Q&A: Ryan Mannix has become an elite finisher on the pitch
Favorite subject: history
Sports: soccer, basketball
Family: Bill and Holli Mannix; older brother John Mannix, younger sister Katie Mannix
Question: How long have you been playing soccer?
Answer: My dad and mom got me started when I was 3. I played on my brother’s team, and he (John) was 5.
Q: Later in high school, you and John became teammates. How’d that work out?
A: It was really cool. He’s a real good player. He’s going to Washington State now, and he works at nights. So, he doesn’t get to see me play a whole lot.
Q: When did you start playing basketball?
A: I was in kindergarten. I was 5.
Q: How are the Tigers going to be this winter in basketball?
A: We’re going to be good. We’ve got a lot of returning players and some new ones who are going to help us.
Q: Which sport is your favorite, soccer or basketball?
A: I like them both. It’s about even. (pauses) I probably like soccer a little more.
Q: Marietta and you individually are both having outstanding seasons on the pitch. The Tigers are currently ninth ranked in D2 with an 8-0-1 mark. What gives?
A: (Laughs) We all just want to win, and we practice and train hard. There are 11 seniors on the team, and everyone on the team takes every practice very seriously. We want to get better every time we step on the field. We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.
We started the season at Crew Stadium in Columbus, and we’d like to finish there. That’s a goal of ours.
Q: What’s it like playing at Crew Stadium?
A: It was awesome. The size of the field was challenging but we got used to it. (Marietta defeated John Glenn, 7-2.)
Q: You finished last year with 11 goals, and so far this season, you have 17. I believe the coaches put you in a position to score?
A: I’d been mostly a center midfielder in my career. This year, I got moved to the striker position, and it’s my job to finish and score goals.
Q: What was it like to score 6 goals against Coshocton?
A: (Laughs) It was really cool. I never expected that.
Q: Then, you followed that up with a hat trick in an 8-0 win against Parkersburg….
A: That was awesome, and beating the Big Reds was awesome.
Q: You’ve got a match coming up against Athens Thursday. Any thoughts about it?
A: We’ve been waiting and wanting to play them since they beat us in the tournament last season. We’ll be ready.
Q: Any season highlights you’d like to share?
A: Cade Candor’s bicycle kick against New Philadelphia was pretty sweet.
Q: Do you think you’d like to play collegiate soccer?
A: I’ve been thinking about it, but I’m not sure.
Q: Who’s been your inspiration and helped impact your sports career at Marietta?
A: My dad. He’s told me to keep working hard no matter what.
Marietta High head coach Todd Morris on Mannix:
We’ve changed formations this year. And we’re playing Ryan at the number nine at the forward position. He’s really grown into that role. He can finish in the box.
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com