The word “old school” is used in society today to describe something from a generation gone by. An online dictionary that better explains colloquialisms and slang, defines the term “old school” as “Anything that is from an earlier era and looked upon with high regard or respect. Can be used to refer to music, clothing, language, or anything really”. To describe “old school” correctly, we must first look at what “new school” is. “New School” is all about “me”. It is flashy, and self serving. It is fancy cars and being disrespectful to your parents. It’s being late for meetings, and blaming things on others. It’s not paying your bills or taking responsibility. It’s doing half a days work and expecting full pay. “Old School” is everything that “new school” isn’t. “Old School” is saying “thank you”, “yes ma’am”, and “I love you” to your mama. It’s helping your neighbor without expecting anything in return. It’s respecting your teacher, and valuing their opinion. It’s showing up to practice everyday to earn your spot, not expecting that someone owes it to you. “Old School” is studying for a test and trying your very best. It’s less talking and more doing. It’s about being authentically you, and not wanting to be anyone else. This week’s Warehouse 3Nineteen Student Athlete of the Week is “Old School”. He is a throw back the clock player, but more than that, Ryan Pugh is a throw back the clock person, and I will pay him the highest compliment that I could ever pay anyone. He reminds me of my Pop. My Pop was my Mother’s dad, and he didn’t say much, but if he gave you his word, you could go cash it. He got up every morning of his life and put on his boots and work clothes. He then grabbed his lunchbox off of the counter, and he put in an honest days work. Ryan, I hope you take that comparison as a compliment, because I can’t think of a better one to give.
Ryan is the son of Kevin and Suzanne Pugh, and he is a Senior Football and track athlete. Ryan currently has a 21 on the ACT and carries a 3.7 Grade Point Average in college prep courses. Ryan spend countless hours a week practicing football and film study to prepare him for weekly opponents, but he finds time to be very active in the Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, and Mu Alpha Theta.
After high school, Ryan plans to attend Bevil State Community College and then transfer to UAB. While at UAB, Ryan plans to study Secondary Math Education and earn a Master’s Degree in School Administration. He would like to impact tomorrow’s youth by teaching Math and Coaching High School Football. The teachers and coaches at Jasper High School would be honored to share a profession with Ryan, and know that he will greatly impact lives.
Ryan gives back to our community in many ways and through various volunteer activities, but the most meaningful to him has come through volunteer coaching in the Upward Program at Farmstead Baptist Church. “Doing this lets me be an influence to younger kids, while getting to teach them about Christ and basketball”.
When asked about his greatest high school memory up to this point, Ryan said, “my greatest memory would be playing in the Russellville game. It was a great atmosphere, and to win a game that big and that bad was amazing”. I have a feeling there are more memories still yet to come.
Ryan described the lessons that athletics has taught him and that he will take with him as he moves throughout the rest of his life by saying, “I’ve learned to take responsibility, and I’ve learned that if you want something then it’s up to you to get it”. Responsibility and initiative are two qualities that are very indicative of success. They are also reasons for Ryan’s achievements both on and off the field of play.
When asked what advice he would offer younger student athletes, Ryan says, “I would tell them to enjoy it”. He further adds, “To never take for granted the time you spend with one another”. He finishes with “give it all you have with the little time that you have”. Ryan is a young man who seems to have thoroughly enjoyed his time in black and gold, and will leave a large impact on Jasper High.
When asked who he would like to thank. In true Ryan fashion, he diverts any attention from himself and would “like to thank both my parents. They’re the reason that I am where I am today”. He says, “They showed me work ethic not only in their speaking, but also by their actions”. He closes by saying, “they are the reason that I am the man that I am today. I could not have done it without them”.
We, along with Warehouse 3Nineteen are proud to honor Ryan and the character and work ethic that he displays on a daily basis. We would also like to recognize him for the quiet leadership that he offers our school, and most importantly for being a young man that future Vikings can point to and say, “he did it the right way”. If you get a chance, run by and see our good friends at Warehouse 3Nineteen. If you have trouble choosing off of their great menu, go with the mild wings or the gumbo, they’re two of my favorites. If you get a chance Friday, get out and support the Vikes and remember to cheer for #54 – He’s a good one!