Former Bryan College Player Jonathan Ricketts Making a Splash For the Red Wolves.

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Less than two years since hanging up his Bryan College jersey, Chattanooga-native Jonathan Ricketts is making a splash as a starter for the Chattanooga Red Wolves. News 12’s Angela Moryan caught up with him just a few days after scoring his first professional goal last week.

Said head coach Jimmy Obleda: “Ricketts is kind of the epitome of what we’re about.”

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Said Ricketts: “I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it go in the back of the net.”

Former forward turned back Jonathan Ricketts doesn’t get as many chances to score anymore. However, the stars finally aligned last week in Tucson.

Said Ricketts: “I got my head to it and the keeper got his hand to the ball at the exact same time, so I was devastated. I thought that was my moment. And then the ball got knocked back out to Ricky, and he did a great job of just creating a half yard of space to put the ball back in, and I was at the right place at the right time.”

Said teammate Ricky Ruiz: “Scoring a goal was special, especially being his first goal. Hopefully that pushes him on and gives him more confidence going forward, especially from the back.”

Said Obleda: “He deserved it. He deserved it. Unfortunately a lot of times you don’t always get what you deserve. It always comes when you least expect it. He’d been a couple times close. To finally get it is good for him. I like to see good things happen to good people.”

So do Red Wolves fans, especially when those good people are born and raised in the Chattanooga area.

Said Obleda: “He’s starting the bench mark for us when we, last year when he first came in, kind of the types of players we were looking at and building our culture and our DNA around those types of young men.”

Said Ruiz: “He brings a lot of people to the games. Obviously the more fans we get, the more motivation and energy we get as a team.”

Said Ricketts: “It does a lot to have local players in the system. And then going and working camps in the summer or just hanging out with the academy kids too, they see, oh this guy from my same town made it to the professional level, it can be a good inspiration to the rest of the kids.”

Said Obleda: “We’re building a movement. It’s the Red Wolves movement. … Here in Chattanooga it’s becoming the club. And to have a young man sense that culture and what we’re about … we’ve talked privately and I’ve told him he’s creating what this culture is going to be.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.