The next three years for Granger High athletics will be interesting as freshman Johnny Ryder looks to compound the success he experienced in his first year at the Central Texas campus.
On the verge of his sophomore year, Ryder made quite an impression as a ninth grade member of the Lions varsity football, basketball, baseball, and track teams.
“He’s a really good athlete for us,” Granger Independent School District athletic director and head high school football coach Walt Brock told Texas Scorecard.
On the gridiron, Ryder played quarterback, wide receiver, and safety, earning District 13-2A Newcomer of the Year and Second Team honors. He tossed two touchdown passes in a playoff game.
Standing 6-foot-2, Ryder led the basketball team in rebounds, as well as registered double digits per game in that category and points. According to Brock, Ryder “really impressed” in one of the toughest districts for basketball in the Lone Star State.
And adding to his reputation as a “freshman phenom,” Ryder lettered in baseball as a right fielder and starred in track.
Brock’s relationship with Ryder goes back to even before the latter enrolled at Granger High. The second-year AD also coached Ryder in junior high school.
“We talk about always doing what’s right, we talk about taking care of our academics and acting right in the classroom, and acting right in the hallways and away from the field and at home,” said Brock. “He exemplifies all that. He’s starting as a young guy to be a leader vocally, but he’s also a leader physically by what he does.”
It is safe to assume that Ryder is a jack of all trades since he is also actively involved in the theater department. Brock said that his protégé competed in the University Interscholastic League one-act play competition.
As Ryder continues with high school, Brock wants him to keep a sharp focus on academics. Older brother Lee, who also played under Brock, will graduate salutatorian of the Granger Class of 2019.
“He’s got a good family,” said the AD.