Pioneer Athlete Spotlight on Stephanie Ruzicka

Pioneer Athlete Spotlight on Stephanie Ruzicka
Stephanie Ruzicka

School: Clayton Valley Charter High School. Grade: Senior. Sport: Tennis.

Clayton Valley Charter girls varsity co-captain Ruzicka began playing tennis in sixth grade and has been awaiting her final high school tennis season since she first made her way onto the team three years ago. Now, due to the revised California high school sports schedule, tennis will be starting seven months later than usual next March. Despite her disappointment and longing for normalcy, Ruzicka is yet another example of a student athlete dedicated to using her COVID-created downtime to get into her best shape ever.

Last season, the Ugly Eagles qualified for the North Coast Section playoffs after winning league. Ruzicka, along with head coach Shane Velez and the rest of the team, is expecting to go even further this year. After months of summer conditioning, including daily individual and team workouts, the squad is confident that their upcoming season, although distant, shorter and unprecedented, is going to be more successful than the last. Velez says the unusually late schedule being played at the same time as boys tennis will be “drastically different to any season I have ever coached. The good news is that the girls have more time to prepare. I’m really looking forward to working with the team and getting them as prepared as possible.”

He assures that Ruzicka will be a vital component in turning this unusual season into a triumphant one, calling her “a dedicated team member [who] leads by example with her hard work during drills and practice play… and is always focused and competes at a high level.”

Last year, Ruzicka excelled in the classroom as well as on the court by maintaining a 4.83 GPA which she hopes will propel her to the college of her choice as she pursues a chemical engineering or architecture degree. On campus she is serving as president of the CVCHS Rotary Club, as well as being a member of California Scholarship Federation and The Women in Science and Engineering Club.

CVCHS student journalist Alexa Oldham wrote this Spotlight.

The Pioneer congratulates Stephanie and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsor Family Vision Care Optometry which has been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years.

Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to