SAN DIEGO – Castle Park High School senior Ryland Humphrey wraps his wrists before he plays baseball. On his wrists, he always writes the phrase “all out,” a constant reminder of how he wants to play.
“I write this before every game on my arm,” Humphrey said. “It’s basically what my dad says to me before every game, ever since I was 5 years old playing baseball. He said, ‘Go all out bud. Go all out.’ It’s kind of our thing that we have.
“He’s been saying that to me in water polo, basketball, swim — whatever you do — you just gotta go all out.”
So that’s exactly what Humphrey does, regardless of the sport. Currently, it’s at shortstop on the baseball team where he leads the Trojans in most offensive categories and plays stellar defense.
“The kid’s just an all-around stud,” Castle Park baseball coach Miguel Lopez said. “He’s a great athlete, an all-around student. Quite frankly, he’s even another coach on the field.”
Baseball is Humphrey’s favorite sport, but he doesn’t limit himself to the diamond.
While many kids now specialize in one sport, he prefers to play something different each season. He has earned varsity letters in basketball, swimming and water polo — where he set the school record for goals in a career and ranks in the top 10 all-time in the San Diego section.
“Playing travel ball year-round and stuff is really damaging for your arm,” Humphrey said. “So playing different sports, getting in shape, water polo gets you in great shape boosts your stamina up, you’re able to stay up longer. And basketball, it’s really good stamina-wise. It all compliments with playing baseball, too.”
Diversification also has developed leadership skills within Humphrey, according to Lopez.
“He leads without trying to lead,” Lopez said. “And kids will naturally try to follow him and he’s good at it.”
From Castle Park, he plans to attend Grossmont College, like his father who earned All-American honors as a water polo goalie. He plans to play both baseball and water polo for the Griffins and then do the same when he transfers to a four-year school, preferably UC San Diego.
After that, he has even loftier goals.
“I want to be the first (MLB) baseball player to play USA water polo too,” he said. “That’s my goal. You gotta dream big.”