HOLGATE — Holgate senior Rylie Schuller may not have envisioned herself as a state gymnastics meet qualifier after her junior season when she started out at 801 Joe E. Brown Avenue four years ago.
That’s all in the past now.
“I never really imagined myself as someone who would make state at all, let alone as a junior,” Schuller said. “When I made it last year, I couldn’t believe it. It was almost like it was a dream.”
For her coach, perhaps, the ascension to one of the premier gymnasts in the area was less of a surprise.
“You see all of the work Rylie put in in practice and after practice and it makes you so proud as a coach to see her get where she is now,” Holgate gymnastics coach Bethany Wolf said. “She hasn’t been given any of what she has in this sport, she earned it all.”
For Schuller, the added buzz around a state-qualifying follow-up season has made the start of her senior year that much more enjoyable.
“I’ve been really excited for my senior year,” Schuller said. “My only goal for this year is to meet my full potential. I don’t want any regrets. I don’t want to look back on this season and wish I had done this better or second guess anything.”
When asked what meeting her full potential might look like, Schuller said all she cares about is getting the most out of every rep on every discipline.
“Honestly, it’s not even about getting a specific score,” Schuller said. “In gymnastics, it comes down to every little thing and every little skill. My goal is to get those details down and be super consistent. I just hope I’m happy with how I compete every time out there.”
Schuller finished 31st in the state on beam with a score of 8.275 and 33rd on floor with a score of 8.625.
“It was such an incredible experience to be at the state meet with all of those incredible athletes,” Schuller said. “The way they do state, every person is in a different flight that rotates around, and it was great to see how supportive everyone was. We were all in the same boat, so to have people cheering you on and in your corner was pretty special.”
“I thought she handled the stage really well,” Wolf said of Schuller’s performance at state. “That’s very difficult to do as an individual, but I think she stayed within herself and turned in a really nice couple of reps.”
Schuller’s ability to remain calm and collected despite performing on such an illustrious stage may stem from her athletic well-roundedness. The senior was also a member of Holgate’s volleyball team, in addition to competitive cheerleading and track and field.
“The attitude that Rylie has and the work discipline she has are outstanding,” Holgate track and field coach Scott Giesige said. “It doesn’t surprise me in the least that she performs the way she does in gymnastics, given what we see out of her during track season.”
Schuller said each sport contributes in its own way to the next.
“A lot of track is just coordination,” Schuller said. “I think I got my coordination from gymnastics when I was little, so track kind of came along with gymnastics — especially hurdles. Those go hand-in-hand, which is nice.
“Volleyball was a little different for me when I started,” Schuller added. “As I got older, I started moving around more and knew what I had to do to be good at it.”
Schuller, who has been competing in gymnastics since she was roughly three years old, said she loves competing alongside other Henry County gymnasts, many of whom she’s practiced with since she started.
“I’ve been with a lot of those girls, like Liberty Center, since I started,” Schuller said. “We’ve all been really close since we were little, and that’s something I’m so grateful for. Meeting them when I was so young and continuing their friendship now is special. If it wasn’t for gymnastics, I don’t think I would have met them, honestly.”
Outside of her busy, four-sport schedule, Schuller said she likes to relax and spend time with her friends and family.
“When I’m not doing anything, I like to hang out with my friends and go on little adventures with them,” Schuller said. “I also love spending time with my family. If I’m not doing either of those things, I’m probably sleeping to catch up on all of the sleep I miss out on.”
After graduation, Schuller said she would like to attend The Ohio State University and study biology on a pre-med track to one day become a pediatrician.
“I’m a kid person,” Schuller said of what drew her towards the medical field. “I just love kids. Medicine and science has always interested me. Nothing else really drew me in, but I’m always up to date on what’s going on in that world. I just thought about it a little bit and decided that’s what I want to do.”
Rylie is the daughter of Steve and Liza Schuller.