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Mon., Sept. 27, 2010, 8:11 p.m.

Final version of Spangler article

I was able to get a few minutes on the phone with Ryan Spangler after his football practice Monday afternoon. Read on for the revised article on Spangler, who committed to GU over the weekend. (A shortened version will probably appear in tomorrow's S-R.)

By Jim Meehan



Staff writer

Ryan Spangler had a very busy, tiring and productive weekend.


It started with Spangler tossing two touchdown passes to lift Bridge Creek High School to a 12-6 football win over fourth-ranked Tuttle in Blanchard, Okla., on Friday night. The following morning, Spangler and his parents flew to Spokane to visit Gonzaga on a basketball recruiting trip.


Spangler verbally committed to the Bulldogs over the weekend, hopped on a plane early Monday morning and made Bridge Creek’s afternoon football practice. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward joins guards Gary Bell (Kent, Wash.), Kyle Dranginis (Nampa, Idaho) and Gonzaga Prep’s Chris Sarbaugh in Gonzaga’s 2011 class. Sarbaugh will receive a tuition waiver at GU.


“It was a long weekend because I was tired, but it went by fast,” Spangler said. “I’m happy – no more worrying about that (recruiting) stuff.”


Spangler averaged 26 points and 18.5 rebounds as a junior. He’s rated No. 51 among 2011 power forwards, according to


“He’s a fabulous athlete,” Bridge Creek basketball coach Jason Sanders said. “He kind of flew under the radar mostly because everyone assumed he was going to play football.


“He’s the best rebounder I’ve seen. I know that’s what caught a lot of people’s attention. He has big hands, a football mentality and a little bit of a mean streak. He plays relentlessly.”


Spangler’s father, Larry, coached prep football and two of Spangler’s brothers played college football. Ryan Spangler seemed bound for football until he had a strong season on the AAU basketball circuit.


Spangler said he had 24 Division I basketball scholarship offers before narrowing his choices to Gonzaga and Colorado. He picked the Zags because “you know you’re going to win there, plus I liked the players.”


Spangler also pitched for the baseball team and threw fastballs in the low 90s, Sanders said. The school’s athletic director told Larry Spangler last spring that Ryan probably would be selected in the major league draft.


“He’s a three-sport kid and has never been full-time in the gym,” Sanders said. “Once he gets in the gym, he has huge upside.”


Bridge Creek High is located about 20 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The Bobcats are 3A in football, 4A in basketball, essentially in the middle of Oklahoma’s seven classifications.


“Last year we lost in the game to go to state,” Sanders said. “We have a good chance this year. He’s surrounded by some good, hard-working kids, but he basically puts the team on his shoulders every night.”



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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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