OWOSSO — Chris Ott — this week’s Argus-Press/Memorial Healthcare Athlete of the Week — was a powerful blocker at center for Owosso’s football team this fall.
The 6-1, 295-pound senior has also been a state-qualifying wrestler at heavyweight for the Trojans.
Owosso football coach Devin Pringle just calls Ott a standout athlete — and an even better human being.
“First and foremost is his work ethic,” Pringle said. “He’s a kid who never misses an offseason workout. If there’s two sessions of a workout going on a day, he comes to both when he would only need to come to one.
“He’s a kid that rounds up his teammates and gets them up there. He makes people around him better,” the coach said.
While Owosso delivered a modest 3-6 overall record this fall, Ott was one of the keys in helping the Trojans establish its run-first approach to the game, Pringle said.
Pringle said Ott’s determination helped him transform his body and become a first team All-Flint Metro League Stars Division selection this fall on the offensive line. But Ott’s leadership as captain and the example he set for teammates was immeasurable.
Ott, a two-year captain, made all of the line calls.
“I would say, my biggest improvements I made from my junior to my senior year as a center would probably be my athleticism — I got a lot stronger, I got a lot quicker,” Ott said. “And I knew where I was supposed to be on certain plays … My bench (press) my junior year was about 225 and I brought it up to 275. My dead lift was 550 pounds during the season.”
The Trojans’ victories came in Week 1, a 49-28 win over Kelloggsville; Week 7, a 52-8 conference win over Clio; and Week 9, a 33-7 victory to close out the season against Adrian.
Owosso totaled 460 yards in offense in Week 1, including 356 on the ground. Tyler Dewley ran for 141 yards and three scores. Hugh Doyle completed 5 of 7 passes for 104 yards and two scores.
“My favorite game would probably have been Kelloggsville,” Ott said. “It was at home and I know the atmosphere that night was just amazing. Our student section was amazing. And the people there who were supporting us were amazing. It was a great feeling to come out our first game and do pretty decent.”
Ott said his best individual game was probably against Adrian.
“We ran ‘40 wedge’ over me a lot that game,” the center said. “The (full back) coming right behind me, Charles Goldman. It was power running right up the middle. I had a couple of pancakes. We were just getting a lot of yards on wedges that game. It wasn’t just me. Our whole line was moving bodies, our tackles, our guards and our tight ends.”
Ott, who was a second-team All-Flint Metro center a year ago, has had to overcome some injuries in his career, noted Pringle.
“He had knee surgery and had blown one knee out and had that knee put together after his freshman year,” Pringle said. “And then he had workouts this summer, he came down and landed wrong and tweaked the other knee. And we were scared to death about that one and so we shut him down for a little bit and got him a knee brace. So he went through this year, he wasn’t 100 percent but he’s one of those kids, if he gets his hands on you, he’s probably going to finish you.”
Ott compiled a 26-7 wrestling record as a junior.
“I took second at districts, I took fourth at regionals and then I lost in the blood round of the state tournament,” Ott said. “It was a tough loss. I think I lost in double overtime.”
He will be a captain on the wrestling team once again and hopes to continue to improve his wrestling resume.
“My goals this year as an individual would be to take first in the district, top two in the region and then top four in the state,” Ott said. “That would be awesome. The goals for our team would be to improve our all-around the board. I want to know that we’re putting a competitive product on the mat this year.”
Ott plans to attend trade school after graduation and become an electrician. Ott has maintained a 3.5 GPA his senior year.