Golden Eagle Testimonials are a collection of personal experiences, stories and memories from past Guerin Catholic student-athletes. A different student-athlete will be featured periodically.
Today’s testimonial comes from Reiley Harrington ’17. Harrington finished as the 2016 IHSAA State Doubles Runner-Up with her partner, Ashley Jonathan. They finished as First Team All-State and were named Hamilton County Girls Tennis Players of the Year.
Coming in as a nervous, non-catholic freshman to Guerin Catholic, I was unsure of what my high school experience would be like. I did not know what my involvement would be like, my classes, my teachers, or my faith in this new environment. However, what I did know was that I played tennis and I was excited to try out for the team.
I played tennis all four years at Guerin Catholic and those experiences with my team were experiences that still stand out to me today. After a devastating back injury my sophomore year which put me out for the rest of the season, I was out for almost 5 months. I still went to the team’s matches and supported them however I could. Coming back my junior year season my doubles partner, Ashley Jonathan and I advanced to the state finals. Our coach, Stephanie Reece not only showed us how to become true tennis players, but also women of faith, confidence and integrity. Stephanie was and still is one of the biggest inspirations in my life and made my time at Guerin Catholic so special for me. She made it known that she cared about our entire team, loved us, and wanted nothing but the best for each one of us.
Another large portion of my experience with sports at Guerin Catholic was Special Olympics and the Champions Together Program. I coach Special Olympics tennis in the summer and wanted to find a way to bring Special Olympics to Guerin Catholic. Through my experience in the summer I was able to learn more about the Champions Together program which combines IHSAA with Special Olympics allowing special needs athletes the opportunity to play high school sports with high school athletes. I founded the program at Guerin Catholic when I was a freshman and began to form clinics for multiple sports included basketball, tennis, lacrosse and many more. As a school we would fundraise $1500 each year for these athletes to send to Special Olympics and allow them more opportunity to play in as many sports as they want. This taught me leadership, communication skills, fundraising and communication with adults in the school which was an awesome learning experience for college and beyond. My sister is continuing this wonderful program at Guerin Catholic currently and it is expanding each year!
While this was a large part of my high school experience, it was always important to balance it with academics, other clubs as well as my faith. My faith became increasingly important during my time at Guerin Catholic whether it was during adoration in Sister Josemaria’s class or simply stopping by the chapel at the end of the day. After the junior retreat I felt that I was being called to the Catholic faith and my senior year my younger sister Ellie and I began RCIA classes and converted to Catholicism in 2017. This was an incredible journey coming to the Catholic faith and it would not have been the same if I was not at Guerin Catholic. The support I felt from my sponsor Mr. Rafferty, Campus Ministry, and all of my friends at Guerin Catholic aided me in the journey. My friends had such a strong sense of faith and this is a large part of my conversion story.
While this stands out as my greatest joy coming from Guerin Catholic, my academics also prepared me for where I am today. My senior year I took Psychology with Mr. Haselhorst and I fell in love with the subject. The way that Mr. Haselhorst taught this course, explained various experiments and allowed us to see various experiments for ourselves made me increasingly interested in the subject. Once I started attending the University of Dayton, I continued to take Psychology courses and am now declaring Psychology as my major. I am grateful to Guerin Catholic for everything it gave me and I would not be where I am today without it!