Wednesday, 13 December 2017 01:03

Allexis Swiney: Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week

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Sophomore point guard Allexis Swiney has been named the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week. Sophomore point guard Allexis Swiney has been named the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week.

Name: Allexis Swiney

Age: 16

Year: Sophomore

Winter Sport: Basketball

Position: Point Guard

Years on Varsity: 2 years

Height & Weight: 5’6”, 145 lbs.

Experience: 6 Years (started playing competitive basketball in fifth grade)


Allexis Swiney has been named the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week presented by McNair Auto Sales. A member of the Lady Raiders varsity basketball team, and the team’s starting point guard the last two seasons, which included her freshman year, Swiney has been a dynamic tool in the season’s first five games. Her nomination comes as a result of her dominant play as the team’s floor general, as well as consistently being a top scorer for Richmond.

RSHS Academics: Swiney is not only a force on the hardwood, but she also excels in the classroom. In her first full year at Richmond as a sophomore, Swiney is enrolled in all honors classes and is a straight-A student. This semester, she’s taking Honors Health Science I, Honors Civics, Honors Biology, Honors English II and Advanced Weight Training.

“Health Science is definitely my favorite class,” Swiney commented. “I love learning about the human body and I want to be a registered nurse when I’m older.”

Swiney also noted that she enjoys her weight training class, as it gives her the “opportunity to work out at school,” when she otherwise may not have the chance outside of it. She notes that her weight training coach Shellie Wimpey does a fantastic job and knows how to push her to her limits in the weight room.

RSHS Sports: Swiney, like several of the RO’s Official Richmond County Athletes of the Week, is a three-season athlete who has found successes in several different sports. As just a sophomore, in addition to being on the Lady Raiders’ basketball team, Swiney is a member of the varsity volleyball team, indoor track team and was on the junior varsity soccer team as a freshman.

Earlier this fall, Swiney was a part of a Lady Raiders volleyball team that went a perfect 22-0 in the regular season (25-1 including playoffs), a feat that had never been accomplished in the program’s history. As an outside hitter, Swiney gained more and more playing time as the season progressed, and eventually earned a starting role in the latter part of the season. The Lady Raiders won the Sandhills Athletic Conference championship before falling to Lake Norman in the opening round of the state playoffs.

Also this winter, Swiney has participated in an indoor track meet at East Alamance High School. She’s competed in the 55-meter and 300-meter events, and says that she’s considering trying out for track and field in the spring.

But Swiney’s true loyalty lies with soccer, a sport which she hopes to one day play at the collegiate level.

“As a freshman, I played junior varsity, but I hopefully this year I’ll be on the varsity team,” Swiney said. “I mainly play center midfielder, but I’ve played keeper and forward, too.

“Anything but defense,” she added with a smile.

Extracurricular Activities/Volunteering: Because she’s a four-sport athlete, it’s not hard to imagine that Swiney doesn’t have a lot of extra time to commit herself to other programs and events around Richmond. But she has, and continues to, make her commitment to her school and community a top priority.

Swiney is a general member of both the National Beta Club and Health Occupations Students of America club. This year, she plans to present at the HOSA convention in the health education category.

Over the past summer, Swiney volunteered her time at Rockingham Middle School and assisted teachers in their classrooms. She also spent time resetting the school’s locker combinations for the upcoming school year, a task she identified as tedious, but one that she knew needed to be done. Also a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Hamlet, Swiney is a part of the church’s choir and can be found helping out with several projects throughout the year.

Hobbies: Admitting that she spends most of her time on the respective fields and courts of the sports she plays, Swiney noted that she does enjoy spending her down time with friends and family. Some activities she mentioned she enjoys are go-karting and laser tag, but they’re no match for her love of creating things.

“I’m mostly on the field,” Swiney said. “But I love to go shopping and hang out with my friends when I can.

“I’m a pretty crafty person,” she continued. “And Pinterest is one of the best things ever. My friends and I like to get together and makes things. Also, a lot of my friends live on farms, so I enjoy helping take care of the animals.”

Interesting Fact: Swiney, who by now has been established as an extremely athletically talented high schooler, said that most people don’t know that she was once heavily involved with cheerleading and gymnastics.

