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Gig Harbor's Riley Peschek is SBLive's WaFd Bank Class 3A Senior Athlete of the Year

Tireless 3A South Sound Conference player of year in softball also was one of state's top basketball rebounders

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive Washington – honoring the WaFd Bank 2022-23 senior male and female athletes of the year for each classification.

Because the SBLive crew gets so immersed in specific sports seasons, it is nice to take a step back to pick a statewide honor from a broader perspective.

The criteria isn’t too expansive: The starting point is finding seniors who are all-league/all-state performers in two or more sports. Totality of career is also a factor. So is administrator/coach/fan recommendation.

Enjoy as we honor some of Washington’s top multi-sport senior athletes!

Riley Peschek, Gig Harbor softball, class of 2023

The request would come morning, noon and night.

When Jim Peschek remodeled his Fox Island home in 2015, it came with a carefully-constructed detached garage that hosted an indoor batting cage and basketball halfcourt.

It was also the place where father and daughter spent countless hours perfecting two athletic crafts - in basketball and softball.

And the workouts were usually prompted by Riley Peschek, a three-sport standout at Gig Harbor High School who is headed off to the University of Montana to play softball.

She is also SBLive WA's Class 3A senior female athlete of the year for 2022-23.

"The most satisfying part about all of this is, it could be after dinner and me sitting on the couch, and she will come downstairs and said, 'Can we go in shop and hit for 15-20 minutes ... or shoot free throws?'" said Jim Peschek, who is also her softball coach.

"I just remember standing there and thinking, 'Man, this is awesome. She wants to do this. She wants to be successful."

Riley Peschek is a softball-smashing and slick-fielding marvel at shortstop. Few around the state are better two-way players. She also starts for the top team in arguably the best club program in the region - the Oregon-based Northwest Bullets.

And yet, many are going to remember Peschek's athletic legacy with the Tides most on the basketball court - specifically as an undersized post-playing (5-foot-10) rebounding fiend.

"I think my rebounds were a lot more impressive than my softball home runs," Peschek said. "Being able to get every single rebound, you have to be looking for the ball. And my dad taught me about trajectory coming off the rim - and wanting the ball."

In 19 of the team's 24 games, Peschek registered double-digit rebounding totals, including five games of 20 or more rebounds. The all-3A South Sound Conference first-teamer set the single-game school record with 26 rebounds in a bi-district playoff victory over Central Kitsap.

"Her athletic ability and knowing where to be for rebounding position was crazy," said Mike Guinasso, the former Tides' girls basketball coach who recently took a new job at Roosevelt. "Her game didn't change from freshman year to senior year - she got rebounds and showed people, 'I am the best player on this team.'"

Added Peschek: "During the season, my coach came up to me and said, 'We need you to be a dawg and get every rebound.' ... and I loved it."

Peschek said she took that same relentless work ethic to her primary sport - softball.

"If there is a ball going up the middle, I am getting it," Peschek said. "If there is a pop fly to get, I will get it.

"I am going to work my hardest to get that ball."

Riley Peschek, Gig Harbor girls basketball, class of 2023


School: Gig Harbor.

Sports: Soccer, basketball, softball.

Next step: Signed to play softball at University of Montana (NCAA D1) where she will study business administration.

Senior-year highlights: Started at defender for girls soccer team that captured the 3A South Sound Conference championship and was top seed in the District 3/4 tournament. Tides advanced to the WIAA Class 3A tournament, losing to Seattle Prep in the first round. It was her only season playing on varsity team. ... Voted to 3A SSC first team for girls basketball as a forward, averaging 16.0 points, 14.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Set school record for single-game rebounds (26) and single-season rebounds (328). Also had 18 double-double performances - and one triple-double (13 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists) against River Ridge. Led Tides to back-to-back loser-out victories in District 3/4 tournament to advance to the regional round of the WIAA Class 3A championships where they were lost to Auburn Mountainview. Invitee for postseason Girls All-State Basketball Classic and Cloud 9 all-star game. ... Voted 3A SSC most valuable player in softball, hitting .574 with 36 extra-base hits (including 13 home runs), 56 RBI and 42 runs - and hit for the cycle in a game against North Thurston. She also had 135 putouts on defense at shortstop. Was named to all-area first team by The (Tacoma) News Tribune. Was named to SBLive WA's all-classification, all-state honorable mention team. As team captain, led Tides to the quarterfinal playoff round in both the District 3/4 and WIAA Class 3A tournaments. ... Named Tacoma Athletic Commission's "Sis Names" Award winner ($10,000) as outstanding female athlete of the year in Pierce County for 2022-23.

Career accomplishments: Three-year starter in basketball and softball, and one-year starter in soccer - earning nine varsity letters. ... Won a pair of 3A SCC titles (basketball in 2021-22, and soccer in 2022) and participated in the WIAA championships four times (twice in basketball's regional round in 2022 and 2023, and once apiece this year in soccer and softball). ... Was twice an all-league first-team selection as a junior (2021-22) and senior (2022-23). Two-time invitee for postseason all-star games. ... Was a three-time all-league first-team selection at shortstop in softball (4A SPSL in 2021 and 3A SSC in 2022 and last spring), finishing with a career batting average of .630 with 25 home runs, 115 RBI, 101 runs and 34 stolen bases. Her fielding percentage is .944. ... Played club softball for Oregon-based Northwest Bullets on nationally-ranked 18U Campos team.

School/community achievements: 3.70 GPA; volunteered in the "Particular Education Program" by serving as a peer (and physical-education) mentor for special-needs students; volunteered as an instructor for youth softball programs in Gig Harbor; in spare time, enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, surfing, hiking, scuba diving, fishing and hunting.