By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Rachael Malooly, a 2020 Green Bay East High School graduate, will be remembered mostly for her volleyball skills, but it’s her kicking prowess that turned heads last season on the football team.
Playing both volleyball and football during the fall of her senior year, Rachael, the daughter of Sarah and Duffy Malooly, said the effort was worth it.
“I’d do school all day, then go from volleyball practice to football,” she said. “The coaches were flexible and supportive and had it set up to work that way. It was lots of fun but also stressful at times.”
Malooly, who also played soccer at East, said she can kick a 35-yard field goal.
“I tried a field goal in a game once, but it was mostly extra points,” she said. “At first, I was given some grief by the guys on the team – football is a different environment compared to playing volleyball with girls. It was weird to start, but none of (the guys) could kick, so they had to accept it.”
Both of her parents grew up outside the Green Bay area and were involved in sports during their younger years.
“My dad did basketball and soccer, and my mom played basketball,” said Malooly, who describes herself as nice, athletic and funny. “My sister Emma, who is three years older than me, runs cross country and track at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I’ve seen her run enough to know the sport wasn’t for me.”
She’ll be attending Edgewood College, a Division III school in Madison beginning this fall to play volleyball, with the hopes of becoming a child life specialist.
“It was a last-minute decision,” Malooly said. “My high school coach contacted Edgewood’s coach, and they needed defensive players, so I was offered a position on the team.”
Child life specialists are pediatric healthcare professionals who work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness and disability.
She said beating West De Pere her senior year in five sets was her most memorable sports moment.
“My most embarrassing sports moment occurred at a volleyball team-bonding event,” said Malooly. “I burned my finger with a hot glue gun.”
In her spare time, she likes watching sports (Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks), being outside, hiking, cooking, walking her dogs, working out, watching television, science, cookies and cream ice cream, the month of May, the phone app Instagram and restaurants Qdoba and Plae Bistro.
Malooly said she’ll have fond memories of attending East.
“I loved it,” said Malooly, who would like to visit Iceland, Greece and Spain someday. “I enjoyed the diversity of the student population and the teachers and kids were helpful and nice.”