ST. CLOUD - This week's All-Star Student of the Week is St. Cloud Apollo Senior Riley Johnson. He started playing power soccer over ten years ago with the courage center. He now plays with the Minnesota Magic Power Soccer team. Last year he made the USA power soccer U18 team. They took first place while playing in Paris.

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Riley Johnson
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

"That was really exciting. It's a whole different experience that I got to play in against other players from around the world. It was just a really unique experience," says Riley.

This year he tried out for the National Team.

"I'm on that now. I was very excited," says Riley, "It's an honor to play alongside the world's best athletes."

This is Riley's first time on the national team. The USA has won the last two world cups. The first in Tokyo in 2007, and then in Paris in 2011. Riley has 11 year of experience in Power Soccer, and hopes that experience can help Team USA to a third World Cup.

I love the competition, because I like watching sports, and so it gives me the independence. It's completely my own play, and I love competing against people. I enjoy it.

Riley Johnson
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

While Riley's involvement is very impressive, he does this while also pushing his studies to the max.

"I'm taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Literature and composition," says Riley, and that's just the start of the list. He was in more AP classes last year. He says he is looking to get ahead in the game because he plans on going into mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota next fall.

"I got accepted a month ago. A teacher suggested to me that I'd be good at designing things. I want to build things for assisted technologies to help people like me make their lives easier," says Riley.

One of my favorite things about Riley is he doesn't make excuses.

That's a quote from Mike Berndt, one of Riley's teachers at Apollo.

"In the classroom, when he missed for power soccer, he made up his work better than anyone else I've had," says Berndt, "He's motivated, and he will work until the job is done."

Ken Blattner also works with Riley.

"He's just an amazing person. I wish we could clone him, his personality, his desire to learn, his desire to excel," says Blattner, "I think the international soccer thing is just one indication of how driven he is to be the best at what he can do, and go beyond what most people would say that he should be even be attempting. Riley sets no limits for himself."

If you know a student like Riley, nominate them below as WJON's All-Star Student.
It can be any student, in any grade, participating in any activity.

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