Number Change With Meaning
Sept. 17, 2003
Before the start of the 2003 season, Ryan Roth received the devastating news that a former high school teammate was killed in the collapse of an apartment deck near Wrigley Field in Chicago. Rob Koranda, who was captain of Roth's high school team his junior year, wore the number 32. In memory of his former teammate, Roth chose to wear the number 32 this season. Roth said that he owes much of his success as a football player to Koranda.
Roth tries to incorporate many of the ways Koranda led his team in high school.
"A lot of the ways that I am a leader on the football team, I learned from him," said Roth, who is a Southeast team captain. "He made many sacrifices as a captain and built a very strong team and it definitely inspired me."
Roth graduated from Naperville North, a school located near Chicago Illinois, in 1999. When one of the Southeast football coaches brought Roth to the Southeast Missouri State University campus, it was then that he decided this is where he wanted to play college football.
"When I came on my visit here, I loved it," he said. "I had a ton of fun and definitely wanted to play football at this university."
Southeast Missouri State was the only Division I school that Roth was interested in attending. Many Division II schools offered him a place on their football teams, but Roth was Southeast Missouri State bound.
Roth has played and mastered many positions on Southeast's football team. In high school, Roth played the position of center. When Southeast recruited him, he continued at center during freshman camp. It wasn't until the first few games that Roth moved from center to offensive tackle. During the third game of the season Roth's freshman year, Southeast's second string tight end got injured and Roth took his place. He played tight end for the rest of his freshman year and half of the next season, until he was moved to defensive end where Roth continues to play today.
He is optimistic about the 2003 season. Even though the Indians have a 0-3 record, he feels that the team is coming together and keeping the confidence they had before the season started.
Roth said, "We are a lot better team than we have shown the first three games. Our practices are getting better every week, but we are continuing to try to bring it together. The 0-3 record is making us work that much harder."
Roth believes that he is part of a good team and the talent is definitely there, but it's using that talent and continuing to unify and come together as a team that will win them football games.
After graduation, Roth would love to continue playing football, if the situation presents itself. If not, he plans on using his degree to work toward his career.
Roth feels he has gained many things attending Southeast and playing football.
"Coming to Southeast, the most important thing for me was that I came to know Christ," Roth said. "Outside of that, I have made so many great relationships playing football, and I will hopefully have those for the rest of my life."