Academy Sports+Outdoors Athlete of the Week: Ryla Christian


It just might be the best word to describe Ryla Christian. It is definitely what led to the Warner Robins student-athlete’s selection as the Academy Sports+Outdoors Athlete of the Week.

Case in point.

The Demonettes opened the season with a 12-6 win over Northside. Christian was a big part of that. She went 2-2 with two walks, scored three times and drove in a runner. Houston County beat Warner Robins 19-2 a day later. The Demonettes had two hits. Christian had them both. One was a homerun that accounted for both of Warner Robins’ runs. Thursday in a 17-10 loss to Peach County, she went 2-3 – one of only two with multiple hits – and scored once. And that doesn’t count her stellar defense at catcher, i.e. finishing off a double play against the Lady Trojans that got Warner Robins out of a serious, serious jam.

“I just can’t say enough good things about this wonderful young lady,” said Head Coach John Chance.

And yet her focus is one of modesty and humbleness – somewhere else.

“The most satisfying thing about softball is that I get the chance to make other people better,” she said. “When I’m catching, I can help the pitcher out and make her look better.”

There’s also this: “A unique thing about softball is that it is a team sport. If one girl does not produce, then there are eight others who can pick her up.”

Christian is the daughter of Dean and Theresa Christian. She is a senior with a 4.0 GPA currently enrolled in two AP classes. She has played varsity for the Demonettes all four years, and has earned three varsity letters for athletics. Also a member of the Beta club, she earned the Georgia Certificate of Merit last year.

That aforementioned homerun just happened to be one of her greatest accomplishments in softball, she said. “I have hit homeruns in travel ball,” she said. “Just not in high school.”

When by herself – as much on the field as off – Christian said she likes to just block out the world and focus on the right things, “because they allow great things to happen.”

If she weren’t playing softball, the Grey’s Anatomy fan who loves steak and the movie “Facing the Giants” – “It really shows God’s power,” she said – would play volleyball.

“I have always thought it was interesting,” she said. And speaking of God: “Only God can give me the passion and heart to love softball and life as much as I do.”

Needless to say, and to be completely consistent at it.