Sports

An athlete of many sports

"When the Wildcat's long football season came to a close two weeks ago, the focus of many players was on a time of rest from the pounding of the gridiron. But for one Oak Harbor student there is rarely an off-season.Chad Riepma, who played wide receiver, defensive back and punter for the Cats on the gridiron, is now focusing on his return to the hardwood court for basketball season. In the spring he plans on once again kicking a soccer ball around for Oak Harbor. That's the way the school year goes for three-sport athlete Riepma, one of the senior standouts for this year's Oak Harbor High School teams.I've been playing sports since I could walk, said Riepma. For most people if they are good at something they pursue it, and that's just how I have built up to this. This past football season the Wildcats suffered through a difficult season as they gathered only two victories in Riepma's senior year. Although he knows it was the last season he will play with his teammates, he looks at the season from a positive perspective.I think I got better as an individual, said Riepma. He knows that being a senior leader this basketball season will be like nothing he has ever experienced. Like in other endeavors, though, Riepma is not the kind of person to jump ship when the season may potentially be a long one. Last season the Wildcats started four seniors and a junior - Riepma. This year the the ball will bounce in the opposite direction, as Riepma is the only returning starting player on the squad. Last year we had all seniors, so I knew then that his year was going to be tough and it was going to be frustrating, he said. But I looked at it like, I'm going to have to work at it and just have fun. Hopefully it will be somewhat rewarding. With his eclectic tastes for sports, Riepma says that he just wants to be on the field or the court when the ball is in play.I like whatever is in season, said Riepma. I've been playing basketball a lot longer than I've been playing football or soccer, so probably basketball is my favorite.As a senior, Riepma knows he may be playing his last basketball season for the school that he gains his education from. When I was in fifth sixth and seventh grade we had a select team that would travel around and play other select teams, said Reipma. I have played on middle school teams, high school teams, so I have been playing organized ball for a long time.With so much of his life being dominated by the competition of the sports world, Riepma says that he has had a lot of support - from his friends who play along side of him, and his family members who have played sports as well. My family is kind of in the same boat, said Riepma. They are friends with all the other parents who have kids that play. And they have been so helpful. They haven't pushed me into sports but they have been real supportive. This Oak Harbor student knows that athletics is not the only thing in the world, and it reflects in the way that he perceives his future.It would be convenient but I am not going to expect it, said Riepma on gaining a sports scholarship. I am going to try to go to college based on education. Reipma says that he is looking at possibly Seattle Pacific University or Western, but he is keeping his options open. He plans on studying computer science after he graduates from Oak Harbor. With all of his interests in sports Riepma is still able to pull down a 3.0 GPA and pursue another one of his passions, motorcycles. Me, my dad and my sister ride motorcycles a lot, said Riepma. I have my own motorcycle and on the weekends, when I don't work, I will be out riding.When he has time, Riepma also works part time for a private landscaping company. "

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