Ranger grad well on way to
by Misty Volaski
Other than Noah Lowrey, Ryan
Cuthbert is the only Nordhoff Ranger in recent history to have
made it into the professional sports arena.
And he could go all the way.
Cuthbert started out his football career in the Ojai Eagles youth
football league. Enthused with the sport's energy, he moved on
to play defensive end for two years for Nordhoff. There, he was
named Small Division Defensive Lineman of the Year, First Team
All-Conference and was also named to the Los Angeles Times First
Team, as well as establishing a school record with 16.5 sacks
in a season.
When he graduated, he decided to play for Moorpark Community
College in 1993.
After a four-year dry spell, Cuthbert came back onto the scene
to play for Ventura College as a middle linebacker.
"Usually if you leave (football), that's it," Cuthbert
said during a break in his off-season workout Monday.
However, as captain of the Ventura Pirates football squad and
an all-conference pick, Cuthbert caught the eye of Tusculum College
recruiters, who gave him a full-ride scholarship to the university
His success at Tusculum got him the contract he'd dreamed of
- playing on a professional football team, the Iowa Barnstormers.
Unfortunately, soon after he began playing for the Barnstormers,
Cuthbert's son Cameron, now age 6, was diagnosed with a heart
condition, and Cuthbert raced back home to be by his side.
But Cuthbert wasn't ready to drop his dream of playing in the
National Football League just yet. Last year, he went to an open
tryout for the San Diego Riptides, an Arena Two team. He made
the team as an offensive/defensive linebacker, and led the team
to its first-ever playoff appearance.
And as we speak, Cuthbert is trying out for the Avengers, an
Arena One team. If he makes it - and his personal trainer Don
Williams of Don's Gym is confident that he will - he'll be just
one step away from the NFL.
"He's doing really, really well at this level," Williams
said. "He has what it takes. This is good stuff."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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CUTHBERT, No. 93, celebrates a well-executed play during a Riptide
game. He led the West Coast Conference in defensive end statistics.