High School Athlete of the Year: Mariah Ruff

By Travis Eldridge

December 23, 2013 Updated Dec 23, 2013 at 7:46 PM EDT

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Oneonta's Mariah Ruff insists she doesn't have enough time to reflect on all she's accomplished so far.

"I don't really have time to think about it," she said.

But it's a resume most high school athletes only dream about. Six sectional titles, a state championship, a state player of the year award, numerous all-state honors and a Division 1 basketball scholarship all litter her honor roll, but Ruff wants more.

"My goal as a freshman here was to make the varsity team and start. I did that," said Ruff. "And then my goal was to get a D-1 scholarship, I did that. Now my goal is to start as a D-1 freshman, so it just motivates me."

In turn, the St. Bonaventure bound Ruff has motivated her teammates as well.

"She has changed the way that our athletes prepare for seasons and games," said Oneonta head girl's basketball coach Matt Miller. "She's kind of redefined what it means to get to the top in terms of her work ethic. Not a lot of kids lifted before Mariah Ruff came to this school and she's committed to that for the last four years."

That attitude and work ethic comes from her upbringing, as she's been pushed by possibly her toughest opponent, her older brother by four years.

"Definitely my older brother," Ruff said. "I remember times on the basketball court, I would get so [upset] at him for not letting me shoot or anything. I'd throw the ball at him, go inside and my Dad would be like, you're not going to get any better sitting in here. So I'd have to go back outside and play, so it's definitely him."

Maybe that's why she hasn't accepted losing as an option. All but one of the Yellow Jacket teams she's been on have won Section 4 titles. The goal for her final basketball season in Oneonta is another.

"This season," she chimed in. "Would probably have to be a state championship."

Maybe then she'll have the chance to reflect on an incredible high school career, except she says she's picking up softball this spring. Looks like we'll have to marvel at it for her, WBNG's high school Athlete of the Year, Mariah Ruff.

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