Ross takes on leadership role for young Valley team

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Thursday, August 22, 2019 | 5:51 PM


Leadership is a quality every coach looks for in his players. They look for players who can step up when the game is on the line or someone who leads with his voice and actions, a player who holds teammates to higher standards.

Valley’s Vaun Ross is ready to step into that role for his final high school season.

“I’m just ready to do everything I can for this team,” Ross said.

In the past, Valley football coach Muzzy Colosimo said he has had trouble getting his players to buy into the program. This year’s team isn’t that way.

“I like these kids; they are all good kids,” Colosimo said. “They come to every practice, they do everything they are supposed to do, and I haven’t had that since my first two years here. This group that just left, they kind of just did what they wanted to do.”

Ross has taken on the challenge of holding his teammates to that higher standard. Last year, his older brother, Deonte, was one of the leaders on the team, so he is looking to step into that role this year.

Over the past few years, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound wide receiver/defensive back has seen what not do from the classes that came before him.

He said there were times in the past where teammates would be arguing mid-game and fighting with each other. After witnessing that, Ross knows what needs to be passed onto his younger teammates.

“I was young, a freshman, I looked around and saw everything that was happening,” Ross said. “So I know what not to do because I’ve seen it before. I can take all of that in and dish it onto my brothers.”

Ross’ leadership will be even more important this year. The Vikings are young, they have a new quarterback, and they are looking to break into the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Even with their youth, Ross can already see the difference in this team.

“We show up and work,” Ross said. “We’ve come together as a team because last year there were times where we were on the field mid-game arguing with each other. Now, we show up every day, we work every day and we are disciplined, we have close bond and I think that’s No. 1 thing.”

That close bond could go a long way for the Vikings this season. They’ll have to fill holes across their defensive and offensive lines, and Colosimo said three or four freshmen might start in their Week Zero game against Burrell on Friday night.

While the team is young and inexperienced, the offense may take an exciting turn this year. In the past, Colosimo has implemented a run-heavy, ground and pound offense. With a lack of linemen this year, Colosimo has surrounded new quarterback Cayden Quinn with a number of skill players, Ross being one of them.

The expectations for the Vikings are up in the air this year, but even if they don’t accomplish anything, Ross is hoping to instill pride back into Valley football.

“We just want to be a band of brothers again,” Ross said. “We want to make it feel like Valley again. Kids used to be so excited, even me, three or four years ago to come to games and just run around when the stands were packed. So I want that to happen again. I’m excited.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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