A to Z with Austin Ritchey


Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 10:10 p.m.

SCHOOL: Bell

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Bell senior Austin Ritchey leads the area with 2,038 rushing yards for the playoff-bound Bulldogs.

Elizabeth Hamilton / Correspondent

YEAR: Senior

POSITION: Running back

JERSEY NUMBER: 40

HEIGHT: 6-foot-1

WEIGHT: 215 pounds

Area football player I would pay to watch play: Alphonso Timmons from Chiefland. He's a very physical back, and I just like to see that from a running back.

Best movie I've ever seen: “Olympus Has Fallen.”

Coach Joey Whittington's best words of advice for me: “Play smart.”

Day of the game, I do what to prepare myself? We all just hang out in the locker room for a little while, and we eat and play music through the speakers.

Earliest sports memory? Watching my older brother (James Ritchey) play for Bell. He played running back. I was 7 or 8 I believe.

Feeling I had after rushing for 267 yards and one touchdown against Hawthorne to help Bell reach the playoffs for the first time in school history: Words really can't describe it. Coach was telling us we've had a football program for 80 years, and the other teams weren't able to do it. There's really no way you can explain it.

Game-winning scenario I have dreamed of: Actually, I'd like to see a guy named Donnie Mathis, No. 11, I'd love to see him run in a game-winning touchdown. That would be amazing.

Having an area-leading 2,038 rushing yards this season has been possible because … Of the offensive line we have this year. They are an amazing group of guys, and they definitely haven't let anything happen to me.

Interesting thing about me away from football: I really don't do anything outside of football. I run track and play a lot of video games.

Joker on the team: Definitely Justin Terry and Bruce Thomas, just with the type of humor they have. They can make a joke out of anything, and then they know when to get serious at the snap.

Key to winning at Jasper Hamilton County in Friday's Class 1A regional semifinals: The line has to block like they've been blocking all year, and then we have to create a wall to stop their speed.

Least favorite Bell sports moment: This year playing Trenton (a 56-6 loss on Sept. 20). I wish I could go back and do that again. It just seemed like nobody showed up to play. The environment was horrible.

My pick to win this year's BCS national championship: Florida State.

Nickname? They call me Ritchey.

One person in my life who inspires me the most: My older brother. He told me that he made some mistakes in his life, most of it pertaining to football. He hasn't wanted to see me do that. He's been pushing me along and when I doing something wrong on the sidelines he's always there to help me correct it.

Potential college major: I want to study criminal justice.

Quiet-time activity: Me and my little brother go and play video games or play on the computer. Come out here and throw the football around.

Running back I model my game after: I like James Wilder Jr. from Florida State. I've watched him since he got there, and he's a dangerous running back.

Superstition I have: I have lucky headphones that I wear and listen to music with. One of the earphones is cut off and it's taped up.

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook. I've never been on Twitter.

University or college choice: The only one that has come and talked to me or anything is Ave Maria University down by Naples. I went down there for a visit and they're a really nice school. I was kind of looking at walking on to Florida State or any Division-I college like that, but I'll go anywhere that offers me a scholarship right now.

Vacation spot I love: We go to Daytona a lot. I've went there since I was a little kid, and it seems like every summer we go.

Which of my team's eight wins so far this season that has been most satisfying: Definitely Hawthorne (a 52-14 win on Nov. 1). I feel like we played a very good game that night, and it's what led us to the playoffs.

Xbox, PlayStation or Wii? Xbox right now but I'm looking into getting a PS4.

Year I was born: 1995

Zoo animal I like most: I like the little spider monkeys.

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