VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — First Colonial boys soccer, Jack Ruddy didn't have the season he'd hoped for this past spring. The senior, like many had their season cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, but his talent on and off the field hasn't gone unnoticed. Recently the Virginia High School League named Ruddy the Class 5 Male Athlete Of The Year. He was among 19 named statewide, and it's considered the honor given to students who excel in the classroom and community. "It definitely means I'm doing the right thing and taking the right steps in terms of improving as a soccer player and a better person", he says.
Ruddy was involved in Operation Smile and traveled to Italy and Costa Rica teaching children about personal hygiene to CPR and found the experience life changing. He'll be heading off to play in college at North Carolina-Wilmington majoring in International Business, but his times playing soccer overseas and connecting with others will remain with him. "I've always wanted to be my own hero. Obviously I look up to a lot of athletes that are playing professional", he says. "I kind of want to be the person that my past self and say I want to be that person."