Rye High senior Madelyn Walsh has been tabbed the school’s Athlete of the Month for October by the Rye Lions Club and the high school Athletic Department.
Maddy, as she is known, has led the Varsity Soccer team to a Sectional title and a 19-2 record for the season, with more to come.
“I cannot think of a more deserving person to receive the Lion’s Club award,” said her head coach, Rich Savage. “Maddy is a four-year starting member, four time All-League, three time All-Section, and twice All-State and League player of the year.
“A true leader, both off and on the field, Maddy is always focused on giving her best. One of the key moments for Rye Soccer this season came when Maddy scored a goal with only two minutes left against Pearl River. It was our last match of the regular season and was the key to our winning the Section 1 Girls Soccer title.”
Coach Savage added, “Maddy was a two-year captain for Rye High. In the 32 years of the program, there has only been one other player who achieved this distinction.”
Asked to describe the skills that make her an All-State soccer player and a captain of her team, Maddy quickly deflected her thinking to the team. “We’ve bonded greatly in every aspect of the game.” She paused before adding, “There are faster players, players who are more technically polished than me. I think I bring a level of control to the game from my midfield position, able to go forward on attack and back on defense and bring everyone together.”
Maddy is a leader in the classroom, as well as on the field. Her GPA is over 100. She is a member of the National Honor Society and served for three years as Student Body President. “I like to take charge of situations; I like to plan things out ahead of time. I hate surprises.”
Undecided on her future major, she notes that she likes Math, Engineering, and Computer Science and knows that she’ll be able to use those skills at college.
And what college is she going to? “I’ve been accepted at the Air Force Academy to play soccer. I guess I always wanted to go to a military academy, and I responded to the people and coaches at Air Force.”
Athleticism is in her genes. Her father played football and rugby at the University of Albany.
In between academics and sports, Maddy has devoted herself to volunteer efforts. She founded and helped run Leo’s Club, a school service organization affiliated with Lions Club International, which currently has over 60 Rye High members. She’s organized Red Cross blood drives, collecting over 60 pints. Maddy has also volunteered for the Resurrection Giving Tree, distributing over 800 gifts annually for families in need, and served holiday meals at the POTS (Part of The Solution) food kitchen.
Asked whom she’d like to thank for this Lions Club honor, Maddy didn’t hesitate: “Coach Savage has definitely helped me get to where I am. His philosophy is: Everyone on the team is equally important, no matter how much or how little they play. It’s what has made us the tightly-knit, winning team we are.”