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Ruidoso senior Josiah Polendo loves a challenge.  This three-sport student-athlete has been up for them his whole life…and he’s succeeded at many.

Last year, Polendo decided to play football.  It was the first time he played at the high school level.  It couldn’t have gone any better.  Polendo and the Warriors walked off the field his junior year with the blue trophy in hand at the end of the season.  “It was a good experience because we won state, so it was pretty fun,” he said.  He played receiver and then, at the last minute, linebacker.  “I’ll tell you a funny story,” Polendo described.  “A week before the game, they talked to me and said, ‘You’re going to play linebacker in the state game.’  I was like, ‘What?’  It was pretty crazy, but it was cool.”

This winter, Polendo suited up for another season of basketball.  Basketball is his first love.  His passion for the game started at an early age because of a challenge he had in mind.  “My older brother started playing basketball.  I was probably like 4 or 5 (years old).  I saw him play and I always wanted to beat him.  I just started playing basketball from there.  It’s a fun sport.”

The senior says this year’s basketball team is fast and dangerous in transition.  “Our defense is pretty good too…sometimes,” he joked. When basketball is over, Josiah will take to the track.  Last season he competed in the long jump, the 800m race and qualified for state in the 4x400m relay (he was the anchor leg).

No matter the sport, Josiah puts his whole heart into everything he does.  “Basketball, I have heart for basketball.  If I play football, I have heart for football. Track, I have heart for it. School, I have heart for school. Without school I wouldn’t be able to be an athlete.”

Josiah hopes to study engineering in college.  No matter the challenge, he’s up for it.  Polendo and the Ruidoso basketball team will play Silver on Saturday at 5pm in the 1st round of the state basketball championships.


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