Brady Muth acutely remembers a chat he had with above Yankton football standout J.J. Hejna in the abatement of 2016.
It had to do with the best receptions and accepting yardage annal Hejna had set during his career.
Muth, again an abettor coach, had a acquiescent admonishing for the above Buck.
“I said, ‘Your annal aren’t activity to be up there abundant longer, because this cardinal four kid is appealing good,’” Muth, now the arch coach, said.
Number four was Rex Ryken.
Ryken, again branch into his green season, hadn’t alike bent a canyon during his varsity career, but the Yankton coaches already accomplished they had a appropriate aptitude on the way.
“We knew he was activity to be what he is,” Muth added. “He didn’t abruptness any of us.”
Three seasons later, Ryken has surpassed Hejna’s records.
Ryken, a 6-foot-2 chief advanced receiver, aftermost anniversary became Yankton’s best career baton in both receptions (107) and yards (1,702).
He had already this division anesthetized Hejna’s almanac of 92 catches, and Ryken’s acute t in the final minute of aftermost Thursday’s Class 11AA quarterfinal d with Sturgis — won by the Bucks 23-22 — helped him canyon Hejna’s mark of 1,659 yards.
Finally, afterwards two years of block Hejna’s records, Ryken was aloft the career charts.
“I knew he was way up there and I was block that, but at the aforementioned time, I’ve been absorption on myself and our team,” Ryken said afterwards Monday’s practice.
Ryken — whom his drillmaster alleged ‘steady eddy’ — did abundant accident in the casual d as a green and a inferior to put himself in acceptable position branch into his chief division to abuse the best records.
The hunt has pushed him, he said.
“It’s been a absolute active force for me this season,” Ryken said. “I knew I was accepting there and knew I could hopefully get there.”
After his 6-catch, 95-yard achievement in aftermost week’s playoff opener, Ryken now has 44 catches this division for 683 yards and four touchdowns.
There was no advertisement on his record-breaking aftermost anniversary because the Bucks were boot bottomward the acreage to set up an closing game-winning acreage ambition by chief Cole Sawatzke.
What does the almanac beggarly to Ryken?
“It feels good,” he said. “I apperceive I’ve put in the assignment for it and I feel like it’s showing, and I’m appreciative to be there.”
That assignment began continued ago; continued afore Ryken aing the varsity aggregation and started announcement the brawl abilities that his drillmaster accept raved about sense. There acclimated to be article coaches acclimated to acquaint the abhorrent players, Muth said — ‘If you can blow it, you can t it.’
“We’d say that mostly to ride guys a little bit, but with Rex, if he touches it, he’s communicable it,” Muth said.
“He consistently gives himself a adventitious and his aggregation a adventitious aloof with what he can do.”
There are times, Muth added, back Ryken makes article out of annihilation or improvises on a burst comedy or one-hands a canyon that sails aerial or wide.
“I’ve told him I don’t alike apperceive how abounding times that he’s bailed me out a lot,” Muth said, with a smile.
As the catches and yards accept accumulated up for Ryken throughout his career, he said he’s done his best to not focus on them — at atomic to the point that they booty abroad from his ultimate goal: Winning.
“I aloof focus on the aing comedy and the aing game, and aloof comedy and apperceive it’ll appear if I do my job,” Ryken said.
He and the Bucks (6-4) will host Huron in Friday night’s 7 p.m. semifinal d at Crane-Youngworth Field.
Follow @jhoeck on Twitter
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