MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (WKBN) — You wouldn’t know it by the accolades, but competing in the shot put and discuss wasn’t always Mineral Ridge senior Clayton Butler’s strong suit.

“My friend, he told me one time, ‘you’re a big guy, you’re tall, you’re long,'” Butler said. “He’s like, ‘he’d be great for throwing discus,’ so I was like, all right, I’ll give it a go.”

Now with a couple of seasons under his belt, All-Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference and All-County honors later, throwing has shot up the list of sports for Clayton. He also earned six varsity letters between soccer and swimming.

“It’s hard to keep all of it together, but it’s fun. I love being here. I’d much rather be here than most other places, so it’s worth it,” Butler said.

Butler’s success translates outside of sports, too, where he serves as president of the Beta Club and is involved in the National Honors Society.

But most importantly, in the classroom, he’s set to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and has earned the title of Class of 2023 valedictorian.

“I feel like academics is a little bit easier. I mean, it definitely kind of coincides,” Butler said. “I try to be as good as I can here and in the classroom, I know that I can get all A’s and a 4.0, so I’m going to do whatever I can to do so.”

After graduation, Butler plans to study pre-med in college, already fulfilling dreams he had growing up in the Rams system.

“It was a tough road but it’s nice, you know, the feeling it’s great as a kid I never thought that I’d end up where I am now,” Butler said.

Mineral Ridge senior Clayton Butler is our Student Athlete of the Week.