Before Manny Ridge started running for touchdowns, his mother made sure he wasn't going to run to the streets. They moved from San Bernardino to the far east valley.
"Too many gun shots. My mom didn't want me to be raised like I was. I was running the streets a lot back in the day," Manny Ridge said.
Eventually Ridge would land at Desert Mirage High School and just before the start of his junior season, life as he knew it would soon change.
"I realized football was going to be my passion when my dad was dying," Ridge said.
Before his dad passed away he might not have left him the athletic ability.
"Sucked at football and basketball, he was fast though," Ridge said.
He did leave him with some life changing advice.
"He was like I want you to take care of my kids but first I want you to make it to the NFL," Ridge said.
So after almost giving up the sport.
"There was a time there for a few days that he thought about quitting. As soon as Manny accepted that his dad wanted him to play the light switch went on for him," Eric Perry said.
Instead Manny used it as the fuel for the fire.
"He led the state in carries, 44 a game. This guy would carry it 44 times and be out here on Monday and be the first guy running sprints," Perry said.
"Pretty much my mom had to get me up out of bed, so that is pretty much how I felt everyday," Ridge said.
He went out there and ran with a heavy heart and a purpose. Over 2,000 yards and 17-touchdowns.
"I'm getting chills right now talking about it, he went out and dedicated that season to his dad and ran possessed," Perry said.
"If I have to I will try and go through you. Might not work but I'll try it cause I am man enough to do it," Ridge said.
Still managed over a 3.0 GPA with life throwing linebackers his way.
"Just shows what kind of kid he is. He is just a hard worker," Perry said.
He's got some other plans if football doesn't work out.
"I told him I'm going to make it to the NFL and if that doesn't work out I'll be a bassist," Ridge said.
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