Riely returns and eyes title with Tigers

The high school postseason in Kentucky starts this week and one local hoping to play an integral part in it is Floyds Knobs’ Logan Riely.

However, it didn’t seem like he would not so long ago.

Riely, a senior at No. 1 ranked St Xavier (19-1-1), had been out of the game since last November, when he had an avulsion fracture in his hip.

After four months of rehab, he returned to practice with his United 1996 travel team in March, only to dislocate his left kneecap in practice a week later. That injury required surgery and three more months of rehab, keeping him out of the club season this past spring.

After nine months on the sidelines, and having missed the first seven games of the high school season, Riely returned to action in early September.

Since then, he has played in 13 games for St. Xavier and has scored nine goals.

“The hardest part of being injured was not being able to do anything, especially sports,” Riely told Kick It. “I couldn’t even stand to watch Sports Center on ESPN or any of our other high school sports because it was so difficult not being able to play myself. What kept me going was the fact that I really want to play and especially to help our team win a state championship this year.”

Riely said the best aspect of playing soccer at St. Xavier – which also finds itself at No. 20 in the ESPN national soccer rankings — is the shared brotherhood of his team mates and the level of play on the soccer field.

They include his best friend Mitch Brinkworth, also a Floyds Knobs native, who he has been playing on school teams with since 5th grade, and Gabe Stewart, a senior midfielder  from Henryville.

“I get to play with guys who are not just the best players in the state, but guys who I will be friends with for the rest of my life,” he said. “I love practicing against the best and I love having them on my side during games.”

The Tigers start their postseason campaign this evening against St Francis in District 12, and will more than likely win through to tomorrow’s final, which will see them take on a rival in either Male or DuPont Manual.

Then it’s on to the Region 6 championships next week (both district finalists progress), with  a place in the State Tournament series (last 16) up for grabs.

During his time on the sidelines, Riely concentrated on his newly found passion for sports photography, which he hopes to pursue in college, but for now he’s finally finding himself on the other side of the lens.

“I’m really proud that I’m even able to get any playing time, considering how good of a team we have,” said Riely. “My main goal is to win a state championship and to experience that.”

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