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Stellar Sophomore takes SSC specialist of the week

BY JULIA WHEELEHAN

As the lacrosse season kicks into full gear, one of the Spartans has already shown his skill on the field. Sophomore midfielder Ross Dickerson has been awarded his first SSC Specialist of the Week.

“I started playing lacrosse in 8th grade,” Dickerson said. “I was a gymnast for eight years, but I wanted something that was more of a team sport.”

Team sports is where Dickerson has flourished throughout his life. He’s been playing lacrosse for seven years and has earned many awards ever since his freshman years in high school. He was named First Team All-ESIAC (Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference) for his sophomore, junior and senior years. As a sophomore he was awarded Second Team All-MILL (Major League Lacrosse), followed by First Team All-MLL in his junior and senior years. He was awarded ESIAC Player of the Year in his junior year at Worcester Preparatory School.

However, he didn’t wake up and go from doing flips to catching and throwing balls around without having to strive for it. “I worked my tail off and ended up playing varsity for all four years,” Dickerson said.

Fellow teammate and sophomore Joe Bradley also commends Dickerson on his impressive rise as a midfielder himself.

“I’ve known Ross for about two years now,” Bradley said. “I think Ross does deserve this award because he is the perfect example of determination making you better.”

On the team, Dickerson is a midfielder, playing one of the most challenging positions on the field. Midfielders are responsible for getting the ball back to their team, the transition. They play both the offense and defense on the field. The challenge, the rush, is something that inspired Dickerson to gravitate towards that position.

“I love to compete,” Dickerson said. “The face off position is very black and white. You either win or you lose; there is no in between.”

This high stakes position is where Dickerson thrives. In his first game of the season, he scored a point, setting the bar high for himself.

Fellow teammate, senior Blaine Birch, remembered the first time, last year (when Dickerson was a freshman) that Dickerson scored a goal.

“The most memorable thing about Ross was watching him score his first college goal against tusculum,” Birch said.       Tusculum College is traditionally one of the first matches in a season, so it makes sense that Dickerson would start off his college career strong.

Early this month, the Spartans played against Tusculum again. Dickerson, of course, helped to score one of the nineteen goals against the Pioneers. He also won the first face off and recovered the ball ten times.

Birch also remembered all the hard work that Dickerson has put into his position.

“He has worked very hard for the past two years,” Birch said. And it seems to have paid off. “He [has won] most of the face offs, giving us the advantage by getting the ball.”

Bradley agreed with Birch, adding onto how difficult it is to win faceoffs.

“The team can’t score if they don’t have the ball,” Bradley said. “Ross gets us the ball a lot.”

Lacrosse has definitely made an impact of Dickerson and it’s clear that he would like to help others become lacrosse stars as well.

“I hope to work with Kids Lacrosse the World this summer,” Dickerson said.

Kids Lacrosse the World is a program that teaches children how to play lacrosse as a way of improving their leadership skills, sending mentors to either Kenya, Africa or to Malaysia, Borneo.

“Lacrosse is a great sport and I’ve learned tons of lessons and met so many different people because of it,” Dickerson said.

Fellow teammate, Chris Budke, has also admired how much of an impact Dickerson has made on the lacrosse team. “He’s an outstanding athlete,” he said. “He’s really taught me a lot.”

The next game will be an away game on Feb. 18, against Limestone College in South Carolina.

Julia Wheelehan can be reached at julia.wheelehan@spartans.ut.edu

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