Ryan Anderson Interview

Ryan Anderson was rated by national scouting services as one of the top 25 players in Ohio during the winter of 2011. He had football scholarship offers from Pitt, Michigan State, Indiana, Kent State, Toledo, Akron and Cincinnati (to name a few). Ohio State and Michigan had him under consideration and were still evaluating him last spring. As a junior with a 3.4 GPA and college coaches calling and stopping by practice - Ryan was living his dream! He remained humble and well grounded throughout the recruiting process. Following a "Combine" workout last April (where he scored impressive numbers), Ryan complained of having a sore knee. The Kent Schools team doctor had x-rays taken and was concerned with the results. An orthopedic surgeon confirmed the worst, orthogenetic sarcoma (bone cancer) in his femur. The news was devastating to all. Throughout his diagnoses, chemo treatment and surgery - Ryan Anderson remained the positive force that kept us all from falling apart emotionally.

This fall, The Kent Roosevelt football players chose Ryan Anderson to serve as one of their team captains, knowing he could never play football again. It is indicative of the impact he had on others. Ryan is providing the Kent team with outstanding leadership from the sidelines. He is presently recovering from femur and knee surgery. He does extensive rehab and is undergoing 8 to 10 more weeks of chemo. The chemo makes Ryan very ill but he refuses to miss games. Two weeks ago Ryan got a three hour release from the hospital to attend a football game. He is an inspiration to us all.

From the The Kent Roosevelt High School Football Coaching Staff: As a coaching veteran [31 years as a head coach] I have worked with many outstanding young men. It is the Ryan Andersons and courageous student/athletes like him that truly make the game so special. Ryan's commitment to team and refusal to complain has helped us to redefine success. Ryan's future changed dramatically but not his spirit. He is no longer a "prized football recruit", but now his impact has broadened and taken on a more significant role. He has become an" inspirational leader" to us all.

As heart breaking as this story is, an additional "sub plot" off of the field has developed between two arch rival football teams that normally face each other only on the field. Kent Roosevelt High School and Ravenna High School will face each other at Ravenna Stadium in week 10 of high school football on October 28th. Both teams are 8-1 and playing for the championship of the Portage County League as well as the right to host a home playoff game the following week. Both coaches, all players and both communities have "teamed up" to raise money for the "Ryan Anderson" cancer fund ("Teaming up for a Cause - Never Let Your Guard Down"). The plan is to have a presentation of a check for the family as well as have the entire stadium filled with white shirts to show support for Ryan and his family.

This is the radio interview that took place on the Wills & Snyder in the Morning radio show on WTAM 10/27/2011 between head coaches Jim Lunardi and John Nemec.