“I was in gymnastics and cheerleading for six years before I decided to shift my focus onto other sports,” Swiney said. “I was a gymnast at Physical Awareness (in Hamlet), and was a member of the Rockingham Middle School cheerleading team.

“I also did competitive cheer with Cassie Tyler,” Swiney continued. “An interesting fact that most people may not know about me is that I’m able to tumble all the way down the (length) of the basketball court.”

High School/College Aspirations: Despite being just a sophomore, Swiney has a clear idea of what she’d like to accomplish while in high school, as well as in college. In her next two and a half years until graduation, Swiney hopes to become more immersed in her school’s student body.

“I really want to get more involved with school (organizations),” Swiney explained. “I’m hoping to get selected to National Honors Society and be a part of Senate as a senior. I want to help make a difference at Richmond.”

In terms of post-secondary education, Swiney has aspirations to become a registered nurse and is already looking at options after graduating in 2020. She is also keeping playing college athletics an available option, and says that she wants to put her focus with soccer because she plays travel soccer with the Richmond Revolution and considers it her true passion.

“I’d like to attend either the University of North Carolina at Wilmington or Appalachian State,” Swiney said. “The campus life of each school, as well as the nursing programs, appeal to me. It’s either the beach or the mountains – you can’t beat it.

“I also believe that everyone should get away when they go to college,” Swiney explained. “It helps you become your own person.”

Mentor: Each week, the RO asks its athlete of the week to explain who her mentor is. This week, Swiney chose a person whom she said may sound “cliché,” but wouldn’t be the successful young adult and athlete she is today without him.

“My biggest mentor is definitely my dad,” Swiney said of her father Lemuel Swiney, who’s a teacher in Robeson County. “He has always made me go to the gym and work hard event when I didn’t want to.

“Now that I see the outcomes (of the hard work), I appreciate what he’s done for me,” she continued. “No matter how much I hated it sometimes, or how much I wanted to cry, I’m glad he pushed me to make me a better person and athlete.”

Player of the Week Stats: As aforementioned, Swiney runs the Lady Raiders’ offense as its floor general at point guard. In the five games since the season has started, Richmond is 1 -4, and Swiney has led the Lady Raiders in points in several of them.

On the road at Fairmont to start the season, Swiney netted 12 points. She’s followed that up with performance of 17 points (Purnell Swett), seven points (Pinecrest) and 14 points (Jack Britt). Her best game of the season, however, came last week against Clayton, where she had a game and season-high 28 points. To this point in the season, Swiney is averaging 15.6 points per game.

Aside from scoring, Swiney brings several intangibles to the Lady Raiders’ team, including basketball IQ, ball handling skills, vocal leadership and an aggressive demeanor when driving the lane and playing defense.

What’s it like being the starting point guard for the Lady Raiders as only a sophomore? What do you like about the position and the responsibility?

“It’s a lot of pressure to be the point guard,” Swiney admitted. “But this is my second season, and I’m still learning to become a leader. Especially being vocal on the floor.

“Being a leader is a natural part of being a point guard,” she continued. “I have to remain focused and be able to call the plays out.”

One thing that Swiney noted about this year’s team that is different than last year’s is the rapport she has with her teammates.

“I really like how close this year’s team is,” Swiney commented. “It wasn’t like that last year, and now we are able to gel together better. And most importantly, we can find the right combinations that work (on the floor).”

Coaches Corner: Despite getting off to a slow start on the season, head coach Rosalind McDonald notes that Swiney has been an integral part in the team’s development and growing successes.

“Allexis puts her all into the game on both ends of the court from start to finish,” McDonald commented. “She does a great job of pushing to ball and has the ability to take almost any defensive player at any time.

“We look to Allexis to control the ball and her defense is solid,” McDonald continued. “Allexis knows that her job is to control the team when she’s on the court. And this year she’s really growing into that role more as the point guard and one of the team’s captains. She leads by example because her work ethic is so strong.”

Look for Swiney on the Richmond Observer’s flagship news program Live at 5, as she’ll be in studio for Thursday’s edition.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 01:11
Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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