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In April, Mountain View senior defensive back and receiver Ryan Cambouris thought maybe his college football dreams were over.
Nobody had offered Cambouris. He was unsure on where he wanted or if he wanted to play collegiate football.
Yet, the next day, Cambouris’ mindset and outlook drastically changed again, as Puget Sound called, part of an hour-long conversation where his future was beginning to take shape.
“They seemed really interested,” Cambouris said. “I was interested in them. That was actually one of the schools I was thinking of prior to getting offered. Over the course of like a couple weeks, they offered me and I just remember feeling really happy. I regained my motivation, and that really pushed me I guess.”
But quitting is something that is not in the DNA of Mountain View senior defensive back and wide receiver Ryan Cambouris, and there was no way he was going to give up on these dreams, and everything would work out eventually.
Cambouris, just a few weeks away from his final high school football season as a Spartan before his college journey begins in the fall, puts his heart and soul into everything he does – whether that’s football, soccer, track, school, etc. – and that is a motivation for Cambouris every day.
“I feel like what motivates me I committed to something, I committed to football and I feel like I owe it not only to myself, but to my teammates, my coaches, people that I’m in contact with to I guess deliver on what I intend to offer I guess,” Cambouris said.
With that commitment, Cambouris was always destined for success wherever he went, and the results of that commitment have really paid off for him as a student-athlete over the past 12-plus months.
In Mountain View’s 7-4 season in 2019 and trip to the Central Coast Section playoffs, Cambouris did it all – tallying 107 receiving yards, 42 tackles and two tackles for loss.
What Cambouris’ performance showed teammates was shades of do-it-all New Orleans Saints player Taysom Hill, who can play quarterback, receiver and anywhere else the coaches want him to line up.
“I guess kind of like my style of play is kind of like I’m a versatile player, so you can throw me anywhere and I will be able to adapt,” Cambouris said. “And my understanding of the game I feel like is really good, so that’s kind of where I feel I bring the most value is my versatility and understanding of multiple positions.”
Amidst that junior campaign, Cambouris began to realize what his potential was.
He began reaching out to more college coaches, and over the ensuing months the recruiting process eventually heated up.
Once Puget Sound offered, more schools came through for Cambours.
Linfield offered. Wooster College also did.
All three of those schools provide a smaller school setting and compete at the Division III level – something Cambouris really craves as he feels more comfortable in that situation compared to a bigger school feel.
“It’s I guess more of the D3, west coast kind of deal,” Cambouris said. “I’m not really a big school kind of guy, especially if I’m going for sports. I want to be able to have a solid balance between academics and sports, and I feel like the smaller Division III schools will allow me to thrive in both academics and athletics. And those are the kind of the schools I’ve been targeting to begin with, so that’s where I’m at.”
With some of his Mountain View teammates, Cambouris has used this extended offseason to his advantage, working out with teammates throughout the week while recording their sessions with each other.
Through all of that work, Cambouris said he’s really honed in on his footwork, defensive-minded footwork and mobility.
Where he’s also made strides is the mental aspect.
“I’d say one area where I’ve grown a lot over the course of high school is just my mental ability to kind of know what’s going on around me because I play both ways, so being able to know what I’m doing on defense and offense and then being able to take what I know about offense and applying it to defense kind of to counter what the offense is doing I feel like over the years I’ve been able to kind of pick up on that and I feel like that’s really helped my game from a mental aspect,” Cambouris said.
Before Cambouris embarks on his college athletic journey, he has some goals in mind, hoping to bring Mountain View farther than it’s been in recent years after qualifying for the CCS playoffs each of the last two years before suffering elimination in the opening round.
“Definitely the playoff run is important I think to all of us,” Cambouris said. “For me, my goals fall on the defensive side. As a defensive unit, I feel like we should be the best defense in the league, we should lead the league in turnovers and I feel like that’s a goal that everyone on our defense has planned out. And I feel like we have the opportunity to be able to achieve that goal.”
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