Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ryan Jobes- 2016 Mid Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Inductee

Ryan C. Jobes
April 12, 1986 - December 20, 2005

The late Ryan C. Jobes was inducted into the Mid Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame on June 11, 2016. Jobes, a model of hard work and determination was humble, modest, unselfish as well as a fierce competitor during his running career at Williamstown HS (WV) and the University of Richmond before an accident claimed his life at the age of 19  on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 (See also "Reflecting on Ryan Jobes-And The Band of Brothers He Formed").

Jobes led WHS to back-to-back state track & field championship titles in 2003 & 2004. He won four events (the 400M, 800M, 1600M and 1600M Relay) in each of those years and was the state's high point scorer each year with 32.5 points.

In addition to the track, Jobes lettered in basketball, tennis and cross country while at Williamstown, but his running earned him a scholarship to the University of Richmond, where he continued his track and cross country career, placing third in the 800M as a Freshman at the 2005 Atlantic 10 Conference Track & Field Championships and being named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week twice.
On December 20, 2005, Jobes was tragically killed in an automobile crash following finals while headed home from Richmond for the Holidays. In his honor, the Ryan C. Jobes Memorial Scholarship was created while a December road race and spring track meet at Williamstown both carry on his legacy by bearing his name.

"If we're not careful we can easily lose ourselves in the abyss of what could have been...what should have been...or what would have have been instead of remembering what was."---UR Head Coach, Steve Taylor who accepted the award on behalf of Ryan and his family.
September 18, 2004
University of Virginia Invitational 
September 4, 2004
Spider Alumni Open Cross Country Meet
Jobes was born April 12, 1986, in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Ryan was a member of First Baptist Church in Williamstown. He was a 2004 graduate of Williamstown High School where he received numerous honors and awards. He was an eight time varsity letterman and participated in golf, tennis, cross country, track and basketball. He was a four year member of student council and vice president of his class for three years.
Ryan Jobes and Hunter Willis at 2005 Preseason XC Camp
He was chosen as Parkersburg News and Sentinel "Athlete of the Week" numerous times. Other accomplishments include being a member of Junior National Honor Society and the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and winning first place in the WHS art show. Ryan was also the 2004 WHS homecoming king. He received all LKC track and cross country and All Region cross country honors. He was the WHS male nominee for Wendy's High School Heisman Award and was featured in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" for track and field. He was also listed in "Who's Who in Sports" in 2002 and 2003. Ryan was the current WHS record holder in the 400 meter dash and 800 meter run. He won the 400m, 800m and 1600m and anchored the winning 1600m relay at the 2003-2004 "A" State Championships, setting state records in each event. His efforts helped Williamstown earn back-to-back team titles in 2003 and 2004. He was named the "Most Valuable Athlete" at the 2003 and 2004 State Championships; earned the Ray McCoy West Virginia Track Athlete of the Year; was a 2003 State tennis runner-up in doubles; placed third in the 2003 singles competition; scored a game-high 32 points against Doddridge County during a 2004 basketball game tying the school record for the most three-point goals in a single game; and he was a one-time WTAP Student Athlete of the Week. Ryan was given the Pat Woody Memorial Award for being most outstanding student and athlete at WHS his senior year.

2005 Fred Hardy Invitational 4X400M Relay
Ryan attended the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., where he placed third at the Atlantic 10 Championships in the 800 meters in 2005; was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week twice in 2005; and won the 500 meters at the Liberty Record Bash. Ryan was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; completed the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program; was a Youth Group Community Work volunteer; was a volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Drive; and was a volunteer at the YMCA Summer College Intern Program.

Spiders 2005 PreSeason XC Camp 
Here is a link to the 2016 Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony for Ryan and the acceptance speech given on behalf of Ryan's parents by me, as his University of Richmond Track & Field and Cross Country Coach:

It was a tough and at the same time a joyous evening given Ryan's induction...The opportunity to see so many friends, former teammates, coaches and Ryan's parents and family was something I looked forward to for months and wish could have lasted longer. There will always be a comfort in 'home' and the Mid-Ohio Valley is home.  Yet many of us struggle with all the questions that remain surrounding Ryan's accident and losing him at the age of 19.  It's not easy to this day...still find it difficult...and I struggled to hold it together delivering an acceptance speech on his family's behalf.  I know I certainly do not have the answers and still wish I could make sense of 'why' and 'what' and deliver it in an enlightening way, but that too is not possible. Losing an athlete is without question the hardest thing I've experienced as a coach. It does not fade and still it is a fear that can consume joy...For Ryan's family I'm sure December 20 will always dark day. I've come to realize...maybe, just maybe...for now, we are not supposed to understand.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."

As a coach and former athlete, I've never had much tolerance or patience with or for the undriven person...In my career I've been fortunate to work with several motivated and competitive athletes, like Ryan. Those athletes who have "it" and those who test their limits while breaking through personal and community barriers are both the reason coaches coach, but yet they are less common than one might think. My high school coach (Jerry Rea) used to tell us, "You're only as good as your last race".  There's much truth in the statement and I believe Ryan made the best of each opportunity and tested his own limits through the field of competition.

Until now, something I have only shared with my wife in the 10+ years since his accident...In the last meeting I had with Ryan, I sat in my office and asked him several questions related to running, personal decisions and his goals.  One of those questions was, "How do you want to be remembered?" He didn't answer right away, he just looked at me for a few moments and then he said, "I don't know, I guess I just want to be remembered."

We do Ryan, we do.

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