MIDDLEFIELD - KC Cress started his football career in eighth grade. His first instinct was to try out for the quarterback spot, but it was not exactly what he expected it to be.
"When I first came out for football in eighth grade, I came out as a quarterback but I dropped it after two days," Cress said. "I wasn't that good and it was my first year out and it was harder than I thought it would be."
Now, going into his senior year at Cardinal, he never would have thought that he could be finishing his high school career in the very position that he originally dropped. Two other people are up for the job, but if that doesn't pan out, then Cress will be leading the offense.
He was a running back and defensive back in his prior years and was very successful. In 2013, he played in all 10 games, rushed 38 times for 91 yards. His longest rush was 20 yards. Also, at receiver, he caught the ball 17 times for 233 yards, averaging 13.7 yards. His total all-purpose yards came to 711.
Coach Eric Cardinal spoke perfectly when describing Cress's abilities.
"KC is not a quarterback by training or experience, but he's an athlete, a football player and a team leader," Cardinal said. "If neither of the younger guys seizes the job, we feel comfortable if it turns out to be KC at the helm."
When the coaching staff approached Cress and told him about their plan, his first thought was not of himself and how this would affect his senior year, but how it would help his team.
"I took it as you have to take anything else in life, I'm going to do it if it benefits the team," Cress said. "If that means that I'm going to be the quarterback, then I'm definitely going to do it. If not, then I might as well give it a go anyway. I was looking forward to the challenge of learning the position. I never really had the opportunity to before."
The Huskies leader knows that Cress will do well in whatever position that he ends up filling.
"I have all of the confidence in the world going into the season with my halfback playing quarterback if that is what we needed to do," Cardinal said. "He is going to make an impact someplace. He's a good defensive player. He led our team in interceptions last year. He was third in tackles. He's not a quarterback, but he's a football player. I think that is a good characterization."
As for the team this year, Cress is confident in his team and in how his abilities have grown since last season.
"We have a lot of seniors and I think that we can make a good run for playoffs this year, honestly," Cress said. "I think we have a good shot at having a very good record this year. I have worked on my strength. I'm not the strongest kid out there, so I was in the weight room as much as I could be. I just worked on that a lot. I worked on getting stronger and hopefully holding and doing a little bit better out there."
The Cardinal Huskies were 6-4 last season and not very happy with the way they left off and are ready to take on the new season with a new intensity, Cardinal said.
"This year, the attitude is to improve off of last season, firstly," Cardinal said. "Without sounding too full ourselves, our goal every year is to be 10-0. We want to win them all. We have been doing a lot of team building things and the team has been setting goals for themselves and the team for the year. We are taking them one at a time and we are gearing up to win those games."
Whether Cress is at the helm of the offense at quarterback or if he goes back to his original position, Cardinal said that this season will be an interesting one to watch.