Ross inks with Milligan

By Wes Holtsclaw

   A big reason for the success of the Elizabethton soccer squad has been the outstanding play of Andy Ross.
   The anchor of the Cyclone defense, Ross signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to continue his playing career and further his education with Milligan College.
   "It's an amazing opportunity," Ross said. "It's kind of like a dream coming true to be here and signing this letter letting me go on to play at Milligan."
   "I've always had it in the back of my head to have a chance to play there. I never knew if it would come to be or not."
   Ross will join a Milligan squad that has won three conference championships since 1997.
   Buffalo coach Marty Shirley is excited to have Ross join his program.
   "This is real exciting, being able to recruit local talent to Milligan," Shirley said. "Historically, the state of Tennessee is not strong in soccer; especially in this area. It's good to have someone from Elizabethton join the team."
   Ross is looking forward to playing under Shirley.
   "I've known him for a good while and I'm really looking forward to being on his team," Andy stated.
   Ross's parents, Tim and Marcia, are former missionaries to Kenya, where Andy grew up. Tim Ross is now minister at Hopwood Christian Church near the Milligan Campus.
   "What Andy gives us is that he's a young man that's very smart and spiritually mature," Shirley said. "He views this program as a ministry tool and it's a huge asset to have for not only the young men currently on our team, but also for the teams we play."
   Ross was also a celebrated athlete in wrestling and cross-country at Elizabethton, where he was named all-state.
   Said Elizabethton coach Bill McClay: "He's a captain for us and the kids look up to him. He's played every minute we've been out there. He plays real steady, moves the ball and he's just a great asset to our school and community."
   Ross has enjoyed his high school career with Elizabethton.
   "Some of my best memories here have been made being around the guys," Ross said. "I just loved the coach and everything about the sport."
   "He's a good defender, very tenacious and coachable," Shirley added. "He's willing to work hard. I see Andy making a huge impact on our team both on and off the pitch. He is very mature for his age and brings a lot to the table."