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Fish Succeeds On, Off The Court At CCHS

Columbia Central High School senior Riley Fish (7) hits a spike during a match last fall.  Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

(June 3, 2020 5:29 PM) Columbia Central High School senior Riley Fish had a decision to make two years ago.

Continue to grind out a four-sport year and squeeze academics wherever she could, or pick for two favorite activities and have more time to study.

It appears as Fish made the correct decision.

She recently was awarded the school’s valedictorian award for the class of 2020 with a GPA of 4.359 – on a 4.0 scale.

Unfortunately for Fish – and thousands of other seniors in Michigan – the spring sport season was canceled when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed schools for the year in early April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the Michigan High School Athletic Association followed suit, Fish’s high school soccer career was over.

“As a team captain in soccer, we talked about the season being postponed or delayed,” Fish said. “There was no way there were going to cancel the entire season … that was crazy.”

But it happened and soccer – for the most part – ended for Fish. She has played the sport for nearly 15 years.

“I still may play club soccer at the University of Michigan,” Fish said. “So, I still stay in shape.”

Fish was awarded what she called “nearly a full-ride” scholarship at the prestigious college. She plans to study astrophysics and some day would like to work for NASA or become a professor who spends time doing research.

The senior played volleyball and soccer her last two years of high school. After taking mostly Advanced Placement classes as a sophomore – the first year available – she dropped two other sports to concentrate on school.

“It takes a lot of time management to play sports and receive good grades,” Fish said. “You have to tell yourself to do the work during any free time … during school, right before practice, or late at night.”

Fish said she missed the soccer team as the Golden Eagles had a chance to be very successful this season. She received a text from Coach Andy Hosmer telling the team captains and seniors the bad news about the season being canceled.

“Coach talked about the potential we had as a team and how awful this happened to us,” Fish said. “We will probably go to the (home) soccer field and kick the ball around at some point.”

But Fish hopes to play club volleyball at U of M and continue to receive solid grades in college. She will miss her friends and teachers at CCHS.

“I am glad I grew up here,” Fish said. “It is a small school and a good place not to be just another number.

“I will really miss my teachers.”

Fish was a captain for the Golden Eagles in volleyball and soccer, received the best defensive player award in volleyball as a senior, and was named as the versatile player in soccer as a junior.

She is the daughter of Michelle and Andy Fish of Brooklyn.

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