BIG SPRING, Texas (YourBasin) – The community of Big Spring is gearing up for Championship Sunday, as their native Ryan Tannehill preps to take on the Kansas City Chiefs for a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
“Everything kind of came to fruition his junior and senior year of high school. It’s always been exciting to see him grow and develop,” said Tim Tannehill, Ryan’s father.
Ryan Tannehill was a five sport athlete. Showcasing his skills playing not only in football but in basketball, baseball, track, and swung some clubs playing golf. The Tannehill’s have been part of the Big Spring community for nearly forty years and enjoy seeing the out pouring support Ryan has received in the community.
“Those people, in this community, have been very supportive in Ryan and his endeavors that he had at both the college level, high school level, college level, and at the professional level. It’s just so exciting to see this community be supportive of him and his professional career,” stated Tim Tannehill.
Tannehill first played football when he began junior high school. From there he worked 24/7 to excel in the game he loves. Ryan and his family would travel to football camps. At a Nike camp A&M scouts saw him.
“He had, I believe seven offers. The two he dwindled it down to were A&M and TCU. He sat down and prayed about it, thought about it, and thought that A&M would be the best fit for him,” said Tim Tannehill.
Tannehill and his father worked year round. They even spent their Christmas break in the field house lifting weights and throwing the football. His continued work ethic made him into the person he is today.
‘Watching him play at the pro level has been so exciting for us. You know, as your kids are growing and developing throughout their childhood you always want the best for your kid. You want to see them the best they can possible be. He always had the work ethic and the commitment level to push himself to another level,” said Tim Tannehill.
That is the example Tannehill has set in Big Spring. He not only succeeded in sports but also in the classroom. He graduated in the top five percent in 2007. Coaches at Big Spring continue to teach the same lesson as Tannehill learn, work hard and never sell yourself short.
“It’s been a privilege just to know him and be apart of his life, especially being his high school principal and coaching with his dad. His dad is an administrator now for the district and for our campus. We’re just excited for the family, excited for Ryan, and I can’t think of anyone anymore deserving than him,” said Mike Ritchey, Ryan’s former high school principal.
Big Spring High School will be having a ‘Titan Up!’ day by wearing blue for support for Tannehill and the Titans. Ritchey challenges the community to show their support also.
Ryan led the Big Spring Steers to two playoff appearances his junior and senior year of high school. While watching Tannehill grow into the player he is today, Ritchey says he always saw the NFL talent in him.
“The question I get most is, ‘did you see the NFL talent?’ when he was coming up through the system, and the answer to that was absolutely,” stated Ritchey.
One of Ritchey’s fond memories is going out to Memorial Stadium with his family and the Tannehills and playing some backyard football. There he continued to see Tannehill’s competitiveness. Ritchey says that no matter what the competition was Tannehill always competed.
“Fierce competitor. You know you can see that when he competes on Sundays but he was the same in backyard football, you know as a pup, and that carried over at the junior high level, the high school level he was a fierce competitor at Texas A&M. If there is anyone on this planet Earth that hates to lose it’s Ryan Tannehill,” explained Ritchey.
For this small town kid, he has shown that hard work and commitment pay off. A local star turn NFL star now living the dream at the professional level with one game closer to playing in the Super Bowl.
The Titans take on the Chiefs Sunday January 19th at 2:05 p.m.