Balancing the Runway and the Diamond: Riley Bebb’s Journey as a Dual-Sport Athlete in SEK

Being a student-athlete in Southeast Kansas (SEK) is no easy feat, especially for those like Riley Bebb from Labette County High School and a UMKC softball commit who excels in not one, but two demanding sports. This Q&A dives into the world of Riley Bebb, a dedicated athlete who juggles the track and softball fields, showcasing the challenges and triumphs that come with being a dual-sport star in the SEK League.

We’ll explore Riley’s approach to practice, pre-game rituals, and biggest strengths, all while highlighting the unique experiences of athletes in Southeast Kansas. From balancing academics with athletics to staying motivated in the off-season, this story offers a glimpse into the determination and passion that fuels this young athlete in our region. So, enjoy SEK Sports fans, as we celebrate the dedication and perseverance of a true dual-sport champion!

On the Field

  • Question: What does a typical practice session look like for you doing dual sports?
  • Answer: Track is labeled as my priority so I go to track practices when we don’t have a meet as well as pitching in my own spare time.
  • Question: What’s your pre-game ritual?
  • Answer: I act as the team DJ on the way to meets and games and get to hype everyone up.
  • Question: Describe your most memorable athletic moment: a victory, a challenge overcome, a moment of teamwork.
  • Answer: Last year at state, in my second throw, I severely sprained my ankle without having a throw that put me into finals. I had to be taped and persevere through the pain, and make it to finals. I then threw just 2 feet short of a PR off of one ankle.
  • Question: What’s your biggest strength as an athlete? What are you working on improving?
  • Answer: I think my biggest strength is that I am mentally tough and being able to persevere through whatever is thrown my way. I think that as an athlete I am constantly improving everything about my game, and how to be a good teammate and celebrate the small successes.
  • Question: Do you have any athletic role models? Who and why?
  • Answer: (Not answered in this excerpt)

Off the Field

  • Question: What are your biggest challenges in balancing athletics with academics and other activities?
  • Answer: I find myself gone from class way more often than I’m in class. Staying in touch with my teachers and keeping up with schoolwork is a must, but it is definitely challenging.
  • Question: How do you stay motivated in the off-season?
  • Answer: Knowing that I have to continue to get better every day to keep up with the competition I will face all summer is enough to keep me motivated and working. Another large motivator for me is knowing that if I had quit every time, someone told me I wasn’t good enough or wouldn’t make it to the next level, I would never be where I am today.
  • Question: What are your hobbies and interests outside of sports?
  • Answer: I love to help on our family farm, along with wakeboarding, reading, and spending time with my family.
  • Question: What are your future athletic or academic goals?
  • Answer: I plan to be an asset to the UMKC pitching staff while earning a degree in business.
  • Question: What advice would you give to younger athletes just starting out?
  • Answer: Every Time someone tells you can’t, use it as motivation to push even harder.

Fun Facts

  • Question: What is your favorite pump-up song or pre-game meal?
  • Answer: Stay Fly by Three 6 Mafia
  •  Question: Hidden talent or surprising fact about yourself?
  • Answer: I used to do competitive wakeboarding contests.
  • Question: If you weren’t playing your current sport, what would you be playing?
  • Answer: I enjoy playing tennis in my spare time.
  • Question: Dream vacation spot?
  • Answer: I would love to go back to Maui, Hawaii
  • Question: What is your favorite thing about being a student-athlete in Southeast Kansas?
  • Answer: I love being in a rural area. It means you see many of the same faces, making many friends over my four years.

Bonus

  • Question: Share a funny or embarrassing sports anecdote!
  • Answer: This year at Pitt State Relays I managed to fall on my face on the runway when throwing warmups.
  • Question: Tell us about a teammate or coach who has greatly impacted you.
  • Answer: All my coaches from t-ball to my coaches today have all played such an intricate role as to who I am as a person and athlete today. Each and every coach taught me something new and brought a different perspective to the table.
  • Question: What message do you want to send to the SEK Sports community?
  • Answer: Thank you for all your support during my four years of high school. Keep up the support and promotion of all the other athletes in SEK.