Owen Rigney is serious about school, and he’s also serious about sports.
He’s a junior honor student at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, where he plays on the volleyball team in addition to being an avid follower of the overall college and professional athletic scene.
It was last spring when Owen found out that the NJSIAA was starting a Student Athlete Advisory Council, and he was immediately interested in the idea. He applied to be a Student Ambassador, and was one of 31 chosen from throughout the state to serve in the role.
“I was interested in becoming a Student Ambassador because sports is a very important component of my life,” he said. “I took the opportunity to help make sports better not just for myself, but for the student-athletes of New Jersey.”
In its meetings this year, the SAAC has explored many of the issues affecting high school athletics, and he’s hopeful that the platform the students have been given will aid the NJSIAA in its decision-making process going forward.
“I hope that the SAAC will be able to rectify the problems which have been identified,” he said. “For example, in my opinion, the transfer rule should be changed. The rule currently states that a person can transfer without penalty if a change in residence occurs with one’s parents. This vague language allows for numerous loopholes and enables many athletes to take advantage of the rule inappropriately.”
The SAAC met six times this year, and Owen enjoyed the discussions and activities that took place.
“The meetings and dialogue were very interesting because each student-athlete provided a different perspective on each topic discussed,” he said. “The ideas vary because each person is from a different school environment and plays different sports. For example, when the discussion regarding blackout periods occurred, some preferred there was not a designated blackout period, while others showed their support for the proposed change.”
Getting to know Student Ambassador Owen Rigney:
Sport you play: Volleyball
Favorite subject: Math. “Because my teacher is extremely entertaining. Math has also always been my best subject.”
Favorite athlete: Zion Williamson
Favorite teams: Football - Washington Redskins, College Basketball - Duke, NBA - New York Knicks.
Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals? “I always warm up with the same person.”
You live at the Shore. What’s the best thing about it? “The best thing about living at the Shore is having access to the beach at all times.”
Favorite foods: Macaroni and Cheese, and Chicken Parm.
Favorite lunch at school: Pizza.
Favorite activiities other than sports or school: Surfing and skiing.
What are the best qualities in a teammate? “The best qualities in a teammate include work ethic, trustworthiness, and a positive attitude.”
What’s your favorite thing about being a high school athlete? “I’ve made a lot of friends through volleyball.”
What’s been your proudest moment as a student? “When I was inducted into the National Honor Society this year.”
Favorite drill or thing to do at practice: 6 vs. 6 scrimmage.
How do you spend the time while riding the bus to an away game? “Either listening to music or talking with my teammates.”
Favorite movie: The Hangover
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite musician: Drake
Do you have a favorite sports memory? “My favorite sports memory was when I played soccer with my brother and father on the tennis courts at Sea Girt Elementary School.”
Is there a sport you don’t play that you’d someday like to try? “Golf.”
If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose? “Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Vince Vaughn.”
Have you ever come across anyone famous? “I saw Will Ferrell from a distance at a restaurant in Colorado.”
If you could have a super power, what would it be and why? “Being able to fly, because I would be able to get to places incredibly fast.”
If there were 25 hours in a day, what would you do with the extra hour? “Sleep.”
What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to? South Africa.
Do you have any pets: “I have a dog named Mookie.”