By Jack McCaffery
Despite the challenges, despite an extended offseason, despite all the worries and concerns that it might not happen at all, Jack Ryder had a feeling that he would have a senior season as the quarterback at Strath Haven.
That’s because he’s had that feeling his entire life.
“That was my plan,” Ryder said before a recent practice. “It was to play quarterback here.”
Ryder is the son of Derek Ryder, who played quarterback at Strath Haven. Derek is the son of Fred Ryder, who played quarterback for Nether Providence, which eventually grew to become Strath Haven. And in this particular season, and not just for the off-field bumps, Panthers coach Kevin Clancy is comforted by that legacy.
Challenged to rebuild both his offensive and defensive lines, Clancy has maintained a peaceful confidence that as long as there is a Ryder behind center, the stability that has defined Strath Haven football for decades will be safe.
“He’s experienced and his leadership has been outstanding,” Clancy said. “He’s done a great job with that. He has a strong arm. He has very good vision. He understands high school football and the passing game. He really knows where I want the ball to be thrown.