The Morningside special teams have been outstanding this year, but it wouldn’t be so without the sacrifice of fifth-year senior Addison Ross, who’s done nothing but prove there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Morningside football.
“He made the move, without ever showing anything but a great team attitude,” said Head Coach Steve Ryan. “And there wasn’t even a day where we thought ‘hey, we’ve just got to get Addison through this.’ That was amazing.”
After spending the last few seasons catching passes, Addison Ross thought this would be the year he’d finally be Morningside’s starting quarterback. Coming back for a fifth year, he battled sophomore Joey Dolincheck for the starting job and ultimately lost. For some, that would be a crushing blow, but not Ross.
“I was still excited to be a part of an awesome team,” Ross said. “I always knew I had experience at J-Back, I had success at J-Back. So it was kind of a backup plan that if I needed to I could go back to it. And I did, and we’ve had a great year, that’s exciting.”
It would be understandable for a little friction between ross and new starting quarterback Joey Dolincheck, wouldn’t it? Nope, not for Ross.
“I love the kid. He’s a great guy. Works hard, [he’s] a team guy,” said Ross. “He’s always communicating, which is huge, especially from a quarterback to his receivers, which he always is. We have a good relationship.”
“I think guys see that. They see that hey, he’s back here for fifth year, this isn’t the fifth year he wanted, yet he’s willing to sacrifice for the team,” Ryan said. “And it’s not always a sacrifice, it’s a hey I’m going to enjoy the team, I’m going to enjoy the game, even if it’s not the role I want.”
On top of his duties as the J-Back, the most complicated position in Morningside’s offense, outside of the quarterback, Addison also added the duties of being the team’s punter.
“So I did it my senior year in high school, and I was kind of the backup. It’s exciting to get out there though. Usually, I’m pretty disappointed though, because I’m on offense, and we failed on a third-down conversion. So a good punt I’ll celebrate after the game, but at the time I’m not very happy about it.”
Well, fortunately for Addison, he doesn’t have to be too upset over punts, seeing as he only has had 18 in 13 games this season. But he wouldn’t mind a few more to get him qualified among his punting peers.
“I have no punts, so when we’re with the wind, and we’re up playing the game I’ll be like ‘hey let me go out there.’ especially we were against the wind in Northwestern, and I had two punts, and that brings down your average fast when you only have like 15 on the year,” he said.
“We joke about it a little bit because he doesn’t get any recognition for his punting,” Ryan said “Because he just doesn’t get enough punts, but I’d like to keep it that way.”