The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

Best of SNO Stats
2399
Published
Stories
591
Participating
Schools
350
Published
Schools
Publication Tips
We'll be the first to admit that getting your story published on Best of SNO is hard. We receive over 100 submissions per day, and only about 15 percent are selected for publication.

There are multiple factors that come into play when deciding if a story is Best of SNO-worthy. From engaging writing and unique angles to well thought out multimedia elements, more considerations are made than it might look.

If you're having a hard time achieving that Best of SNO distinction, check out our past newsletters to get a better idea of the type of content we're looking for.
March 21, 2024
January 26, 2024
November 16, 2023
March 1, 2023
January 10, 2023
November 1, 2022

Riley riles up fans in Muay Thai ring

Riley+Robertson+%E2%80%9924+won+his+first+Muay+Thai+match+on+April+13.
Xochitl Churchill ’24
Riley Robertson ’24 won his first Muay Thai match on April 13.

Riley Robertson ’24 stepped into the ring with determination, chin tucked and red-gloved fists up. He and his opponent quickly touched gloves in recognition, then the match started. 

His opponent, Daniel Vidal, opened with rapid roadhouse kicks to the side, while Robertson dodged and parried the kicks as best he could, hitting Vidal with a right hook to the face. This went on for three rounds, a combative dance of dodges and strikes done with skillful form and calculation. 

After a close match, the two stood next to the judge, who thrust Robertson’s hand into the air, announcing his victory.

I started training Muay Thai at Evolve as a complete beginner in February 2023… It’s amazing exercise, and I find it to be very therapeutic when I have too much on my mind.

— Riley Robertson '24

On April 13, Robertson participated in and won his first Muay Thai match at Evolve Training Center, South San Francisco, after a year of hard training. 

Story continues below advertisement

“I started training Muay Thai at Evolve as a complete beginner in February 2023… It’s amazing exercise, and I find it to be very therapeutic when I have too much on my mind,” Robertson said. 

Muay Thai is a martial art known as the “Art of 8 Limbs,” as it utilizes 8 points of contact through elbow, knees, punches, and kicks which differs from similar martial arts such as boxing where they use only fists 

It dates back to the early 20th century, taking elements from Muay Boran, a much older traditional Thai martial art, once used on the battlefield. 

“It’s a practice of discipline and a way to build strong bonds with other people working towards a common goal to improve,” said Robertson. 

He continued,  “Muay Thai is also about fighting in a way that is respectful and graceful because at the end of the night, you’re not any greater than anyone else in the gym”.

The match consisted of three rounds, each scored based on unblocked hits that could cause damage to the opponent, and the posture and form of each fighter’s technique in the match, as well as who controlled the flow of the match more. 

Vidal’s technique was more punch-based, grappling Robertson’s punches with one arm and hooking him with the other. 

“I’m more of a boxing background; a bit more of a Muay Mat [a style of Muay Thai], which focuses more on punches than kicks,” Vidal said. 

Robertson, however, took a more kick-heavy approach; punching and teeping Vidal into a corner, then going in for a roundhouse kick to the liver, an extremely painful place to be struck. 

“I would say my Muay Thai style probably falls into the style ‘muay dtae’, which heavily uses kicks,” he said. 

This technique won Robertson the first round, achieving two knockdowns, one through a straight-on kick to Vidal’s side, and another by knocking him off balance as he tried to catch Robertson’s foot and then kick his other side. The score ended in Robertson’s favor, 10-9. 

At first I thought he might lose but he ended up doing really well…it shows that if you train really hard you can complete your goals.

— Rory Robertson '28

Nonetheless, things took a turn in the second round, as Vidal dodged more of Robertson’s attacks, winning the round 9-10.  By the third round, Vidal had more control of the fight and got more hits in, yet Robertson continued to block and hit back with good posture and form. Although the third round went to Vidal 9-10 again, the judges awarded Robertson extra points for good form and his two knockdowns in the first round, giving him the win for the overall match. 

Rory Robertson ’28, Robertson’s younger brother, said, “At first I thought he might lose but he ended up doing really well…it shows that if you train really hard you can complete your goals.”

Overall, Robertson was just glad to have a good match with his opponent and come out of it with a new experience to learn from. 

Reflecting on what he learned, he said, “You have to put your ego aside and show humility so you can properly respect your opponent…It’s not about whether I win or lose, but whether I win or lose with grace.” 

This story was originally published on The Crusader on May 14, 2024.