This is a printer-friendly version of an article from Zip06.com.Article Published January 17, 2019
Ryan Cordova had a special senior season for the East Haven football team. A senior captain, Ryan made huge contributions on both sides of the ball to help the Yellowjackets launch a major turnaround in their first year with Head Coach Scott Benoit. East Haven finished with a record of 7-3, and Ryan came away from the campaign having earned All-SCC Tier 3 accolades as a linebacker.
“This year, it felt really good to win after coming off a 1-9 season,” says Ryan. “Coach helped us a lot. Playing with my brothers, winning seven games felt really good.”
Ryan was named one of East Haven’s captains for his senior year, and it was a role that he truly treasured. Ryan loved the responsibility of being relied upon to lead the Easties.
“It really meant a lot, because I like to be a leader on and off the field. I like to help, and I like to set an example for the younger guys, because they look up to us,” Ryan says. “The most challenging thing for me being a captain was keeping the team together when we were down and keeping everything under control. Luckily, it didn’t happen often, as we won seven games.”
Ryan earned the starting fullback position for the Yellowjackets and made a big-time impact in their ground game. He rushed for 934 yards to go with 17 touchdowns for Coach Benoit’s squad this fall.
“He’s a tough kid. As a fullback, he was perfect for our offense. If it was a clean read, there was a pretty good chance he was scoring a touchdown,” Benoit says of Ryan. “He has very good straightaway speed, he runs really well, and he’s a strong kid. He was the perfect fit for what we did.”
After playing on special teams as a sophomore and on defense in his junior year, Ryan was a newcomer to East Haven’s offense this season. Ryan says he enjoyed having the ball in his hands on a regular basis.
“The guys blocking for me did an excellent job. I tried as hard as I could to get yards and get into the end zone,” says Ryan, who also runs the 400 and throws the javelin for East Haven’s boys’ outdoor track team. “It was the best feeling in the world to score that many touchdowns. When anybody tries to tackle me, I just try to run through them.”
Along with his contributions on offense, Ryan also had a productive season at the linebacker position and made the All-SCC Tier 3 Team as a result. Ryan’s toughness as a fullback carried over to defense, where he excelled at making tackles in space and chasing down the opposing quarterback.
“It means a real lot to me. From where I was as a sophomore to being where I am now, it means a lot,” says Ryan of his All-Conference honor. “Being a linebacker, my job is to get to the ball carrier. I just have no fear. Anything that comes my way, I just block it out.”
Ryan says that he’s looking to play football in college. On the heels of a great season for both himself and the Easties, Ryan has the confidence to compete at the next level.
“This was the best season of my high school career,” says Ryan. “The fact we were able to turn it around under our new coaches and go from 1-9 to 7-3, it felt great.”