Southmoore's Ryan Swanson – Academic Athlete presented by Republic Bank & Trust

Republic bank

Written by John Tranchina

Ryan Swanson makes a good role model for the Southmoore wrestling squad, excelling both on the mat and in the classroom. As a senior, he has grown into a respected leader.

The foundation of it all is his commitment to academics.

“For me, school comes before wrestling, because I can be a good wrestler, but if I don’t have the grades, I can’t get into the college I want, so I try and keep my grades first,” said Swanson, who has a 3.7 GPA.

He’s not quite sure what his favorite school subject is.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It was math until this year and then I got into AP Calculus, so right now, it’s probably science, zoology.”

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As for being a team leader, Swanson likes the opportunity to help mold the next crop of wrestlers, just as older guys helped him when he was younger.

“I love pushing the other guys when I see them not working as hard as they could, because I want to see them getting better,” Swanson said. “Growing up, I always had a leader, so it’s nice to be able to lead these kids and show them you’ve got to work hard to get what you want.”

Swanson, who finished fourth at the Class 6A West Regional and went 1-2 at the state tournament at 152 pounds last year, has set some high goals for the new wrestling season, both for himself and for the SaberCats as a team.

“For myself, I want to win state,” said Swanson, who expects to compete at 145 pounds this year. “I’ve gone to state my sophomore and junior years, and last year, I was one (win) away from placing, so hopefully, I can go up there and win it this time. As a team, I think it would be awesome if we could make it to Dual State and make a run for a state title as a team.”