Cole Takes Gatorade Bath

A couple of days ago, <b>Ryan Cole</b> received a piece of great news. He won the Gatorade State Player of the Year for the state of Washington, and the 6-0, 207-pound running back from Port Orchard follows Tony Coats as the only two POY ever from South Kitsap High School.

"It's a great honor to have, getting voted as the best player in the state," Cole told Dawgman.com yesterday. "I was really honored and excited to get it. My parents were excited too, especially my mom."

Now that football is done for Ryan, he's still doing what he can to make sure he stays in good physical shape. "I have some running programs I'm doing for track and I'm going to lift weights Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," he said. He'll be running the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x400 events in the spring for the Wolves. His personal best in the 100 meters is 10.78.

In the back of his mind though lies the thoughts about what could have been for South on the football field. They lost to Bethel 48-18 in the playoffs two weeks ago. "Personally I think I had a pretty good year and I had a lot of fun," he said.

Now that his season is complete, the work ahead for Cole includes taking some official visits of the colleges he's interested in attending. Ryan's itinerary includes stops to Washington on December 7th, Oregon State on January 4th and Northwestern on January 11th. Cole also expects to visit Cal but has no date set.

Cole hasn't worried too much about his trips, but can't hide his curiosity. "I'm thinking about it, but I'm not sure what to expect," he said. "They should be fun...and new." All of his favorites have offered plus the University of Oregon, but the Ducks want Cole as a defensive player, so they are last on his list.

Coaches have also been finding their way to Port Orchard to visit Ryan and his family. Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel visited on Sunday. "Pretty much the same things," Ryan said when asked about the contents of the conversation. "He wants me to go to attend U-Dub. He wants me to run the ball. He was real straightforward with his opinions. He involves the whole family when he comes to talk." Coach Dunbar from Northwestern came by on Monday. "It was good. He shared some info about academics and told me where they are recruiting me at."

We'll be in touch with Ryan after he takes his official trip to Washington.

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