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Coffee County’s Ruehling inks to play basketball at UVA Wise

Senior guard Jalie Ruehling (no. 12).

The ultimate goal for Jalie Ruehling all along has been to play collegiate basketball.

There have certainly been obstacles – including a torn ACL, a broken leg and an ankle surgery over the past two years. But the senior guard has overcome them in a big way.

The Coffee County Central senior on Wednesday signed to play college basketball for the University of Virginia at Wise Cavaliers (UVA Wise).

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“When people say when you know, you know … and I just knew,” explained Ruehling. “The coaches, the team atmosphere. I just loved everything about it. It’s far enough to get away, but I can come home whenever I need to.”

UVA Wise is a Division II school in Wise, Virginia. The Cavaliers play in the South Atlantic Conference.

Ruehling was a four-year starter at point guard for the Coffee County Lady Raiders, helping to lead CHS to four consecutive district titles. She averaged just over 8 points per game in the 2022-23 season that saw Coffee County reach as far as no. 2 in the state Associated Press poll.

“I’ve said it a thousand times – moving to (Coffee County) was the best decision I’ve ever made,” added Ruehling. “Coach Cope, the team … I made my best friends here.”

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Ruehling tore her ACL during summer camp prior to her junior season and fought her way back to the court for the Lady Raiders before Christmas. She has been known to Lady Raider fans for her unmatched hustle and constant motor.

“It’s rewarding for us as a program when you see our players have opportunities to continue playing basketball and continue there academics at a higher level,” said CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope. “This is just an indication of not only the quality basketball players that our program is generating, but that they are quality students, too. We are proud for Jalie and we are so grateful for all her contributions to Lady Raider basketball over these past four years.

“We are not only losing a point guard but we are losing a family member,” added Cope. “But my grocery bill will be a lot cheaper with Tarpley, Chloe and Jalie at college.”

Ruehling said her major is currently undetermined but that she is considering pre-med.

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Ruehling’s signing makes three Lady Raiders seniors who have signed to play college. Senior post Chloe Gannon has inked with Southern Indiana and Emaleigh Tarpley has signed with Cumberland.

Senior Alivia Reel is expected to sign later this spring with Chattanooga State.

Coffee County senior Jalie Ruehling signs her letter of intent to play college basketball at UVA Wise. Pictured are, front from left, father Jamie Ruehling, Jalie and mom Amanda Ruehling. Back row from left, CHS coaches Rece Chumley, Matt Vinson, Joe Pat Cope and Anita Gannon.

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