Making the Grade: Ryan Worrell
FRISCO – One of the most gratifying things about teaching is the opportunity to bring something new to your students – whether it be a new book, a new language, or a new bit of knowledge for them to treasure. Ryan Worrell did just that by bringing a whole new sport to Summit Middle School.Worrell introduced the sport of lacrosse to the school four years ago. “There was too much snow outside when we started, so we played indoor lacrosse,” he recalled. Lacrosse is just one of many in Worrell’s extensive arsenal of sports. This renaissance man of athletic ability is also proficient in football, basketball, skiing, snowboarding, and lately, track and field. But it is primarily as a football coach that Worrell is collecting kudos these days. This year, he was appointed head coach of the Summit Middle School football program.
When he got the call, it was unexpected.”I was surprised, but very happy,” he said.When Worrell first came to Summit Middle School five years ago as a physical education instructor, he knew he would probably do some coaching as well. He soon got a chance to prove his versatility. In addition to becoming assistant coach for the two football teams, Worrell was called upon to coach basketball, as well as a sport he had little familiarity with until coming to the school – track and field. “I learned that one on the job,” he confessed.His introduction of lacrosse to the school was met with great enthusiasm.”There are a lot of hockey players here who have good stick skills, and they all wanted to play,” he said.
In addition to his new duties as head football coach, Worrell still finds time to coach one of the school’s intramural basketball teams. The different teams play each other within the school, and if Worrell’s team always seems to do well, it’s because he has his own secret for success.”I try to get the football players on my basketball team because they’re in better shape,” he said.The Dillon resident still plays tournament lacrosse in Breckenridge, and goes snowboarding in Keystone when he’s not coaching. He doesn’t see anything unusual in his unique athletic versatility.”I’ve just always enjoyed sports,” he said modestly.GOALS: I’d like to win both (sixth-/seventh-grade and eighth-grade) football championships this year. We haven’t done it yet. The seventh-grade team went to double overtime in last year’s championships, but lost.
METHODS: I use a lot of positive motivation, and I encourage practice.CHALLENGES: Mentally, we need to be more prepared. We could have won the games that we’ve lost so far this season if we hadn’t made mistakes. STRENGTHS: We’ve got some good kickers this year. A lot of former soccer players have joined up.WHAT IS THE ONE THING ABOUT YOU THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR STUDENTS IF THEY KNEW ABOUT IT? I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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