Dahmir Pross understood how many teammates from last season’s Bishop Kearney high school football team were graduating last spring.
Bishop Kearney coach Eddie Long gave Pross a clue of what that meant for him this fall, just in case the senior running back failed to connect the dots.
“I knew he was going to need for me to be the leader, basically be the captain of the ship to take us where we need to go,” Pross said. “I came in here thinking about the loss (to Tioga during the 2016 state semifinals), and how I don’t want to lose again. I came here prepared to win.”
Things have worked out fine for the Kings (9-0), who advanced to the Section V Class C final, noon Saturday, when they face East Rochester/Gananda (9-0) at Rhinos Stadium. Bishop Kearney was moved from Class D last season, after winning the sectional title and advancing to the state semifinals.
“As we came together as a family, we started picking it up,” Pross said. “Basically, playing as a team, which has resulted in our record (9-0) and the W’s (wins).”
Pross has 24 rushing touchdowns and 1,773 yards on 175 carries. The fourth-year starter, listed at 5-feet 9 inches and 175 pounds, has gained an average of 10.1 yards per carry. Add in receiving and kick return totals, and Pross has 11 touchdowns and 2,373 all-purpose yards.
School/year: Bishop Kearney/senior.
Resides: city of Rochester.
Sport/positions: Running back/defensive back.
Why I wear jersey No. 8: “When I first started playing varsity (four years ago as a freshman), eight was the last single-digit left, so I took it.”
Advice for 2017 team captains: “Don’t be selfish, think about the whole team and try to lead everyone the right way. Basically, don’t worry about yourself. It’s in the middle. It’s not really hard, but it’s not really easy, either.”
Next for Pross: “I want to play football in college and study sports management, something in that area.” He said his academic average is 92 this school year, 87 overall at Kearney.
People would be surprised to know that: “I’m a smaller back that does some of the stuff that the bigger backs do, and how good I am, for my size.”