BARNUM - Ryan Sloth has accomplished a lot of successes in his sports career he was a starter on the 2000 Iowa State University football team that went on to win a bowl game, played arena football for the Iowa Barnstormers and teams in Ohio and California, coached at Iowa State, currently coaches for the Iowa Barnstormers and has even made appearances in the football movies "We Are Marshall" and "Leatherheads."
But Sloth says one of the greatest accomplishments of his career didn't require much athletic ability, but rather writing skills.
Sloth came to the Manson Northwest Webster Elementary School in Barnum recently to speak to classes and help students celebrate accomplishing their goal of reading 1,000 books school wide.
Iowa Author Ryan Sloth reads his book “Sammy Sloth, Sports Superstar,” to students at Manson Northwest Webster Elementary School recently. Sloth visited the school as a reward for the students accomplishing their goal of reading 1,000 books before Christmas.
Sloth wrote a children's book, "Sammy Sloth, Sports Superstar," based off a story he wrote for an English class during his freshman year at Belmond-Klemme High School.
"We wrote a children's book as an assignment my freshman year," Sloth said. "It was always kind of a goal of mine that maybe someday I could make some changes and have it published."
The story features Sammy the Sloth, a character named from Sloth's last name. Being a creature not known for speed, Sammy decides he wants to become an athlete. After trying out for the football, baseball, basketball, track and swim teams and discovering he was just too slow, Sammy finds his niche playing golf, a sport where he succeeds because he can play slowly and steadily.
Several other characters Sammy meets as he searches for the perfect sport are also named for people in Sloth's life, such as siblings and his son, Tucker.
"That's one thing I enjoy about writing and being creative, I can build characters from the people I know," he said.
There is also one message Sloth hopes his young readers take away from the story.
"I travel in the off season promoting the story and to deliver the message of 'never give up,'" he said. "I want students to understand that they may not have all the characteristics needed to do one thing, but if they keep on trying they will find something they are good at."
Contact Emilie Nelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org