Rider Relishes Time on the Field

ST. MARYS — Senior Roughrider Luke Leffel, 17, is all about sports, the outdoors and meeting people.

These passions are reflected in the many activities and organizations in which he participates, both within the walls of Memorial High School and outside it.

Leffel is a member of the school Sportsmanship Committee. During his freshman year, one of Leffel’s peers recommended him for the committee and he went along with it.

“You get six people out of the whole school for the Western Buckeye League,” he said. “We meet every other month to talk about sportsmanship. We have speakers come in and they talk about their experiences (with that). We do activities, try to come up with ideas to make our league better and to promote sportsmanship. It’s awesome. You get to know a lot of people from around the league.”

Leffel is also involved in student council, where students organize and implement various activities within the school. Leffel likes that his opinion matters and that his ideas are considered.

“We do raffles,” he said.

“We run some assemblies. We do the Sweetheart’s Dance. At the end of the year, we have a fun day and we help organize all that. I like being involved and responsible for some of the school activities.”

Come spring and summer, Leffel can be found on the baseball diamond and in the soccer goal. He plays outfield for the Roughrider baseball team and has been on varsity since he was a junior.

“I’ve always liked to be outside and being active,” he said.

He has gained valuable leadership skills from playing baseball and soccer, but the best part of being on the two teams is that sense of family he gains from them.

“With soccer and baseball, it’s like a big family,” he said. “You’re with your friends a lot.”

Leffel said he loves the competition and pressure that comes with being in goal for his soccer team.

“I’ve been goalie most of my soccer career,” he said.

His sophomore year, he stepped up as goalie for the Riders and has not looked back.

“I like the responsibility of (being) a goalie and making crazy dives,” Leffel said.

His shining moment came on Senior Night, when the Riders beat a state-ranked Ottawa Glandorf team.

Another notable moment in his soccer career was when he beat the shutout record not once, but twice.

Outside of Memorial High School, Leffel is a member of the Auglaize County Junior Fair Board, where he and other members run the livestock, food, clothing and other projects.

“We make sure we find judges, ribbons — we run it,” he said. “I like the fair and I like putting my voice in and helping out.” Meeting people in that kind of setting from around the county is also a plus, he said.

His involvement in farm and agriculturally related activities originates from helping his family in raising pigs at their farm.

Leffel is a member of his own 4-H club for showing pigs, called the Noble Harvesters.

“We raise them at my house,” Leffel said. “We’re hog-producers, so I’ve been around (them) my whole life.”

After finishing the construction management degree he hopes to obtain from Bowling Green State University, Leffel plans on returning to St. Marys to take over his family’s farm.

“Hopefully (I can) incorporate my construction job in with it,” he said.