Turning Pro


Tina Oakley

Photo provided by Cynthia Ricciotti

Cheyenne Leasure, Reporter

For some professional athletes, time management is something they may struggle with, especially if they are a student. That doesn’t seem to be the case for sophomore Cynthia Ricciotti though. Between school, homework, marching band, and disc golf, Ricciotti has succeeded at keeping up with each. Disc golf in particular is something that Ricciotti makes time for.

According to sophomore Danny Nichols, a fellow disc golfer, disc golf is similar to traditional golf, except instead of hitting a ball, the player throws a disc. It is based off the same scoring system as traditional golf. Disc golf also isn’t as widely known as traditional golf, but is slowly growing in popularity.

Ricciotti has been playing disc golf for around four years, starting in her sixth grade year of school. She initially signed up to play for Oakland Middle School’s sixth grade intramural sports program; however, it was canceled due to lack of interest so she continued on her own. Ricciotti practices the sport every evening when she can, still keeping her other activities in mind. Her time management skills are something that impress her older sister, senior Mary Ricciotti.

“Being able to tackle so many things along with disc golf such as marching band with me, and then being apart of the pit for Beauty and the Beast. Take it from somebody who knows, doing a lot of things all at once is stressful, shes taking it pretty well,” said Mary Ricciotti.

Ricciotti said that one of the best experiences she has had in her disc golfing career was winning the Junior World Championship over the summer in July, 2018. Not only did Ricciotti win the Junior World Championship, but she won it in the town she said is her favorite place to compete: Emporia, Kansas.

“It’s a really small town, but they have really nice courses,” said Ricciotti, “It’s also the home of my sponsor.”

Ricciotti’s sponsors include Dynamic Discs, Whale Sacs, and Smokin Aces. Each of her sponsors sell disc golf apparel.

Ricciotti said that turning pro at a disc golf pro tournament in August was another huge experience for her. It’s not surprising at how talented and successful Ricciotti is, she has shown a huge amount of dedication for the sport. Ricciotti said you get out of disc golfing what you put into it dedication wise, meaning if you work hard and practice, you are more likely to succeed than if you never practice. Ricciotti’s older sister, Mary Ricciotti said Ricciotti has shown one hundred percent dedication.

“It’s indescribable, you can tell she wants every win,” said Mary Ricciotti.

Ricciotti’s older sister isn’t the only one to notice her talent. Nichols said when he saw Ricciotti compete, she was excellent.

“She plays really well under pressure, and she plays really well against other adults. She’s really well mannered and nice, and overall a really good person,” said Nichols.

Ricciotti’s father has been a big help in her success with disc golfing. He’s one of the people that  Ricciotti said has inspired her, and is someone she looks up to. He has coached her in disc golfing throughout the years, and has taken her to ninety-nine percent of her tournaments.

Although disc golf is a huge part of Ricciotti’s life, her other activities are important as well. She uses time management skills to make sure that everything she needs to do is done in a timely manner, without losing the dedication she has for disc golf. Ricciotti’s dedication and practice has paid off because of all her accomplishments. Ricciotti is an example of how important hard work is.

Photo provided by Cynthia Ricciotti