November Athletes of the Month

By Paige Pendl, Student Reporter

Congratulations to Melissa Ruiz and Tyrie Orosco as the student Athletes of the Month for November. 

Women's Athlete of the Month

Melissa Ruiz, from Lancaster, Pa., is attending Central Penn College to be a juvenile probation officer. She is from a family of seven that has had a great impact on her academically and athletically. She is a sophomore now and is very involved in the athletic programs, competing on the soccer, cross country and basketball teams. Ruiz is also well known for her school performance and pristine grades. Her effort on and off the court continue to prove her devotion to both her teams and her education.

Ruiz had begun running for the CPC cross country team early this past summer, and has been along for the ride as it has blossomed into a wonderful starting program.

“Melissa is an incredible athlete – through the course of the cross country season, she has consistently shown us her dedication and determination,” says Adrienne Thoman, cross country head coach. “At her final meet, she was getting close to the finish line with another runner right next to her. As she got closer to her destination, she challenged herself not just to finish, but to outrun her competitor – it was awesome!! She continues to challenge herself to do her personal best, and we are so proud of her!”

Her contributions to the cross country team’s first year has kept Ruiz active and fit for basketball season. Ruiz is a very inspirational athlete and is captain of the basketball team for the Central Penn Knights. Though she may be only 4'10," Ruiz averages about 35 minutes out of 40 for her basketball games, averaging 66 percent from the free throw line and being well known for her 3-point shots.

Kasey Hicks, head coach of the Lady Knights says, “Melissa is one of the most deserving student athletes I know for this honor. Everyday she comes to practice, puts in the extra effort, sets a strong example and brings that same work ethic and drive to the classroom. She's a talented basketball player and student, but an even better young woman. She continues to come in everyday and inspire me as the coach and that's something special. I'm extremely proud of her!"

"I love my team and the bond we have together," says Ruiz. "It's never a dull moment with these girls! I'm also so thankful for my coaches, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. Thank you for always pushing me to be the best."

Ruiz was asked what the term student athlete meant to her and in response she said, "It means to put all your hard work and dedication not only on the course or the court, but in the classroom as well. My goal in life is to positively impact juveniles when I become a juvenile probation officer, but I can't do that without an education."

Ruiz works very hard both in and out of school and keeps herself very busy. When asked told about winning the award, Melissa was overjoyed. She praises all her friends and family who support her and her teams in their seasons. Once again if you see her around campus congratulate her on her academic and athletic accomplishments.

Men's Athlete of the Month

Tyrie Orosco is a senior majoring in communications. Orosco grew up in Harlem, New York, with his family and loved playing all kinds of sports. He played basketball, football and baseball, but as he got older he really fell in love with the game of basketball. Playing here for the Central Penn Knights, Orosco is one of the lead scorers and leaders on the team. Averaging about 21 points per game and 70 percent from the free throw line, Orosco is a valuable asset to the Knight’s starting lineup. He loves the game and hopes that one day he can be named “Player of the Year” or “First Team All American.” He also has high hopes to continue playing basketball after graduation and possibly head overseas to play for a while. Orosco not only hopes for his athletic career to continue, but looks forward to pursuing his education and graduating college to begin his future.

What Orosco really likes about Central Penn is that it is a smaller school that allows him to work cooperatively with his professors and the work load is reasonable. He enjoys the professors and is grateful for the education he is provided. He also enjoys listening to music and hanging out with friends and family. Orosco is very close to his family and even claims “I am a big family man. My mother is my best friend.” This relationship with his family has uplifted Tyrie and has helped him develop into who he is today.

Many believe that the student athlete award is for performance on the court and good grades, however it is much more than that. It is about the balance, effort and dedication to both sides whole-heartedly and about valuing your education standards just as equally as your physical athletic achievements. When Tyrie was asked about winning this award he was overjoyed with the fact and simply said, “I am honored, blessed and humble at the same time because anybody could have gotten it.”

Orosco was pleased with the award and himself for how much he has accomplished. In addition, being a student and an athlete at college is a very difficult thing to do. With the accelerated programs and high demand of school work, being an athlete can be difficult.

“A student athlete means to learn about life besides just playing sports,” says Orosco, “you need to know there is more out there. Playing college basketball for me is a privilege, but going to school and getting an education, well now, that’s where the prize is.” Being able to balance school and athletics is a challenge and Orosco has proven that with focus and dedication both can be done efficiently. “To be named a ‘student athlete of the month’ is a blessing. Not everyone can say they were one” says Orosco.

Very humbled by the award and its meaning to him, Tyrie Orosco is proud to accept the title of Student Athlete of the Month for November. If seen around campus or the court, congratulate him on his achievements both academically and athletically.