Take Me Back: Nothing Better with Ryan Schriber


Defenseman Ryan Schriber was one of 23 players named to the final U.S. U21 men’s team roster in November.

“Take Me Back”connects today’s lacrosse stars with the next generation of players from their hometowns. This month, Kieran Wiseman, 13, of the Wilton Lacrosse Association in Connecticut, interviews Michigan and U.S. U21 team defenseman Ryan Schriber, who previously played for Wiseman’s dad, John, at Wilton High School.

Ryan: Kieran, man, how have you been? How’s the family?

Kieran: Everyone’s good. My dad is in Sweden right now, but everybody else is here.

Ryan: He’s in Sweden? Geez. Going international. I met you when you were a lot younger. I played for your dad. Good man.

Kieran: When did you start playing lacrosse?

Ryan: I started playing lacrosse when I was in second grade. My older cousin, Pat Holland, played for your dad. He graduated in 2011. I looked up to him a lot. He was one of my role models as a person, not just as a lacrosse player. I would go to all the high school games. You know it. You’re in the tunnel when the guys come out of the locker room high-fiving all the players. That was always one of my favorite things. To watch him play high school lacrosse when I was younger really made me want to play lacrosse.

Kieran: What was your experience like when you were playing in Wilton?

Ryan: I loved it. There was nothing better than going to the games a kid, the FCIAC and state championship games. The stadium was absolutely packed. When we were in the FCIAC championship, walking out and seeing that same stadium I was sitting in 10 years before packed when I was playing, that was one of the coolest moments of my life. Wilton is a lacrosse town. There’s nothing better than to represent your town — and beat Darien.

Kieran: Did you play any other sports? Did they help you as a lacrosse player?

Ryan: I played basketball in high school. That was fundamental for me, especially being a defenseman. In basketball, it’s all about agility when you’re covering somebody. That translates so well to lacrosse, being able to have quick feet and flying fast up the court, similar to running transition.

Kieran: What are your favorite drills at Michigan and with Team USA?

Ryan: My favorite drill of all-time is one we used to do at Wilton when your dad was head coach. We would line up 10 yards above the cage, an attackman and a defenseman hip-to-hip. Your dad blows the whistle and the offensive guy’s got five seconds to get around you and shoot. For a defenseman, that’s really helpful working on your defense on the island. With USA, we start every practice in a group of three, and you run ground balls through The Gauntlet. The two guys who aren’t going have their sticks over the ball shielding it. It really helps you on getting low, driving and scooping through the ball.

Kieran: What made you pick Michigan?

Ryan: My dad went to Penn State and I had a bunch of cousins that went to Big Ten schools. I always knew I wanted to go to a big school that has good football but also good academics. Michigan fit that description. I had seen Penn State, Ohio State, all the major colleges. But I stepped on campus at Michigan, and it’s just the kind of place you want to be. Walking through The Diag — the center of campus — it’s a true community. Not everybody knows everybody, but in a way you do, because you’re all rooting for the same thing.

Kieran: What made you try out for Team USA?

Ryan: I grew up watching the Olympics, watching people represent the red, white and blue. I aspired to do it in some capacity, even if it wasn’t lacrosse. I would have worked my tail off to beat out LeBron James for a basketball spot. There’s nothing like representing Team USA. When I got the email asking to come to tryouts, I mean, how do you say no to that? It’s a childhood dream for me to represent USA and this great country. There’s no way I was going to turn that down — even if it means three straight weekends in the summer in 100-degree heat, working out and playing 6-7 hours a day. Can’t say no to it, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Kieran: What gear do you use?

Ryan: At Michigan [and with the U.S. team], we’re sponsored by Maverik. Our helmets are the new Cascade XRS, I think? I’m not a big gear guy. I’ve been using the same type of head and shaft since high school. I use the Maverik Range shaft and Maverik Tank head. I’ve used that since sophomore year of high school. I’m not a big fan of change. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

This story appears in the January edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

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