Hec Crighton nomination staying with Mounties as Ross succeeds Hughes as AUS football MVP

Jody Jewers
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SACKVILLE, N.B. - For the second straight season, a member of the Mount Allison Mounties is the most outstanding player in Atlantic University Sport football.
Yesterday, Gary Ross was named the AUS nominee for the Hec Crighton Trophy as the nation's best. The winner will be announced during Vanier Cup week festivities in Ste-Foy, Que.
Ross succeeds former teammate Kelly Hughes, the AUS's top player a year ago.
The Mounties missed Hughes, going winless for the first time since 2005 this season, but Ross continued to shine, setting new AUS records for receptions in a season (60), career receptions (172) and career receiving yards (2,582).
"It means a lot, especially when you consider that the other coaches in the conference voted for me for this award," said Ross.
"I'm flattered that they thought that much of me."
Opposing coaches thought enough of Ross that they routinely avoided kicking to him on special teams, or else Ross would have shattered the AUS career standards for punt and kickoff returns, too. He's second in both categories after four seasons.
The 27-year-old Windsor, Ont., native, a married father of three, has applied to dentistry school at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and his decision to return for a fifth year rests on whether he gets accepted there. He figures he'll get word in March or April.
"Gary's simply an incredible player," Mounties head coach Kelly Jeffrey said. "I've never seen anyone with as much desire to score when he gets his hands on the football. He has the ability to take a short pass or any punt or kickoff and do magical things."
Ross was named an AUS all-star receiver and return specialist for the fourth consecutive year Wednesday.
Other major award winners were Tom Lynch (defensive player of the year) and Nate Annan (rookie of the year) from the St. Francis Xavier X-Men, Devon Hicks (lineman of the year), Steve Sumarah (coach of the year) and Devin Murphy (volunteer coach of the year) from the Saint Mary's Huskies, and Greg Knight of the Acadia Axemen (student-athlete community service).


Organizations: Atlantic University Sport, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Ste-Foy, Que, Windsor, Halifax Saint Mary

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