Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
As the featured running back for Western International High’s football team, junior Romello Ross made a strong 2013 debut Saturday in the Cowboys’ 42-12 victory against Osborn.
Ross, in his second season at Western after starring at Southwestern as a freshman, ran 17 times for 213 yards and three touchdowns and has been named the Detroit Public School League’s first Proud Strong Learner of the Week for the new school year.
“His strength and speed have improved greatly since his first season,” said Western coach Andre Harlan, who also coached Ross at Southwestern. “His wisdom about the game is also showing. He’s becoming more of a team leader. He’s determined to be the best the state has to offer.”
At 5-10, 195-pounds, Ross also plays safety on defense. Last year, he was the only sophomore to make the PSL’s All-City team after being selected as the only freshman in 2011.
With a 3.0 grade point average, Ross is preparing academically to play at the next level and hopes to raise his profile among Division 1 college recruiters.
“My goals this year are to become known and to get an offer,’’ he said. “Some schools have been talking with my coach. But nothing is set. I need to gain weight and get bigger, so I’m practicing better eating habits. “
Ross finds the high school game still challenging, but said he’s become more resilient to the physical pounding since he started lifting weights.
“My speed and power is where I’ve made the most improvement,’’ he said. “I’m not afraid of the contact any more. I’ve become more of a balanced back.”
Ross credits the Cowboys’ revamped offensive line with paving the way for his rushing onslaught against Osborn. “All of the guys on my line are new this year, but they did what needed to be done,” he said. “They opened the holes, I saw them, and ran through them.”
Western finished 4-5 overall last year and didn’t earn its first victory until week 4, after which Ross was chosen for the first time PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week. He sees last week’s triumphant opener as a sign of good things to come.
“With the group we have, I see us going a lot further than we did last year ,’’ he said. “For me personally, I know there were other guys who had good games so it means a lot to be named Proud Strong Learner of the Week. I’m just glad that I could stand out. But we’ve got to keep working to be where we want to be.”
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 fourth year in a row by Detroit-area McDonald’s owner-operators.