Student Athlete Spotlight Podcast is Sponsored by Jerry’s Seafood of Bowie
LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The Student Athlete Spotlight, hosted by local Coach Aaron Brady, invited Gary Wynn, football coach of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, on the podcast to recap his experiences and talk about the school.
When asked about the school and why he is there, Coach Wynn responded, “There’s a love that’s poured into the kids, and there’s a mission that happens there. Every school is going to have good teachers, and most schools are going to have good coaches, but it’s more than that at the school. We are a college preparatory school, so when I look around and see what happens there, kids are prepared for college. That’s the biggest difference and that’s what makes it unique.”
The roadmap to success for their football team also looks unique. Coach Wynn talked about team meals and how the school trains.
“Every Friday for home football games, the team mom organization, the touchdown club they provide those meals,” Wynn said. “We sit there, everyone eats together, athletic trainers, they come and eat. That’s something that’s unique to Ryken and some of the private schools is we have two full-time athletic trainers. They’re there, they’re eating.”
“The people that we have in the organization who support have been phenomenal, and quite honestly, the transition wouldn’t have been as smooth without them,” Wynn continued.
Another way the team brings its students together is through travel football and overnights. On their overnights, they set up stations where groups of students work together to complete different tasks. Coach Wynn mentioned that his favorite was the chicken noddle soup station, which provided the whole team with a midnight snack.
“So after the stations, we did a midnight snack. We did a knights of the round table at midnight. We had a team prayer. It was a fantastic experience and one of my favorite parts of that night was that I watched a kid who normally sits by himself and doesn’t talk with anybody, only plays football. I watched him get taught how to play lacrosse from one of his freshmen teammates. He’s a junior. These kids, they never talked to each other, but that’s what this is about. It’s about the experiences,” said Wynn. “So why do we go on the trips? So that we can cultivate those experiences again. So those guys can do something outside of their norm.”
Knights of the round table is a team-building exercise that the Ryken team does before every game.
“Our mascot is the knights, for those that don’t know. The kids get up in a circle before a game. It is an opportunity to be vulnerable. It’s an opportunity to say what’s going on in your life. It’s an opportunity to have a moment with your brothers beyond football before you get out there and you go do something together,” Wynn explained.
Brady ended the podcast episode by saying, “The community doesn’t realize how lucky they are to have Coach Wynn and other coaches who care so much about the kids. Most people don’t realize the amount of time and effort… and what it takes.”
On the next episode of Student Athlete Spotlight, Aaron Brady talks one-on-one with Coach Duane Etherton from Chopticon High School.
Find all the podcast episodes here: www.thebaynet.com/podcasts
Student Athlete Spotlight features interviews with local high school sports coaches and students.
ABOUT THE HOST: Coach Brady has been coaching since 1999 after a brief cup of coffee with the NY Giants in the NotForLong League. During the last 22 seasons, he has spent 8 years in the college ranks at Duke, Georgetown, Mansfield, and Clarion University respectively, and has been a head high school coach for 14 seasons.
As a high school scholar-athlete, he garnered 10 varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball and was All-State in two sports. Over the years, Aaron has coached baseball, basketball, girl’s soccer, women’s football, and men’s football.
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