RILEY GROSSNICKLE: Bellyflop fan, big sister and ‘such a dweeb’

Kaylee Jellum

Kaylee Jellum and Gracie Bell

Riley Grossnickle has been an Eagle for more than a decade now. She enrolled at Stratford in Pre-K.

Riley participates heavily in athletics. A former cheerleader, she also runs track, plays volleyball, and recently joined the swim team in her senior year. She also was part of the homecoming court this year.

Riley gives a lot of praise to the “Weagle” swim team. She joined the team on a whim, because she was unable to participate in club volleyball.

“I just decided, ‘I guess I’ll join the swim team. My sister swims and it could be fun,’ ” Riley said. She ended up falling in love with her team and the sport. “It was really the best experience. It was special.”

One of her funniest moments during her senior year has also been on the swim team.

“Gracie Bell used to all the time, and that’s up there [with my favorite memories].”

She also is a member of numerous clubs, such as Girl Talk, Key Club, Peer Mentors, and co-president of the Pep Club.

Riley has a younger sister in the freshman class, Anna Grace Grossnickle.

“Oh my gosh, it’s awesome,” she said. “I love being able to have a year [in high school] with her.”

The two were both varsity swimmers this year as well.

Riley hopes people think she’s changed since freshmen year.

“I was such a dweeb,” she said. “I’m still a goofball, though. I’ve definitely grown up a lot.”

Her most embarrassing memory comes from her freshman year. A cold day during her first varsity track season, Riley was running the 400 meters. Riley is not a fan of the cold, but finished out her race strong.

“I got to the finish line, and I blacked out. I fell straight on Coach (David) Bailey…I woke up on the field and started throwing up, and everyone was just staring at me. I didn’t know what to do.”

Overall, her favorite memory during her career at Stratford was during her sophomore year – the football game against FPD. “28-21. It was legendary.”

English is Riley’s favorite subject. “I’ve just had the best teachers in each English class I’ve had here.”

Riley, unfortunately, was in a car accident last year. She was out of school for a considerable amount of time. Although she’s recovered, she’s still undergoing some troubles.

“I have brain damage… and I have trouble sometimes with my right hand and right eye,” she said. “But there’s therapy for that. It will get better, and I’m learning to live with that.”

Riley said the person who has helped her the most at Stratford is Mr. Griff Ethridge, a Pre-Cal and Algebra II teacher. She spends her study halls in his classroom.

“He is just such a great guy. He’s been so great, especially through the wreck.”

Looking forward, Riley looks to attend either Ole Miss, Clemson or Georgia College next fall.