As a freshman at Mount Paran Christian, Aiden Ross and his teammates on the lacrosse team were not used to losing to archrival Walker.
However, it happened during the 2017 season.
“I’ll always remember that,” Ross said. “Coach wasn’t very happy.”
It never happened again during his four-year varsity career at Mount Paran.
“As a junior, we played them, and it was the most fun, most intense game I’ve ever played,” Ross said.
Late in the game, Ross made a mistake and lost control of the ball. He made up for it, however, by helping Mount Paran stop the Walker offense by forcing a turnover and clearing the ball. The Eagles took that turnover and went down and scored the game-winning goal.
“We won 12-11,” Ross said.
It was the kind of game that checked all the boxes for him.
“It’s a fast sport,” Ross said. “There is a discipline to it. You have to use all of your athleticism. It makes you a responsible person.”
Ross, a captain this year, was hoping to make more of those memories, but the season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said the team was made aware of the original two-week postponement in March as it was about to take the field to play Whitefield Academy.
Ross said he had an idea of what was coming.
“I figured it would be my last game,” he said. “I felt it was a worst-case scenario.”
Ross, who led Mount Paran in ground balls as a sophomore and junior, said he had a chance to continue his career in college, but he instead decided to play club lacrosse while focusing on his studies when he heads to Auburn University this fall.
However, he knows how hard it was to break into the starting lineup, and he said this early offseason could work in the favor of some of the underclassmen.
“I only played like two minutes a game as a freshman,” Ross said. “I had to work really hard in the offseason to become a starter my sophomore year. These guys have to look at this as an opportunity. Hit the wall ball, run, get better as an athlete. If you want something, you have to put in the work.”
When Ross gets to Auburn, he plans on studying psychology, with the hopes of becoming a counselor. He wants to work with teenagers dealing with anxiety.
“It happened to me and a lot of my friends,” Ross said. “School is hard when you are younger.”