A Most Valuable Player is a player that the team could not live without. He does a little bit of everything whether on offense or defense. He’s they type of player that if you removed him from the equation it could be the difference between first and fourth place.
A player of the Year on the other hand is a guy whose numbers are simply too big to ignore. He may be surrounded by other great players but he is usually the one that stands out- the player that does something amazing every game.
In 2017 Downey’s Baraq Ross was that player. He rushed for over 200 yards in a game four different times during the season and finished with 2,303 overall leading Downey to the CIF Division 4 Championship game. He averaged 8.3 yards per carry and had 31 rushing touchdowns on the season including 3 against Capistrano Valley in the semi finals and 3 more vs. Cajon in the finals.
Ross could catch the ball out of the backfield as well. He hauled in 21 receptions for 364 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year. He found time to play defense as well with 18 total tackles from his cornerback position.
“He truly is a difference maker. If it wasn’t for him and his athleticism we might not have pulled off some of he close games we won, especially against Corona Del Mar,” said Downey assistant Michael Gutierrez. Ross had 197 yards and a touchdown in that second round playoff game.
Ross was a factor in every game for the Vikings putting up numbers that are hard to imagine. He is our Mid Valley Sports Player of the Year.