LOUDONVILLE — It's not quite all-American, but former Loudonville High School football great Ryan Weber recently was named to the Division II All-Super-region I football team, based on his play at Malone University.

Weber, son of Jim and Leslie Weber of rural Butler, lettered for four years and started for three for the Malone Pioneer football team.

Despite his diminutive size, 5 foot 11, 210 pounds, which was his playing weight as a high school football player and wrestler at LHS four years ago, Weber anchored the Malone defense as it competed in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference the past two ears, and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference the two years before that.

His super-region designation credits him for being among the best linebackers in the Northeast U.S. Among Division II football players. The region includes his Great Midwest Athletic Conference, plus the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, the Northeast 10 Conference and the Mountain East Conference.

Weber played his last football game for the Pioneers in November. While he didn't start, he played regularly as a freshman, and then started all but two games the next three years.

The games he missed were not because of injury, but rather because of a blood condition he has, identified as ITP, which involves his blood count. He missed two games this fall because of a low blood count.

"I had to go through testing before every game, finding out on Wednesday if I would be able to play on Saturday," he said. "My count was so low I was ruled ineligible twice this season."

Weber was diagnosed with ITP in the spring of 2013, shortly after he won the Division III state wrestling championship for LHS in the 195 pound weight class, only the second Redbird wrestler, after Tyler Scott, to win a state wrestling championship.

Weber started playing football as a seventh-grader in the Loudonville schools, at the time, he said, "having no aspirations of playing beyond high school. It was never my goal to play college football; it just happened."

In high school, Weber was a four-year starter for the Redbirds as fullback and linebacker, helping lead the team to the playoffs his junior and senior years. As a freshman, his team went 3-7; sophomore 5-5; junior 9-2, and senior 10-2.

He said he picked Malone as his college and place to continue playing football "because it was a small school. I did not want to go to a bigger school, and I liked Malone's small, friendly campus, where the people were close and friendly — kind of like Loudonville High."

While Weber excelled personally for the Pioneers, the teams did not have great success. His records over the four seasons were 1-10, 0-10, 1-8 and 1-9. The first two years they competed in the larger Great Lakes conference, the smallest college, enrollment wise, in the league. They shifted to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference the past two years.

"As a freshman there were 70 football players in my class," he said. "It was interesting to see that number dwindle, down to just 11 my senior year, because of our lack of success. I see it as a matter of character that we stuck it out."

He said there is a tremendous difference in the intensity of football between the high school and college level.

"In high school we had summer conditioning and practices, and after-school practices plus the games Friday nights," he said. "In college we had conditioning in the offseason, usually lifting three days a week and conditioning a fourth, practices taking up between 15 and 20 hours a week during the season, plus game time.

"The game time was a really big factor my sophomore year, when we played two games, at Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 14-hour bus trips, one way, just to get there," he said. "Those two games occupied the entire weekend."

One positive memory he has from playing at Malone was continuing to play football with two Redbird teammates, Austin and Blake Cary, respectively a year ahead and behind him.

"Blake broke his hand the first game of this season, so didn't get to play much, but he will be back next year," he said.

Weber is majoring in zoology and wildlife biology. He will graduate in May. Last summer, he interned at the Erie, Pennsylvania, Zoo, and said "I can see myself working a career in zoos. I really liked it."

He is the fourth of five Weber children. The eldest, Linda, now 26, graduated from Denison University where she played rugby. Brothers Luke and Tim both played college football, Luke at Muskingum and Tim at Ohio Northern, and both are now engineers.

The youngest, Rachel, is a LHS senior who was the starting goalkeeper for the very successful Redbird soccer team.