there. I like to scramble sometimes, but I mostly go for basic stuff.

Who are your biggest wrestling influences?

Moran: Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Dake, two of the biggest guys in the world. Bryce Meredith, for sure, he’s been one of my favorites for a few years now. Some current college guys, I like to watch Eric Barone, the first state champion from [South]. I enjoy watching him [at Illinois].

What’s something funny or unusual that happened in one of your matches?

Moran: Wrestling, there’s going to be unusual scrambles that you’re not used to. I don’t know. When I compete, I don’t really think anything’s funny. I have fun, but I take it more serious.

What’s your favorite in-season food?

Moran: I like eggs. Hard-boiled eggs. Peanuts. Chicken breasts and salmon.

What are three of your favorite movies?

Moran: “Twins” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. I love that movie. “Napoleon Dynamite,” and “Step Brothers.”

Do you have any hidden talents?

Moran: I can eat a lot of food. An absurd amount of food.

What’s your favorite class in school?

Moran: Math. Or any workshop class like woods. I like hands-on things.

What’s something people wouldn’t know about you?

Moran: I was born in Florida.

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