Scholar Athlete Finalist: Central's Maya Riddlesprigger

Central senior volleyball and track & field runner Maya Riddlesprigger is one of three area finalists for a scholar athlete scholarship award.

During telecasts of our Friday Night Rivals high school football games this past season on CW59, we featured Lithia Subaru Scholar Athletes. This week, FOX26 Your Hometown Sports Connection reporter Nick King tells us about the three finalists vying for one scholarship. In this one, we meet Central senior Maya Riddlesprigger.

Maya Riddlesprigger rises above the rest.

Central leadership teacher Shawna Sousa explains, "I have a class of chiefs, but she really does stand out as a leader, and even in a group of leaders, she is the leader, where she really does set herself apart."

At Central, Maya is ASB President. She was Homecoming queen in the fall, and she'll graduate as a valedictorian.

"I've always wanted to be a valedictorian," says Maya. "Even growing up, when I really didn't know what it was, just to hear your name during graduation, I always just thought it was really cool. So I knew in high school, I had to get all my work done in the classroom."

She did. Maya's gpa is 4.12 - she took 8 AP classes - and would've liked to have taken more.

Maya's counselor at Central, Shimeka Conway, says, "She's always been dedicated, committed and passionate. I remember her ninth grade year, she was mad at me because she couldn't take AP classes as a freshman."

For four years, Maya starred for the Grizzlies' volleyball team, making all conference and all Valley every season since she was a sophomore.

Central's volleyball coach, Randy Burriss, says, "number one, she's unselfish and just unbelievably competitive. She's really that team-first player. She's not worried about her stats."

This year, the team went 40-3, winning its first conference and Valley title in school history, with Maya as captain.

"It was like, such like a rush," says Maya. "Because our hard work finally paid off, and everything we'd put into the season was actually for that one game, and we made it happen."

Recently, Maya spent almost all of her free time raising about $30,000 for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, after being nominated for the organization's Student of the Year campaign.

"Growing up, my parents always said to give back, and it's better to give than receive," says Maya. "So I've always just been dedicated to helping those who need help."

Maya Riddlesprigger is passionate and driven - dedicated to her school, her studies, her community - rising above the rest.

"You can't really do anymore in high school than she did, in four years," says Burriss. "And that's just so amazing. I don't know how she did everything."

Conway adds, "She's amazing. If that's just one word I could say to describe her, she's just amazing."

Maya will play volleyball next year at Cal State Fullerton, where she received a partial athletic scholarship. She plans to study sports management.

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