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Hilldale

Hilldale’s Rylan Nail – Athlete of the month Presented by Nissan Of Muskogee

Football on the high school level often requires athletes to compete as two-way players. But for Rylan Nail, a senior at Hilldale High School, it’s a three-way starter’s role that keeps number-35 always on the field. Taking his touches at fullback or leaving his mark on opponents with bruising tackles at defensive end, the ever ready Hornet athlete provides a triple option of effort as the 6-foot-4, 220 pounder solidifies the special teams as the long snapper. “When I was in middle school, coach asked who wants to try to snap on kicks. I volunteered and have been working on my skills ever since,” said Nail. “I’ve learned you have to snap the football on point and on time for everything to work.”

Rylan is part of a family tradition of Hilldale football including his two older brothers, Dakota who played in the offensive line and Jaron who was the Hornets quarterback in 2017. “Growing up it has been a competition to win between the three of us,” said the youngest sibling. “But both of them have always encouraged me to become a difference maker.”

His current day coach, David Blevins, is also a fan of Rylan’s efforts and echoes the older brothers support. “He was ready to answer the call when his chance to play came,” said the Hornets football coach. “But Rylan is more than just a competitor, he’s a leader by example, on and off the field.”

The “big man” on the basketball team and first baseman in baseball, Nail values the opportunity to set the standard of performance. “Leadership is something I strive to offer in sports as well as off the field,” said Nail. “For me, an effective leader can only prove himself through hard work and staying positive no matter the challenge.”

Or as Nail confirms, he aims to follow the advice of retired Navy seal, David Goggins. “Don’t listen to the little voices in your head telling you to sit back. You always have to push through.”   

And with his refuse-to-surrender commitment, Rylan Nail proves that character counts. “It’s not your looks or the words you say, it’s your actions that prove who you truly are,” Nail said in a modest voice. “I want my legacy to be known that I always tried to do the right thing by being reliable and willing to help everyone.” 

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