Stratford High’s Sydney Ritchie is coming off a volleyball season where she helped lead the Red Devils back to the postseason in a building year.
Now, the junior is lacing up her basketball shoes and heading back to the court as one of her team’s key returning players.
As the Red Devils were preparing for the state volleyball tournament earlier this month, Ritchie took time out to go “On the Record” with the Stratford Sports Scene.
STRATFORD SPORTS SCENE: What’s the best thing about Stratford High School?
SYDNEY RITCHIE: The teachers. The students. My friends. The sports, I love the sports.
SSS: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be?
SR: Probably how some of the students act. Sometimes it’s a little loud. They just like get loud and disrespectful and I don’t like that.
SSS: What teacher and/or coach has had the biggest impact on you so far at Stratford High?
SR: Probably either Gildea or Booch. (Volleyball assistant coach/teacher Jaime Gildea and head coach Lisa Buccieri). They just help me through everything, both personal things and sports. It’s nice to have them.
SSS: How did you wind up becoming a volleyball player?
SR: My mom played volleyball, so I was interested in it and she wanted to play, so I tried it.
SSS: The team had a great season last year but lost all but one player. This season, in a rebuilding year, you got back to the postseason. What was that ride like?
SR: It’s been great. There have been ups and downs and it wasn’t the easiest season. We struggled sometimes because we’re young and new to varsity. Losing everybody was hard, but we pushed through and it was great to make states and SWCs.
SSS: You’re multi-faceted on the volleyball court, able to do a lot of things. If you could end a match with a kill, a block, an assist, or an ace, what would you prefer?
SR: I’d want to kill the ball. Get a spike. I just like the feeling of it and getting that game point.
SSS: What’s your earliest sports memory?
SR: Probably basketball. I started in sixth grade. I was new to it and not good, but I played with all my friends at my old school and it was just fun.
SSS: You have a new basketball coach this season in Kelsey Gilmore. How do you see things playing out this year?
SR: I’m excited for it. I think she’s really going to help us. We’ve had new coaches every single year I’ve been here and they’ve all been great. But I think she’s going to do good and help us out a lot.
SSS: If you could pick up any other sport that you’ve never tried before, what would you want to do?
SR: Probably track. I like to run, so I’d like to do that.
SSS: Time to shift gears on you and get away from the sports questions. What scares you?
SR: Heights? I don’t know. Getting kidnapped. That’s my biggest fear.
SSS: When was the last time you cried?
SR: Probably after a volleyball game when we lost. That was the last time.
SSS: If you could be a Disney character, or a movie character, for a day, who would you pick and why?
SR: Probably Moana. She’s just a strong female character, you know?
SSS: What is your perfect breakfast?
SR: Chocolate chip pancakes.
SSS: The ideal midnight snack?
SR: Chocolate chip cookies. Or cereal. Any sugary kind.
SSS: And, if you could go home tonight for your favorite home-cooked meal?
SR: Pasta and chicken.
SSS: What is something nobody else knows about you?
SR: I used to ride horses when I was little. A lot of people don’t know that.
SSS: If you could get one do-over in life, what would it be?
SR: Probably something with volleyball. A close game we lost. Do it again and win it.
SSS: Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?
SR: Married. Have kids. And be a nurse.
SSS: What one word best describes Sydney Ritchie?