Never Playing It Safe

By Brian Jerzak

Ryan Duffy doesn’t believe in going half speed. The three-sport star for the South St. Paul Packers has his athletic and college path mapped out, and it doesn’t involve wrestling – in which he has advanced to the state tournament four times. It doesn’t involve playing quarterback, defensive back or wide receiver which he did for the state runner-up Packers’ football team. His future involves a scholarship to pitch for the Minnesota Gophers’ baseball team.

With a guaranteed scholarship to play for a program that just advanced to the Division I College World Series, it would be easy for Duffy to put aside wrestling and football and concentrate on his ticket to a free college education. Many people might even encourage the left-handed pitcher to put aside the cleats and singlet, play it safe and focus on baseball. People who would say that do not know Ryan Duffy. They don’t know Duffy doesn’t believe in playing it safe.

“I don’t want to let my teammates down,” Duffy said. “I have unfinished business in two sports where I was runner up. I plan to hang up everything and be on top when I am done. If I didn’t play, I would be letting my teammates down. That is not something I want to do as a player or as a friend. I couldn’t imagine giving up one of my sports when I still have an opportunity to play them right now, just because of my future.”

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