Daily Courier Q&A: Mt. Pleasant's Ryan Ballew
Mt. Pleasant senior running back/defensive back Ryan Ballew has played a key role in helping the Vikings achieve a 10-0 record as they head into Friday's WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal playoff game against Beaver.
Ballew has rushed 47 times for 542 yards, an average of 11.53 yards per carry.
Q: How exciting was it to play a home playoff game last week against Valley?
A: It was a pretty good experience, and we all worked for it since the beginning of the year. I never got to play in a home playoff game, so it was exciting.
Q: Is there extra motivation heading into Friday's quarterfinal game against Beaver, knowing that Mt. Pleasant lost in the quarterfinals last year?
A: I think so. I think this year, if we want it bad enough, we can do anything. We can make it to Heinz Field if we put our minds to it.
Q: What's the biggest key to beating Beaver High School?
A: We all have to play our assignments and trust everyone else to do their job.
Q: Do you feel the intensity level ramp up with each game?
A: I think we notice it. We're getting better, and we keep trying to get better.
Q: What's been the key to Mt. Pleasant's run game?
A: (Running backs) Tyler Mellors and Brett Fess are very talented, and I think a lot of it is that our offensive linemen step up every week.
Q: How important has Mt. Pleasant's defense been during the season?
A: Our defense puts our offense in a lot of good positions by forcing three-and-outs. It just pulls through all the time.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
A: I don't believe in superstitions. As long as we prepare all week, we'll be fine on Friday.
Q: Is there any advice that you try to use regularly?
A: The coaches always say to practice hard. If we do it right, it will come together on Friday night.
Q: When you're not playing football, what do you enjoy doing?
A: I lift weights in the gym. I like to go hunting.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I want to go to a four-year college. Law enforcement is something I'd like to get into. Hopefully, I'll get to play football.