Moving from Elk City to Lawton may have been the best thing for Ryne Yost.
“The move was great for me and my football career,” he said. “And I just think it's the best thing I've ever done.”
Yost, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound left tackle, provided a steady presence for Lawton this season as injuries decimated the team and earned a spot in The Oklahoman's All-State first team.
His mother, Myong, is in the Army and was stationed in Lawton, forcing the move.
Things weren't always easy for Yost during that time, though.
“When I first moved to Lawton, I'm sure there were a lot of kids that were doubting me and thinking that since I'm from a smaller school I couldn't play and do big things,” Yost said. “I just had to work hard, I just did what the coaches told me, went 100 percent in everything I did and just kept improving.”
Yost, who wants to be a doctor, is now receiving interest from Oklahoma, North Texas, South Dakota, Sam Houston State and Air Force.
He immediately improved in Lawton, adding 100 pounds to his bench press while still growing.
“He fell in love with our weight room,” Lawton coach Randy Breeze said. “For him to put that much mass on, you knew he was just going through a growth spurt and he got better and better every day. By the time football season came around, he was a dominating force at the line of scrimmage.”
Yost graded out at an average of more than 90 percent per game for the Wolverines, who failed to make the playoffs after losing eight starters at various points of the season to injuries.
“The injuries really killed us,” Yost said. “We had a really good start but then we had about seven kids go down and all of them were starters. I wouldn't say the morale was down, but it wasn't the same once the season started. I'd say that's a big part of how our season ended.”
But his presence along with sophomore Jalin Barnett, who is nearly 6-foot-4 and 292 pounds, at right tackle and Ben Scott at right guard, allowed the Wolverines to continue to run the ball.
“I don't know in Elk City if he consistently went against people his size or not,” Breeze said. “I wouldn't think so because he's a pretty good size kid. I'm real proud of the way he held his own against some very good defensive tackles around the state.”