OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A famous football coach once said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
If that’s true, one of Blue Valley West High School’s gridiron greats has his games figured out — all three of them, to be exact.
If there’s heat to be felt in the Jaguars’ huddle, it doesn’t come from its leader.
Ryan Ralston loves to win. The Blue Valley West senior has made a habit of leading his teams to success, no matter what sport he’s playing.
Ralston is no stranger to big goals, as witnessed in his third consecutive trip to the Kansas 5A football playoffs last season.
In March, shooting guard Ralston and the Jaguars advanced to the Class 6A state championship game as an upstart with only 15 victories, before falling only one win short of basketball gold.
And when the Jags made the state baseball title game against Olathe South in the spring, big number three was the starting pitcher, with a fastball peaking at 92 MPH.
“I’ve played all three since I was little,” Ralston said. “I’ve never been able to quit. It’s hard, as I’ve grown up, to go from sport-to-sport. There’s no offseason.”
Ralston has been a three-year starter at all three sports. All the success isn’t lost on Ralston’s football teammates. The 6-foot-4 quarterback has a team-first attitude, and a calming demeanor toward players who need his leadership.
“He shows that he has confidence,” Spencer Johannesman, Blue Valley West Wide Receiver, said. “When the quarterback has confidence, it carries over into the rest of the team as well.”
“He’s a humble kid,” Scott Wright, Blue Valley West’s 13th-year coach, said. “He doesn’t walk around school like he’s the big man on campus at all. He’s the guy who walks around trying to help the kids who need help.”
When asked which of the three sports he prefers, he says he likes the one he’s playing at that moment. The report card race means just as much to Ryan, as witnessed in a grade point average of 3.5 overall.
“Winning is what you want to do. It’s what you live for,” Ralston said. “All summer — in football — you’re working with your teammates. The one thing you want to do is win.”
Ralston tells FOX 4 he’s not sure where he’ll spend his college days yet, but so far, he has baseball scholarship offers in hand from Mizzou, Kansas State and Wichita State.