Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Ricely keeps team laughing

By Emily Leclair

Oct. 21, 2015

If he’s not busy playing midfield for the UW-Whitewater men’s soccer team or giving spontaneous pre-game speeches, then you might find him walking around his house making weird noises, and if that doesn’t work, just listen for his laugh.

Senior captain Kyle Ricely has spent the past four years playing soccer for the ’Hawks. His name might not be in the spotlight for scoring a goal every game, but his role on the field shines for his teammates.

“As a player, he works hard and is the unseen hero who doesn’t get recognized for what he does,” junior Chris Roche said. “He’s sort of the guy who doesn’t get any glory of scoring often, but he’s the one who does a lot of the work in midfield and a lot of defending.”

Ricely started kicking a ball when he was 6 years old, and has been playing soccer ever since. He was captain of his Glenbard East High School soccer team his senior year, and played for the Chicago Fire Developmental Academy in Chicago, but he faced a setback his junior year that almost kept him off the field for good.

Between weightlifting and a lot of playing time, Ricely developed a stress fracture to his L5 vertebrae that put him on the bench for most of his junior season, and into his senior year.

Due to his injury, Ricely was not planning on playing college soccer, but decided to give it one last chance by attending the UW-Whitewater men’s soccer college ID camps.

“I wasn’t planning on it because my injury was pretty bad,” Ricely said.  “I just decided to come to camp to see if I had a shot and coach liked me so I stuck to it.”

The camp was the first time Ricely met head coach Tony Guinn, who would become Ricely’s coach for the next four years at UW-W.

“He was really respectful, he was hardworking and he was tough,” Guinn said. “He was the only kid out of 30 kids who walked up to me at the end and shook my hand and said ‘thank you.’”

Ricely didn’t see a lot of time on the field his freshman and sophomore years at UW-W, but he put in the work in the weight room and during the off season to earn himself a starting position his junior year, and a bond with Guinn that will last a lifetime.

“We’ve been through life experiences together, and he’s one of those kids who helped me when my son died, and he was there through all that,” Guinn said. “That’s the kind of stuff you never really get over, you never really forget.”

Ricely credits Guinn for helping him on the field, since Guinn played midfield as well, and off the field with life experiences.

“He’s kind of like a dad figure to all of us because he’s so nice and he teaches you a lot of about soccer, but mostly about just life because he’s had some hard times in his life,” Ricely said. “He’s taught us a lot about just being alive and enjoying every minute that we have.”

Ricely stays focused when he is on the field, but off the field, he’s guaranteed to get a laugh out of his coach or his teammates.

“Before every game he does a pre-match speech and if he doesn’t have it sort of mentally prepared, he tries to do the speech faster than he thinks and he just gets it all wrong,” Roche said. “He gets so pumped and so excited before the game, what he’s trying to say doesn’t come out.”

Not only does Ricely entertain his teammates on and off the field, but he keeps his roommates seniors Jordan Wilkins, Sam Novak, Roche and junior Jordan Kayser entertained as well.

“He makes weird noises around the house all the time,” Roche said, who added that Ricely’s laugh is one of the funniest things about him.

He may be the silent defender in the midfield, but off the field he’s bound to get a laugh out of you.

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Founded 1901
Ricely keeps team laughing