Mechanicsburg senior comes back stronger

Erin Harris, Journalism I student

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Mechanicsburg’s own Rylee Everett spent the 2018-19 basketball season making up for her missed junior year by putting on a show for anyone watching. The senior put heart, soul, and hard work into her final season in a Mechanicsburg Wildcats jersey. Leading the team to the 5A State Playoffs, breaking the record for most three-pointers made in a season in school history, 66 to be exact, and being nominated for player of the week was only part of her journey.

Months before her third year playing under coach Clay McAllister, Rylee Everett was ruled out for the season due to a knee injury. Devastated, Rylee spent the next six months not only helping her teammates prepare for the upcoming season and cheering them on from the bench, but also preparing herself for her senior year.  

When asked what her thought process was through the hard times, Everett responded with, “I was very sad and discouraged but I forced myself to have a good attitude, be supportive of the team, and be a good leader even when I couldn’t play.”

Though the Wildcats didn’t find much success during the 2017-18 season, luckily, this year brought more celebration to Everett and her team. Finishing 22-7, not only did the team improve, but so did Rylee. Rylee showed her determination for a better season than previous years through statistics such as 107 rebounds on the year, an average of 13.1 points per game, 33 steals, and 41% from behind the arc for the season.

These stats didn’t come randomly though. Rylee’s hard work during the offseason payed off. “I did a lot to prepare for my senior year,” Everett said. “I had physical therapy three days a week and was constantly doing stretches and exercises. I also started lifting weights to get my muscles I lost back. I played basketball all the time and worked on shooting and dribbling whenever I could.”

The preparation led the team to monumental wins, such as the 66-59 win over Bishop McDevitt at home and the 52-51 win at Cedar Cliff. Rylee put up a lot of points against both teams having 26 against McDevitt and 24 against Cedar Cliff. Rylee’s performance against Cedar Cliff was especially exceptional as she made six for nine from behind the arc, had six rebounds, and even made a 40 foot three-pointer.

All of this success started with her perseverance that came in conjunction with the injury last season.

Her coach, Mr. Clay McAllister, touched on the subject by mentioning how Rylee worked everyday to get stronger and better, including lifting and taking 100 foul shots for 365 days. Coach McAllister also commented on what kind of teammate Rylee was. “She didn’t have a normal amount of determination. Her humility and positivity as a player is what made people gravitate towards her,” McAllister said.

The future Florida College basketball player not only made a mark on her coach, but she also made a mark on her teammates.

Fellow Senior Megan Schrass also had a few words to say about Everett.

“She came back stronger than ever with a fight unlike anyone else’s. You always heard her giving positive encouragement to anyone and picking anyone’s head up when it was needed. She was always someone you could turn to to not only coach you into a better player but to help you mentally as a player and focus on what was next,” Schrass said.

All Everett wanted to do was prove herself and show everybody how hard she worked to get back to full strength, and she did just that.

With help from all of her teammates and coaches, she accomplished a season sure to be remembered by many. Accompanied by sophomore Talia Gilliard, junior Logan Nutt, Senior Megan Schrass, sophomore Allison Schrass, and many more, the senior guard made history.

Rylee Everett conquered her season-ending injury, came back this year stronger than ever, and lived a victorious last season as a Mechanicsburg Wildcat.