The question is not “How good is Colin Ross?”
Rather, it may be “At which position is Colin Ross best?”
Consider the Division I state championship game, when Ross played not one, not two, not three, but four positions for St. Paul’s. His impact was felt all over the field in the Wolves’ 3-0, title-clinching victory over Acadiana.
But versatility is not the primary reason Ross has been named the most outstanding player on the New Orleans Advocate’s Boys All-Metro Soccer Team. It’s his play on the field that stands out above all else.
“In the state finals, he started at forward, then he went out wide,” St. Paul’s coach Sean Moser said. “Then in the second half, he went to midfield for about eight minutes. …Then we put him on defense for 10 or 15 minutes (when one of the top defenders was hurt). And then he finished up back on offense.
“Yeah, he can play anywhere on the field,” Moser said. “He’s that good. He’s the best player in the state. He started for us all four years, and in my seven years as head coach at St. Paul’s, he’s the only player to do that. He was the quiet leader.
“He was always there in practice and in games. Having a guy like that for a year or two is great, but having one for all four years is a blessing.”
Ross didn’t usher in excellence for the St. Paul’s soccer program, but he certainly helped cement its footing. The Wolves have reached six consecutive state championship games and won four of them — three since Ross first started for the varsity in his freshman year.
It was during that freshman season that Moser inserted Ross into the lineup at center back.
“He saw traits in me and thought I could play that position,” Ross said. “I had never played it before in my life, so that definitely was interesting. But it was a timely necessity. … I liked being able to hop on the field and do what the team needed me to do.”
He became accustomed to being wherever Moser needed him for the next three years, too.
“I wasn’t crazy about starting out at forward this year,” Ross said. “But I did that. My favorite (position) is probably attacking mid (fielder), because I liked having the ball.”
But he also liked sharing shots — and camaraderie — with his teammates, as the Wolves continued to notch wins and titles. This season, they went 27-1-3, outscored opponents 94-12 and recorded 20 shutouts. St. Paul’s finished the past two seasons ranked first nationally by MaxPreps.com.
“We’ve had a lot of good team chemistry,” Ross said. “That made it fun.”
Though he has several offers to play in college, Ross said his playing days are likely behind him. He carries a 3.9 grade-point average and plans to study nursing at LSU in the fall.
“I think it’s time to wrap it up,” he said. “I’ve played … since I was 2 or 3. It’s been a while.
“What I’ll miss the most is the chemistry and the bond you get with your teammates. That’s something that’s hard to get anyplace else.”
Austin Wiles/St. Paul’s, senior
Michael Boudreaux/St. Paul’s, senior
Spencer Hollander/Mandeville, senior
Richard Humphrey/Northlake Christian, senior
Chase Rushing/Jesuit, senior
Miles Francis/Brother Martin, senior
Connor Nelson/Newman, senior
Keegan Stanworth/Lakeshore, senior
Donte Oliver/Ben Franklin, senior
Josh Landry/Northlake Christian, senior
Miles Johnson/Holy Cross, junior
Devin Pathoumthong/Mandeville, junior
Coach of the Year
Nick Chetta/Northlake Christian
One year after guiding Northlake Christian to a runner-up finish at state, Chetta and the Wolverines made it back to the title game in 2016 and won the Division IV state championship as a No. 5 seed. NCS defeated second-seeded Newman 2-1 for the title.