With two victories in a row after an 0-3 start, Western High’s rebuilding football team is on the move. At the forefront of that progression is sophomore running back Romello Ross, the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“Without him, we wouldn’t have a running game,’’ coach Andre Harlan said of Ross, who carried the ball 18 times for 202 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, last Friday in the Cowboys’ 20-18 victory against Northwestern. The 5-11, 170-pounder also had an interception from his safety position in the defensive secondary.
“He’s a kid who is hungry,’’ Harlan said. “He works hard every day in practice and does the same in the offseason. He’s concerned about his life, not just in football but period. He always wants to be a good citizen and tries to make everybody around him better. He’s committed about what he wants to do.”
Ross, who has a 3.2 grade point average, is well on his way toward achieving his goal. “I definitely hope to get a scholarship to go to college,’’ he said. “I feel like I’m a great student-athlete. I just know that without the books, I won’t be able to get out here and play football. That’s what drives me to hit the books as hard as I hit out here.”
Ross has already gained interest from the University of Michigan after earning all-city and all-state honors as a freshman at Southwestern High, where Harlan was the coach. When that school was closed, Harlan took the job at Western and Ross followed.
“Without my coach, I wouldn’t here right now,’’ Ross said. “He trusts me by giving me the ball and he lets me do something with it. As a running back, that’s all you could ask for.”
Ross credits his offensive line with creating the holes that allows him to run free.
“They did the job that needed to be done,’’ he said. “As a running back, I’m patient and I have good vision. I run aggressive and I run violent. I refuse to be tackled by one person. I don’t have a problem with hitting somebody, but I’m smart about it. If I can put a move on you and get around you and keep running, I’ll do that. But it all starts with the offensive linemen doing their job. I try to motivate them to be better. I just want the best out of everybody.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week award is representative of the league’s top boys and girls athletes. The award is presented by the DPS Office of Athletics and sponsored for the third year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators.
Sports Information Director
Detroit Public Schools