Ryan Schadler’s pregame ritual never varied while he played football at Hesston.
He first laid his cleats on the living-room floor’s white carpet the night before the game. Then the socks, then the football pants and pads. The jersey and shoulder pads followed with the helmet completing the shape of a player.
This tradition is nearing a finish, though, as Schadler plays in his final game, the Shrine Bowl, on Saturday in Pittsburg.
“I’m kind of known for how I get everything ready,” Schadler said with a laugh. “I’m looking forward to doing that for the Shrine Bowl.”
Schadler, a running back, will play for the West squad in the all-star game for graduated seniors.
Schadler, an Eagle All-Metro selection in December, had 2,438 rushing yards on 174 carries, averaging 14 yards. He had 524 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in a win over El Dorado. He also had 88 tackles and four interceptions as he helped lead Hesston to an 8-2 record.
But Schadler, who helped lead Hesston’s basketball team to an unbeaten Class 3A title in March, decided not to play football in college and signed with Wichita State for track.
“I only took three total (college) visits,” Schadler said. “I went to Wichita State, Kansas State for football and Northwest Missouri State for football. I liked Northwest out of football because they’d give me some money and it was like a Division I atmosphere. K-State was my dream, but you realize it’s a little different than I thought.
“When I went to Wichita State, I knew that it was the place for me.”
Schadler likely will run the 200 meters and 400 and hopes to do a relay and the long jump.
He won the Class 3A long jump in May and won the 400, as well, finishing second in the 200, third in the 100.
His focus this summer has been on his running and weightlifting workout plan for Wichita State.
He hasn’t thought about football.
“I don’t think it will be hard to get back into catching it and reading holes because I’m in shape,” Schadler said.
Opponents knew just how dangerous Schadler was with the ball because of his speed, strength and agility.
“I told our coaches that we’ll actually have to coach this year,” Hesston coach Clint Rider said. “He was a kid who could score from anywhere on the field, including the 1-yard line.
“ He was a game-changer. Extremely agile, great vision. A lot of kids can make the big cuts, they can reverse the field. He made the really small cuts. He was going full speed and might change direction at a small angle and make a guy completely miss.”
Schadler’s final game with Hesston was a loss to Holton. It wasn’t the kind of game by which he wants to remember his high school career.
But to end his football career in the Shrine Bowl is sweet.
“I’m going to enjoy this, knowing it’s my last game,” Schadler said. “I know that I’ll probably be a little sore because that first week back there’s always whiplash and stuff.
“But I’m excited. I’m going to try to take the moment in and enjoy.”