Every week, the Ardmoreite will feature area prep athletes headed into the start of the fall sports season.
Braden Ruth has definitely left his mark on the football field and wrestling mat at Davis High School, but he's not done yet.
After last year's runner up finish to OCS in the Class 2A state championship, Ruth and the Wolves are ready to make another deep run in the playoffs. Also a two-time state champion in wrestling, Ruth was named to the VYPE Pigskin Preview Top 100 for the 2013 football season. Ruth rushed for 352 yards and two touchdowns from his fullback position last season and is a four-year starter at middle linebacker.
What has been the biggest difference from year-to-year in your four years as a starter for tradition-rich Davis?
Ruth: "I've taken leadership from the upperclassmen I've learned to stay positive in every situation."
How did last year's loss motivate this year's team to get back there and finish differently?
Ruth: "For us, we just have to work hard every day, both in practice and in games. We've got to listen to our coaches and give it everything we've got on Friday nights."
What is the thing that makes Davis football so consistently successful?
Ruth: "We've always had a great tradition and every year people know we are someone to look for, even if they haven't heard anything about us. We always have a target on our back and I think that makes us work harder."
How does what you do on the wrestling mat translate to the football field?
Ruth: "The two main things are footwork and balance. Those things translate to wrestling, because in both sports, you have to maintain a low center of gravity."
What's so important about playing fullback in the wishbone?
Ruth: "Well, blocking is huge part of it. There are several plays where I'm lead blocker and if I don't get my block, the play's dead. And then in short yardage situations, the fullback is the go-to guy. It's important to keep your pad level low, so that you can get the yards you need and move the chains."
Have you been to any camps this summer and what are your college plans?
Ruth: "Yes. I've been to Tulsa and I'm headed to North Texas pretty soon. I think football, that's really where my heart is at."
As a leader of this year's Davis squad, what do you have to get your team back to the state championship?
Ruth: "I've got to lead by example and work hard in weight room. I've got to show the younger guys that even leader's have bad days and you have to stay positive."
Follow Carter on Twitter: @wcarterARD