IOLA — In the mass of humanity on the line of scrimmage, linemen tend to do their jobs in relative obscurity. It’s hard to get noticed when you spend the better part of four quarters crashing into bodies and getting buried in the piles.
Iola-Scandinavia senior Ryan Bauer is one of the exceptions. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound stout interior player makes his presence felt on both sides of the line of scrimmage while handling his duties in the trenches.
That might mean creating a hole for quarterback Cameron Gruenwald or running back Kristian Welch to run through all night long.
Or Bauer can be seen penetrating opposing backfields and tackling runners and quarterbacks for losses.
“I like to be on defense because I feel like it’s faster-paced and you get more action,” Bauer said. “It’s a big rush out there making a play behind the line of scrimmage.
“You don’t know where the play is going (on defense), so you have to react to it,” Bauer added. “(On offense) you know what you’re going to do and who the other guys is you have to block.”
As a junior, Bauer was a standout right tackle on offense and a right defensive end. He did both of them extremely well.
So well that the rest of the Central Wisconsin Conference 8 coaches certainly noticed him enough to name him first team all-conference at both positions.
How do you view your role on this team on and off the field? I would like to think of myself as a leader and then I just want to be the best I can be for the team. You have to be able to perform on the field. I like to give advice to the young guys in practice so they don’t get yelled at.
What has been the highlight of your football career up until this point? I would say when I played with my brother Seth when I was sophomore and he was a senior. He was the right tackle and I was the defensive end. We went against each other in practice, coaches like to do that so we would give our best every time. Whoever won would have something to hold against the other.
What do you like to do before a game? One of my rituals is I eat one sandwich and drink a glass of milk and then hang out with my buddy Karl Bodey.
Who has been your role model growing up, and what lesson have they taught you that you’ll take with you the rest of your life? My role model has been my older brother Seth. He shared with me that if you work hard and really want something, you can get it. He also taught me a lot about football. He showed me how tough and aggressive you had to be and needed to be to accomplish things you want.
If you could meet anyone in the history of the world, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would you want to find out about them? I would pick George Washington and I would want to know what made him do the things he did that made him such a good leader.
How would you define happiness in your life? I think happiness is learning to be content with what you have right now.
What is your greatest fear? Reality is someone else’s dream.
Name something on your bucket list you absolutely have to get done by the time you turn 40: Go to Europe.
What talent would you like to have? To be super, super fast because I have no idea what that’s like.
Tell us something about yourself that the average person might not know about you: I actually really enjoy playing the guitar and have been doing it since fourth grade. I’ve actually played in a few weddings.
What can’t you live without? My friends.
What are your post-high school plans? I would like to attend UW-Stevens Point and get a degree in elementary education. I’m still unsure about playing football in college.
—Scott A. Williams can be reached at 715-345-2282, or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter as @SPJScottWill
School: Iola-Scandinavia High School
Family: Father, Frank Bauer jr.; Mother, Ruth; Brothers, Ethan (22) and Seth (20); Sister, Danae (24)
Favorite subject: History
Favorite food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny
Favorite super hero: Batman
Favorite all-time movie: “Braveheart”
Favorite TV show: “M.A.S.H.”
Favorite pro athlete: J.J. Watt
Favorite team: Green Bay Packers
Favorite musical group/artist: Johnny Cash
Fantasy job/career: I would like to be an elementary school teacher
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: Facebook
IPhone or Android: iPhone
Favorite vacation spot: Bahamas
Favorite place in Iola: On my farm