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Draper Journal

Bright future for 3A football MVP and lacrosse scholarship recipient Ryan Baker

Jul 25, 2017 03:04PM ● By Jesse Sindelar

Ryan Baker (center, white) received a lacrosse scholarship to play at Bryant University his sophomore year, and also won the 3A football MVP this year. (Bob McLellan/ Draper)

By Jesse Sindelar | [email protected]

When anyone gets into a sport, they may or may not excel at it. Some are lucky enough to play, others are lucky enough to compete and even fewer become top competitors in their sport.

And then there is Ryan Baker. Baker has become a force as a top competitor in two different sports, at the same time.

In his main sport of choice, lacrosse, he received a scholarship to attend Bryant University in Rhode Island and play lacrosse for their D1 program.

However, Baker also plays football for Juan Diego, winning the 3A MVP for the whole state as a running back this year.

“I play lacrosse year-round, and I joke that football is my break from lacrosse. It helps me not get burned out by lacrosse,” Baker said.

As a kid, Baker always played sports. “My parents had me try T-ball, soccer, baseball, etc. I started lacrosse in first grade and I loved it. For football, my dad played in high school, and we watched games together a lot, so it was easy to get interested in it,” Baker said.

As he started to play, Baker started to realize his sporting prowess.

“For lacrosse, I started doing out-of-state tournaments with my club team, and I had hoped to take it to a higher level. For football, I just loved it — I never wanted to pursue it,” he said.

Baker received his lacrosse scholarship for Bryant in his sophomore year, when he started to be a star for the football team as well.

He also had a pair of supportive parents, allowing him to pursue whatever he wanted.

“My parents were always accepting of what I wanted to do. There was a point where I wanted to stop playing football, and my parents simply asked me to reconsider my decision. They have been great,” Baker said.

And for the better of the entire sporting community, Baker did continue. In the past two years, the recently graduated senior won back-to-back state titles for football, and made the lacrosse state finals both years as well, winning this year’s state championship.

As a tip-top dual sport athlete, Baker has had his share of injuries.

“Football is the harder sport on my body. I have gotten a few concussions and I tore my labrum, which took me out of a good portion of this year’s lacrosse season. Luckily, my future college coach was not too worried, as I was healthy by the end of the season,” he said.

For such an elite athlete, Baker has studious and humble ambitions.

“I’m going to be playing lacrosse full time, but I want to get an education as well. I’m tentatively planning on being an orthodontist, and attending orthodontist school after Bryant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited to play lacrosse there, but it is a means to an end,” Baker said.

With such a ridiculously impressive athletic résumé, Baker’s humility has seemingly allowed his passions to step forward, and while the athletic world might lose a great star, the orthodontist world will gain a greater one.