Meet Athlete of the Week, Rylie Rowland! This Swainsboro native is a junior at David Emanuel Academy, which he has attended since he was in third grade. He is successful in most of what the small private school has to offer but also dominates in athletics.
Rowland’s favorite sports are football and baseball. On the gridiron, he is a tight end. On the baseball diamond, he’s an all-around player who plays mostly every position, although his favorite positions in that sport are pitcher and second base. Rowland started baseball at a very early age. “I started in Dixie Youth when I was six and have been playing recreational, travel, and school ball since then. I just enjoy playing baseball, and it has always been a part of my life,” he said.
Family and friends are extremely important to Rowland as he has a motivating support system. He could not play without their guidance and support. “My parents support me by being at every game, encouraging me to work hard, and to try to keep me from being so hard on myself when things don’t go as planned. My family and my friends motivate me to do my best at every game.”
His father is most encouraging and pushes Rowland through all of the uncertainty’s life may bring when being a student-athlete. “When I was younger, I would get in batting slumps and get frustrated. My dad would practice with me until I felt more confident, and it showed in games. I have had to pitch and play football when I was very sick with flu, strep, and sinus infections in the past two years. If you miss school, you can’t play, so I usually suck it up and got to school and give it my best in the game,” said Rowland.
Apart from his family, he has the best coach in the world. Coach Clint Inman is a great leader at David Emanuel Academy and pushes Rowland and all of his teammates to do their very best. “He pushes us and works us hard, but he does it because he sees our potential and believes in us.”
In the future, Rowland plans to attend Georgia Southern University, where he will major in mechanical engineering.