ST. PETERSBURG – Ryian Freeman came a long way from sitting on the sidelines watching his teammates play football, fighting injuries on the track field and making low grades in Lakewood High School’s Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) program, to becoming one of the top receivers on the football team and making the honor roll.
The early high school years were tough times in Ryian’s life and he thought about giving up on everything. That CAT program was not for him! Going from making As and Bs to now making Cs and Ds was unacceptable and not the expectations his parents had for him, and he knew it.
“I went through so much the first two years in high school,” said Ryian.
He convinced his parents to take him out of CAT and his grades shot back up. Everything started to fall into place. He even moved up the depth chart to second string by his junior year.
With his grades now in order and his mind becoming clearer, Ryian got more involved in extracurricular activities and areas of leadership. He participated in 5000 Role Models, Pathfinders, Beautillion 2016 and the Boy Scouts. He ran track and became the city champ in the 400 open and the 4×4 Relay. He was even awarded the Dean’s Academic Merit scholarship from Stetson University.
“Although comical most times, Ryian has a promising future and I can’t wait to see him and his great accomplishments in the coming years,” said his brother Raymond C. Freeman.
Ryian remembers his first day of practice his freshmen year as not being too funny when he was the smallest person on the field and had to literally fight his way up the depth chart. By senior year, he had earned a starting position for the entire football season and was named one of the top receivers in the county.
“I see myself in the next 10 years playing in the NFL and also working for a major sports team handling the player’s contracts and managing the player’s health as well,” stated Ryian. “I also see myself moving my mom and family out of Florida and into a nice city where she and my family members can enjoy themselves.”
Making a drastic change in his high school career is what he is most proud of achieving. Ryian has risen to the upper level of life’s depth chart with his recent graduation and acceptance into Stetson University. This is only the beginning of what he can achieve in life, and he knows it.