Ryan Freda is a junior at High Point who competes in soccer and baseball.
Aside from being a multi-sport athlete, he’s very enthusiastic toward sports in general, which made him interested in serving on the inaugural NJSIAA Student Athlete Advisory Council. He was among 31 students from around the state chosen to serve as a Student Ambassador on the SAAC.
“Sports are something that I am very passionate about,” he said. “I feel like the Student Ambassador program has given me a chance to make something I care about very deeply an even better experience. I have met many great athletes and other like-minded people and that is the great thing about this program. I like the fact that now I have a voice on certain issues and can work collaboratively on improving high school sports.”
He’s also looking forward to seeing what the SAAC can accomplish.
“I’m hopeful that the SAAC can use the voices of student-athletes to address problems like time-management for athletes and the pull between education and athletics,” he said.
Ryan has also enjoyed the SAAC meetings thus far, as well as the accompanying dialogue with his fellow student-athletes.
“What’s interested me so far is that everyone is so willing to help and collaborate to fix a problem,” he said. “The other 30 Ambassadors are so great and I can feel the positive culture in the air. Everyone is working together for one common goal.”
Getting to know Student Ambassador Ryan Freda:
Sports you play: Soccer and baseball.
Since you play one sport in the fall and the other in the spring, what occupies your time during the winter? “I’m an assistant basketball coach at my former middle school (Lafayette Township Elementary School). I also lift and train for soccer and baseball.”
Favorite subject: “I’ve always enjoyed Science, because you get a chance to learn and understand why certain things behave the way they do. As an athlete, I have become interested in the body and the way it moves.”
Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter.
Favorite team: New York Yankees.
Favorite food: Steak.
Favorite thing to have for lunch at school: Ham and Cheese sandwich, fruit and a protein shake.
Favorite activity other than sports or school: “Spending time with friends and family.”
Since you live in the Northwest corner of the state, what’s your take on winter - pro or con? “I like winter in moderation. I enjoy going outside and being able to go sledding, but do not like it when it’s freezing 24/7.”
Favorite movie: The Sandlot.
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter.
Favorite musician: Brett Young.
Best sports memory: “Scoring a goal as a freshman in a varsity soccer game against Newton. We were undefeated and so was Newton. There was a buzz surrounding the game. Luckily, I was able to get by a few defenders and score and we remained unbeaten. That moment gives me chills to this day.”
Have you ever met anyone famous? “I met Rick Cerone when I was about 10 years old. He played in the major leagues for 17 years and was a catcher for the Yankees. My grandfather had a friend who was a cousin of Rick Cerone, so one day I went over to his house and got a chance to meet him. It was really cool and he gave me an autographed ball I have in my room.”
If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose? “Derek Jeter, Pele, and Babe Ruth.”
If there were 25 hours in a day, what would you do with the extra hour? “I would probably spend it with my family. With sports and homework, sometimes you are unable to relax and just laugh with your family for a good hour or two.”
If you could have a super power, what would it be? “Super speed. Speed can help you with every part of life. I would be able to run circles around opponents and could get to all of my classes in a second. If I ever needed something, I could quickly zip over and grab it without wasting time.”
Do you have a career ambition yet? “I would like to become an athletic director and a coach. I feel like my deep passion for sports would be of good use in these positions. Meeting a bunch of AD’s from different schools, along with talking with my athletic director, Mr. VanOrden, has brought out a passion in me for this occupation.”