The way we prepare and the way we go out and know that we have to play well every week, or we will lose, so I think it’s just helped us. —Ryan Wood
SOUTH JORDAN — Bingham High quarterback Ryan Wood has been playing the position of field general since he was 12 years old and playing little league football.
“The first coach, he played me there, and I just played there ever since,” Wood said of how he got his start as quarterback. “I always liked watching football, but when I started playing it, I started to fall in love with it, and I’ve loved it ever since.”
Wood’s favorite memory from his early football-playing days was winning his first youth football championship. On Friday, Wood will have a chance to win another championship, this time for Bingham High School. The senior QB has been a key part of Bingham’s high-powered offense, throwing for 1,585 yards and 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions entering Friday’s contest.
Wood wasn’t quarterback during Bingham’s 2015 season, when the Miners were bested by Lone Peak in the semifinals, but he says that season still resonates with Bingham players.
“I think it motivated us to win last year, and I think it kind of showed us how to win a state championship for this year, and hopefully we can go get it done” he said.
Bingham has remained unbeaten since the setback, something that Wood credits the preparation and execution of his team for.
“The way we prepare and the way we go out and know that we have to play well every week, or we will lose, so I think it’s just helped us,” Wood said.
Last year was Wood’s first varsity playing time at Bingham, as Wood played behind starting quarterback Matt Degn, completing four of seven passes for 34 yards. Unfazed by the pressure of quarterbacking one of the top teams in the state, Wood has seamlessly transitioned into the starting position.
“I don’t think I really feel any pressure, I just think it’s fun to play football, so you just come out here and play and do what you’re told to by the coaches, and hopefully you can do it to the best of your ability,” Wood said.
Wood has a connection with his receivers, who he is friends with on and off the field.
“They’re some of my best friends, so it’s really fun to play with your best friends and have a connection out there with them,” he said.
One of those friends is receiver Brayden Cosper, who has caught nine touchdowns from Wood and hauled in 41 receptions for 793 yards.
“We’ve been friends for a while now, and we have a good connection, on and off the field, so that helps a lot,” Cosper said.
Wood’s head coach and offensive coordinator, John Lambourne, praised the senior for his work ethic and smarts.
“Ryan’s a pretty savvy guy. He has football smarts, he’s also real good in the classroom. He’s diligent in his study of his opponents and he has just kind of a knack,” Lambourne said.
Friday’s 6A championship against East at Rice-Eccles Stadium will be Wood’s final high school game, but he is more than ready for it.
“I’m really excited, I just wish it would be here today,” Wood said.