By Michael Bower
Spencer Ridout is not denied very often when he fires the puck toward the net. And when he is, the Rancho Bernardo High sophomore is usually right there to smack the rebound in for a goal.
“He just has a scorer’s attitude,” Broncos’ roller hockey coach Pat Sagara said. “He believes he will score every time he shoots the puck. He is an offensive force. There really is no other way to put it.”
Ridout is among the leaders in the Metro Conference with 73 points (46 goals, 27 assists) through Monday. The 6-foot-2 forward’s knack for finding the back of the net has helped Rancho Bernardo to 18 wins and probably the top seed in the upcoming CIF championships.
“I think to just go as hard as I can and then if I have a shot on net I am going to take it,” said Ridout, who started playing roller hockey at the Escondido Sports Center when he was 10. “And if I don’t score on that shot, I am going to skate hard to the net to get the rebound.”
Ridout scored six goals over the course of two games last week. He had three in Rancho Bernardo’s 8-1 win over Poway and had three more — including the game winner — in the Broncos’ 6-5 overtime victory over Scripps Ranch last Wednesday.
For his efforts, Ridout is the Pomerado News Athlete of the Week.
“I just got a lucky bounce and moved past a defender and took a shot and it went in,” Ridout said of his game-winning goal against Scripps Ranch. “We were up 5-1 in that game until the third period. We thought we had it in the bag and they came back. We were lucky to get a win.”
There is nothing lucky about Ridout’s talent. He has honed his skills by playing with some of the top travel teams in the state, including Team USA for three years.
He won a gold medal with the 16U San Diego Stingrays, a travel team that includes current Rancho
Bernardo teammates Geoff Sagara, Zachary Semonian and Cameron Richards, last summer.
But he wasn’t always on the same side as his current teammates. Before playing with the Stingrays, he played with the Junior Ducks out of Corona. The Ducks and Stingrays tend to meet often in the Junior Olympics.
“A lot of our players were familiar with Spencer from his time with the Ducks,” said Sagara, who was Ridout’s first recreation league coach. “So when he showed up at Rancho Bernardo when he was a freshman, it was like we know this guy. We know this guy can play.”
And Ridout has been a force ever since he stepped into the rink for the Broncos. He made the varsity team as a freshman, playing the second line. This year, he is among a handful of talented Rancho Bernardo starters.
The Broncos have hopes of capturing their first CIF title since 2008. With only one loss, Rancho Bernardo is certainly capable of accomplishing the task. The Broncos will likely open the playoffs in the quarterfinals on Wednesday as the No. 1 seed.
“I think it would mean a lot to win a CIF title,” Ridout said. “Rancho Bernardo doesn’t have that many great sports teams and we have a good chance of winning. I think it would bring a good name to our school.”