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Salpointe grad suits up in NCAA football title game

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Former Salpointe High School standout Lathan Ransom was the " Tucson Player of the Year” in 2019. He turned down offers to stay closer to home in the Pac-12 in hopes of competing for a national title with Ohio State. 

Ransom’s dream of competing in a national championship game came true on Monday, as Ohio State took on #1 Alabama.

Ransom’s name was called by ESPN announcers early in the game as he saw defensive action in the first quarter.  

Unfortunately, Ransom and Ohio State lost to Alabama 52 to 24. Win or lose, a Tucsonan making it to the national title game just a year after graduating high school is pretty exciting.

“I could not be more proud to be at home on my lazyboy watching him in this game,” said Carla Garrett, the legendary strength coach at Salpointe High School, who worked with Lathan ransom at Salpointe. “I think the biggest thing is that he’s self-motivated. I think a lot of athletes you have to light a fire underneath them to get them to work, and with Lathan, I always had to ask him to take a day off. That doesn’t happen very often with young athletes. Now, they’re always looking for a day off. And for (Ransom), I had to turn him away from the weight room. I had to tell him ‘no, we’re not going to run today.”

Del Arvayo, Salpointe High School Director of Football Operations, added, “Someone like Lathan, I don’t want to be overdramatic and say it’s like seeing your kid, but, for someone that you invest time in, someone you care about, someone you’ve seen work as hard as he can, and to see him in a championship as a freshman after being at Salpointe is just outstanding.”

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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last five years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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