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North-South Classic: A "Ritch" football background

Josh Ritchie moved to University High two years ago and is now a North All-Star.


Josh Ritchie is a player at this week's WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All Star camp in Institute who has ties to not one, but two schools.

Following his sophomore season at Ravenswood, his family moved to Morgantown. Ritchie went from being a Red Devil to a University High Hawk.

While it was tough leaving the place he'd lived his entire life, Ritchie made the adjustment easily to play for John Kelley's program and is now an all-star with the North squad.

"Didn't have to switch wardrobe colors. I kept in touch with everybody from Ravenswood. They're like family. I made new family. Just like adding family," Ritchie said from the West Virginia State University campus where the players are living and training for Saturday's game in South Charleston.

Speaking of family, his first cousin, Doug Ritchie, was a South Cardinal in 1979. In all, several relatives have enjoyed success on the football field.

"My grandpa and my uncle played for Ravenswood. My dad and my uncle. Both of my uncles played for Ravenswood. My uncle Pete Wood played at Bluefield and then went on to play at WVU and then with the Bills for a little while," Ritchie said. "It's crazy how family heritage can drive back through the years."

Besides family, football is about friendship. And Ritchie cherishes that aspect.

"I was talking to (Ravenswood) Coach (Mick) Price a couple of weeks ago and he was like, 'Josh, here's what I want you do do. Go down there and make some friends because you never know when you are going to see them again. You'll work with (them). They'll move away, you'll move away. Working with them and making friends.'"

Soon, he'll make another batch of friends as he sets out to play for the Mountaineers.

"I got Coach (Tony) Gibson and one of the recruiting coordinators came up to me, they were like, 'Josh we'd like to offer you a preferred walk-on position.' I said, 'That's my dream. Yes sir, I'll take it.' They said, 'Glad we can help make you a Mountaineer.'" Dream come true."

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