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Student in the Spotlight: Rylann ‘RJ’ Lewis

Sophomore, Bonners Ferry High School

Rylann ‘RJ’ Lewis, Sophomore: Bonners Ferry High School


By Christian Weaner

If there is an event or activity going on at Bonners Ferry High School (BFHS), then there is a strong chance Rylann “RJ” Lewis is involved in one way or another.

A sophomore at BFHS, RJ has her hand in numerous sports and extracurricular activities, ranging from wrestling and volleyball to leadership and FFA. And no matter where she is or what she is doing, RJ is all about connecting with her classmates and encouraging others.“I love to put a smile on people’s faces, whether I’m cheering on my teammates and giving inspirational speeches or inspiring the younger generation,” RJ explained.

Already a talented outside hitter and setter for BFHS volleyball and the Sandpoint-based North Idaho Volleyball Club teams, RJ took on a new challenge this winter, joining the Badger wrestling team at the 138-pound weight class.

“Wrestling has been one of the most impactful sports in my life,” RJ reflected. “It's such a tough sport … but it's made me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to [and] I’m stronger than my greatest obstacles.”

“I will be forever grateful for my wrestling coaches, Travis Stolley, Travis Liermann, Kyle Watts and Scott Dodd, and my incredible girls on the team that I’m proud to call my teammates, friends and family,” she added. “They have helped me grow in the sport of wrestling and as a person outside of school/sports.”

Outside of school and sports, RJ enjoys skiing and snowboarding, hunting and fishing, and taking care of her beloved horse, Moxie.

RJ has come to appreciate the beauty of Boundary County and all the opportunities she is afforded to spend time outdoors year-round.

“I am in love with the scenery here,” RJ emphasized. “Whether it’s a rainy day or bright and sunny, I love it.”

As far as future plans, RJ has not quite decided her path after high school yet, but she does have a few options in mind.

“For a very long time, I’ve been dead set on going into the medical field working toward being a pediatric oncologist,” RJ examined. “However, my love of horses has grown, and I have been looking into hippotherapy, which is equine-assisted therapy where I could still be within the medical field but continue to be around horses.”

For now, RJ is plugged into her school and community here in Bonners Ferry, and she is focused on soaking up every opportunity she has to encourage and champion others, just as they do for her.

“Being a part of a lot of activities (inside school and outside of school), I’ve come to realize that the support that comes from the community is amazing,” she concluded.

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