NEW PORT RICHEY — Playing two sports is nothing new to many students over at River Ridge High School, with many of the student-athletes playing multiple sports.
For one River Ridge Royal Knight, mastering two sports has been her goal since the start of the school year and it’s been an impressive run from summer to spring. Enter River Ridge’s Katie Kirves, who reaches states in both swimming and weight-lifting and was able to medal in each of the sports.
Royal Knights’ girls weightlifting coach Mike Degennaro wasn’t surprised at how Kirves was able to handle being at the top of her game in both sports.
“I think she is so proud to be a two-sport medalist,” Degennaro said. “To finish her high school career with three diving medals, three individual weightlifting medals, and two team championship medals. She also was the school’s outstanding senior, fourth in her class academically and signing a scholarship to dive at Bryant University is just unbelievable and it could not happen to a nicer girl.”
The senior committed to swimming over at Bryant University and will be taking her diving talents to the school in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Despite now having to move nearly 1,100 miles away, Kirves will he leaving her mark as one of the top seniors of River Ridge’s Class of 2019.
Degennaro stated that Kirves was one of the easier athletes to coach during her time at River Ridge and being able to walk away with three medals from weightlifting was an impressive accomplishment despite the commitment to two sports.
“Coaching Katie (Kirves) is easy,” Degennaro said. “She is so smart and such a hard worker, I just need to make sure I don’t over coach her. She picked up weightlifting as a freshman and improved every year. I can’t say enough about Katie. She is the kind of girl everyone wants to teach, coach, work with, or have their daughter grow up to be like.”