Listed at six feet tall and 288 pounds on the North Surry football roster, Ryan Eldridge lives up to the old adage “Big Man on Campus” in more ways than one.
The senior has been one of the brightest stars of Greyhound athletics for two years running, and turned it up a notch in his senior year. After a summer which began with a bronze medal in the shot put at the 2017 Powerade State Games of North Carolina, Eldridge was an All-Western Piedmont Athletic Conference offensive lineman for a Greyhound team that won the WPAC for the first time in 17 years. In the winter, he moved on to indoor track and field, and on Feb. 9 at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, he became an individual 1A/2A state champion in the shot put, turning in a performance that would have won the 3A title by 20 inches.
Already a two-time WPAC champion in both the indoor and outdoor shot, the 2017 WPAC champ in the discus, and the 2017 outdoor regional titlist in the shot and runner-up in discus, Eldridge is headed back to the regionals this weekend in search of more hardware — and hopefully, a chance to add the 2018 outdoor title to the indoor one he already owns.
Eldridge’s hard work and dedication over several years in athletics paid off last week, when Eldridge ended his college recruitment process by signing with Western Carolina University, a member of the NCAA Division I Southern Conference and the five-time reigning champions of that league in men’s indoor track and field.
“We are extremely proud of and happy for Ryan,” said North Surry head track coach Travis Gammons. “He has worked extremely hard and is very deserving. Western is getting a guy who loves the weight room, and is not afraid of competition. I am sure he will be very successful at the next level.”
He will begin his college career in December, when WCU starts its 2018-19 indoor season.