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Ryan, Norristown coast past Upper Merion

Norristown's Caleb Ryan lines up a putt during the Eagles' match against Upper Merion at Jeffersonville Golf Course on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

WEST NORRITON >> He’s a former Methacton High student who is a homeschooled student at Norristown High.

And he just may be the best athlete in the school.

Folks, meet Caleb Ryan, the best scholastic golfer in Norristown High School, even though he’s never set a foot inside the building.

Tuesday, Ryan and the Eagles cruised past Upper Merion 268-293 in a match at Jeffersonville Golf Club.

Ryan did his share, vanquishing his foe, Morgan Roman as the Eagles opened their season with a win.

Ryan did not enjoy his best day, but still took care of business as the Eagles waltzed to victory.

“I picked up a plastic club when I was two years old, and I started playing golf when I was seven,” Ryan said. “I’ve had a ball or a club in my hand ever since.”

Norristown’s Josh Siegle tees off during the Eagles’ match against Upper Merion at Jeffersonville Golf Course on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Ryan said he was influenced greatly by Kyle Vance, the former Methacton standout now at Kansas State.

“We’re good friends,” Ryan said. “We’ve played a lot of practice rounds together and I’ve actually beaten him a couple of times.

“But he’s been a great influence on me.”

Ryan is also bolstered by his parents, who followed him around the course Tuesday, and who have been there for him his entire life, along with his brothers (also members of the Eagles golf team), who are good players, but not yet on a par with their brother.

As for his future, Ryan is looking to play golf collegiately, and would consider a spot just about anywhere.

According to his father, Ryan has already fielded inquiries from both Connecticut and Delaware, although his preference is somewhere a little below the Mason-Dixon Line.

“I’m really looking at Liberty University,” Ryan said of the Virginia-based school. “I have friends who play there and it would be fun to play with them collegiately.”

Upper Merion’s Michael Nikolaou chips into the green during the Vikings’ match against Norristown at Jeffersonville Golf Course on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

In the meantime, there’s still a season to play and goals to reach.

“It feels good,” Ryan said of his success. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into my game and it feels good that work is paying off.

“I’d like to play at a Division One college and eventually work my way to the PGA Tour. But my first goal is to have a solid rest of my high school career.

“I get excited looking ahead.”

Norristown 268, Upper Merion 293
Norristown (268): Caleb Ryan 38; Josh Ryan 39; Josh Siegle 56; Joe Valyo 66; Matt Schwartz 69Upper Merion (293): Nathan Ramanjala 50; Connor Gemmill 56; Kevin Donahue 56; Michael Nikolan 60; Ben Menke 71

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