The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

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Kael Riniker Finds Success on the Field and the Mat

Jayce Pendergrass
Junior Kael Riniker jumps in celebration as his teammates celebrate his upset pin against Solon’s Kyler Jensen.

Kael Riniker walks back towards the Mount Vernon wrestling team, hearing the roar of the crowd as he pinned his opponent from Solon last Thursday evening. Riniker, 17, enjoys football, wrestling, and weightlifting. 

Riniker, a junior, has enjoyed playing football since the seventh grade. Out of the two sports he plays, he states that football is his favorite. He enjoys the team aspect of playing football. He stated, “Not like a family, but you build good relationships with people you are with.” The team also inspires each other while playing. Evan Brase, a senior on the team, is someone who inspires Kael a lot. 

Not only does the Mount Vernon football team build relationships with the players, but also the coaches.

 Riniker stated that he looks up to Coach Eric Krob on the team because he has always been supportive of Riniker’s playing and he does well because of his coach.  

Kale also stated that despite being controversial, playing on the Solon field is his favorite place to play. 

Kael Riniker (Jayce Pendergrass)

Because of his success in football, Riniker thought that he should try wrestling. Despite being in his first year as a junior, Riniker has found success and a varsity spot. He explained how because of his lack of experience, he was starting from square one, but as the season continues he learns more every day. He added how he is grateful for his practice partner Ethan Wood, because he is helping Riniker learn the sport. 

He, like many others on the team, also had to cut weight. He went from eating five meals a day to one, and only drank around 50 oz of water. Despite having to cut, Riniker mentioned “It made school work better because I spent more time doing school work.” 

Part of his success in sport has come from lifting. Like many others, his age started lifting around fourteen years old because many of his friends were also lifting around this time. He enjoys lifting because of self-improvement. His lifting schedule changes depending on whether he is in season or not. While in football and wrestling, he typically lifts at Elite Fitness for 45 minutes to an hour. But while in the off-season he will typically lift for two to four hours. Riniker explained that lifting has changed his life for the better. It has helped him mentally with his confidence, and if you are thinking about it, give it a shot.

Taking on wrestling for the first time as a Junior, Riniker has found lots of success. Mount Vernon’s long-time rivalry with Solon continued Tuesday, Jan. 30. Mount Vernon was wrestling Solon in the regional duals to see which team would travel to the XTream Arena the following Saturday. His favorite memory he said was  “Pinning my opponent in the regional dual on Tuesday.” The pin was a pivotal moment in the dual because the score was close, and with Riniker’s win it gave Mount Vernon another six points, making it doubtful Solon would make a comeback. The final score was 46-15. 

“Success looks different to me than someone who wants to be state champion,” Riniker said. His goal this year was to learn and to get a varsity spot, and as the season progressed, he did just that. Despite starting later in his high school career, he was able to take constructive criticism and use it to his advantage. His advice to underclassmen is “Just do it…You may not be the best, but it’s always fun.” Kael has shown that even if you are new to something, success can be great. 


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