Athlete of the Month: Kyle Johnson


Kyle Johnson

At first glance, a stereotypical judgment of Kyle Johnson might indicate he is foremost a basketball player. And while the 6-foot-6 Wright City junior has made an impact for the Wildcats on the hardwood, his ultimate calling is on the diamond.

Johnson, who moved to Wright City from O’Fallon during sixth grade, has played baseball and basketball since he was 5 years old. Despite his ability to block and alter shots in the paint, he feels his greatest contribution is on the baseball team, where he has played first base and pitched for the Wildcats. It’s why Johnson and his teammates are particularly excited to begin the 2021 season, after having their 2020 season eliminated by COVID just two weeks into practice.

He is also hopeful to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level, but is first determined to help Wright City defend its Eastern Missouri Conference title from his freshman season.

Outside of sports, Johnson is also a member of the National Honor Society and student council.

Q: What was it like having your baseball season canceled last spring due to COVID?
“We had been practicing for a couple weeks when we got the word it was cancelled. Personally, I had been looking forward to baseball throughout basketball season. When the reality of it hit that we weren’t going to get to play, it was depressing.”

Q: What’s your signature pitch?
“I have a 12-6 curve that I throw. That’s my go-to.”

Q: What is your goal for the team this year?
“We would really like to win districts and conference this year and beat Warrenton. We play them twice.”

Q: What helps you to be successful at blocking and altering shots?
“I’ve had a lot of practice with it, because I’ve been tall compared to other kids my entire life. There’s definitely more than just height that goes into it. You have to know the timing and right amount, so you don’t get the fouls called on you.”

Q: What subjects do you enjoy learning?
“I’m a big math guy. I’m taking a college algebra class. I didn't really like math when I was younger, but I guess algebra is kind of my thing. Geometry, not as much."

Q: What is a lesson you’ve taken from COVID?
“Coach (Ryan) Raterman always tells us ‘Don’t take it for granted, because it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.’ He used to say that before COVID even happened. I think we really know what that means now, because it really can be taken away. We experienced that.”

Q: What would you aspire to do in the future?
“I’m not sure where I want to go to college and play baseball yet, but afterward I want to be a financial advisor. Something related to the banking field and working with money.”

Q: What’s your favorite thing about attending WCHS?
“I like how it’s a small school, and everyone kind of knows each other in the community. It’s something I didn’t have at my old school.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
“I’ve always wanted to go to Greenland or Iceland. They’re really beautiful.”

Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
“My faith plays a big role in my life. I play for God, and I want people to know that.”

Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite restaurant: Chik-Fil-A
Favorite movie: the original “Home Alone"
Favorite TV show: “The Office”
Favorite music genre: Country
Favorite musician: Luke Combs

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