Tonawanda News — Ryan Osborn loves football.
It’s more than a game to the senior North Tonawanda lineman — it’s been his proving ground for the past four years. It’s where he shows the world and himself that he’s good enough; that nothing, not even cancer, can beat him.
Osborn refused an implantable chemotherapy port when he began his fight against Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis as he was just starting sixth grade. He wouldn’t have been able to play, so instead he chose to take chemo through an IV, something Osborn’s mother, Colleen Osborn, said was virtually unheard of for a child.
But Osborn needed football just as much as he needed the drugs that helped him beat cancer.
“He’s really driven to prove himself, and I think that’s because of the things he contended with when he was 11 years old,” said Arthur Cagney, Osborn’s grandfather and best friend. “He really has a desire to be athletic, and to prove that he’s not just as good as everyone else, but that he can excel.”
That’s exactly what Osborn has done so far this season, leading the NT offensive line, inside and outside of the huddle as well as on and off the field. He’s become the unquestioned leader of the Lumberjacks and he has a wealth of experience that allows him to help everybody around him.
Osborn has played for three different coaches in his time at NT and has been an example of consistency for teammates throughout each transition.
“It’s been interesting to work with several different coaching staffs at NT, but it’s been great to see that the kids never really change,” he said. “They have a lot of fight. The guys have fun in the huddle; we’re having fun playing football.”