Plano East track

Plano East senior Tiriah Kelley, second from left, won three gold medals at Saturday's Region I-6A meet.

Each week throughout the 2021-22 school year, Star Local Media will recognize one of the standout student-athletes from its coverage area as Athlete of the Week. 

Through nominations submitted by coaches, as well as the sports staff’s own research, the entries will be trimmed down to five nominees each week. It’ll come down to a fan vote to decide who is named Athlete of the Week, however — readers have until 7 p.m. Monday to vote for one of the five star athletes below.

(For games played May 9-14)

RJ Ruais, Celina baseball

The Bobcats scored a measure of revenge by sweeping Waxahachie Life in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs, and Ruais was a big reason why. In Game 1, he went 3-of-4 from the plate with two RBIs and a double in an 8-3 win. He followed that up with a home run in Game 2 and a complete-game shutout performance on the mound in a 4-0 win. Ruais allowed just two hits and struck out 14 batters to help send Celina to the regional quarterfinals.

Tiriah Kelley, Plano East track and field

Kelley ended her decorated high school career on a high note Saturday at the state track and field meet. She exited Austin with three medals, including two golds in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Kelley's 23.06 time in the 200 was clocked as the third-fastest in state history. She also ran the anchor leg in the Lady Panthers' second-place 4x100 relay, helping lift East to a third-place team finish.

Skyler Schuller, Coppell track and field

Schuller cleared 14 feet to break the state meet record in the girls' pole vault. Although Molly Haywood of Tomball Memorial went on to win the Class 6A title with a clearance of 14-3, Schuller kept the pressure on Haywood and claimed second place in 6A. Schuller also placed sixth in the high jump.

Kendrick Smallwood, Mesquite Poteet track and field

Smallwood capped one of the most decorated high school track and field careers in recent history by capturing a pair of medals at the state meet on Friday. Smallwood defended his state championship in the 5A 110 hurdles, crossing the finish line in a time of 13.44 seconds.  The Texas-signee added another medal later in the day when he claimed silver in the 300 hurdles.

Parker Herlehy, Frisco Independence baseball

The Knights, in their inaugural postseason appearance, are moving on to the Class 5A Region II quarterfinals for the first time ever and Herlehy has played a large role. With its season on the line on Friday, Herlehy threw a complete-game shutout, scattering four hits and striking out four in a 1-0 win over Woodrow Wilson. On Saturday, Herlehy had a pair of RBIs as Independence completed its comeback with a 8-4 victory to win the series.

Check out the stories below to see recent winners of the Star Local Media Athlete of the Week:

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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