Smoky Valley High School’s Ryan Heline – Shelter Community Athlete of the Month

Ryan Heline of Smoky Valley High School is a member of the varsity cross country team as well as a member of the basketball and track teams. Away from sports Heline participates in Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athlete, National Honors Society and the Viking Mentors program at Smoky Valley.

Heline started competing in cross country when he was in middle school.

“I first got involved in seventh grade and I fell in love with the sport immediately,” said Heline. “What I love about my teammates the most is how connected we are as a team and how well we all get along with each other. We truly do support each other in our goals with the sport and also in other areas of life.”

The senior has taken on a leadership role with the team and he enjoys contributing to the overall success of the team as opposed to just worrying about his own times and success at meets.

“A leader is someone who thinks about his teammate’s success before himself. A leader wants his team to do well, but also feel like they matter. A leader also helps the team reach their goals, motivating them and keeping them accountable,” said Heline. “What I like the most about being a student at Smoky Valley is how supportive our school is for each other. Most of us have grown up together so we know each other very well. We also have an enjoyable culture at school which is very important to me.”

The senior is looking forward to competing and representing Smoky Valley. His future plans include college and pursuing a degree.

“I plan on running in college and majoring in either Exercise Science/Sports Performance or Fire Science. I have not decided on where I will be attending yet,” said Heline.