Dennis Semrau covers prep sports for 100.5 ESPN and ESPN Wisconsin.com
Ryan Van Handel, Verona Area High School
Sports: Football, basketball, baseball.
Sports highlights: Ryan is a returning letterwinner and a two-year starter in basketball as a forward. A first-year co-captain as a senior, he leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.4 points per game and with a team-best 41 3-pointers. He averaged 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a junior.
He lettered and started at tight end in football as a senior. He caught nine passes for 73 yards and a touchdown and caught one two-point PAT pass. He earned All-Big Eight Conference honorable mention honors. He also played baseball and was an outfielder as a freshman.
Pre-game ritual or superstition: Normally get in a power nap and eating something light.
Cumulative GPA: 3.9.
Favorite subject/class: Mathematics.
Favorite teacher: Mr. Tiller (Environmental Science).
Quick quote: “Competing in sports has taught me to take advantage of every opportunity you get and never give up.”
Three words to describe me are: Outgoing, positive, caring.
I got my start in sports: From my dad and older brother. I played football, basketball, baseball and soccer growing up. I started playing basketball when I was five years old.
I wish I could play: Golf.
My most memorable moments in sports: Playing at the seventh grade basketball state tournament where we placed seventh and I received all-state recognition.
I like about high school sports: Being able to represent my school and my community.
I enjoy playing basketball because: I’ve grown close with so many of my teammates and coaches over the years and those bonds have made me love basketball even more.
Advice: “Make the most of every opportunity and do what makes you happy.”
My role models are: My parents, Reed and Joanna, my brothers, John and Tommy, and Coach Mike Fulton.
Most inspirational teammate: Reagan Klawiter.
My family also includes: Our dog, Lilly.
Words to live by: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” -- Michael Jordan.
Favorite athlete: James Harden.
Favorite team: Chicago Cubs.
Favorite opponent: Middleton.
Favorite facility/site to compete in: Verona’s Curtis Jones Field.
Favorite movie: ‘Step Brothers’.
Favorite TV show: ‘The Office’.
Favorite food: Hot wings.
Favorite fast food place and/or restaurant: Draft House.
Favorite sport on TV: Football.
Favorite place to visit: Arizona.
I want to visit: China.
Top three favorite songs: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’; ‘Money Longer’; ‘Craving You’.
Primary news source: Twitter.
Favorite website: Hudl.
I drive: A Kia Optima.
Dream car: A G-Wagon.
I can’t live without: My family and friends.
I like Verona High School because: Everyone is very friendly and you get to know so many different people.
If I could change anything: I wish I would have played football since my freshman year instead of just going out this year.
I wish we could play: Mount Horeb.
I wish I could meet: Michael Jordan.
Dream date: Just chill and watch a movie.
Dream gift: A new car.
Preferred brand of shoe: Adidas.
My perfect day: Wake up around noon, play a basketball game around 2:30 p.m., go out to eat after, and then hang out with friends at night.
I like to read: My Twitter timeline.
This and that: Member of National Honors Society … National Honors Society Committee leader … worked at ‘The Legend’ at Bergamont … used to participate in Choir … volunteer work includes: Freshman Mentor, school food drive and working the scoreboard, officiating and working concessions at youth basketball games and tournaments … earned Academic Honors for basketball … played AAU basketball with the Wisconsin Blizzard for three years and with the Wisconsin Bluebirds for the last two years.
Hobbies: Playing sports, hanging out with friends and playing video games.
Post-high school plans: Attend either UW-Madison or University of Minnesota to study Marketing.
Did you know? I have extremely good vision.
Career goal: Do something in the business field that involves sports.