FFE Week 12 Player of the Week: Ian Cann

Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 8:00 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The North Cross Raider football team has a handful of weapons that has lifted the team to the state championships. Ian Cann is no exception, although he didn’t fall in love with the first ball he ever carried.

“I originally started to play soccer and in scrums, people would just be kicking at the ball and I would go in and pick up the ball and start running with it,” he remembers. “So my dad was like, ‘lets take soccer aside, let’s try football.’”

He’s been running ever since, including in last weekend’s 56-15 win over Fredericksburg Christian, when he had two interceptions- including a pick six, and a punt return for a touchdown.

“It was a close game until he essentially broke it open,” explains Stephen Alexander, North Cross head football coach. “Ian is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He’s really versatile. We can hand him the ball. We can throw him the ball. He’s a threat on defense, he’s an unbelievable returner. He can do it all and it’s been fun to watch.”

“I don’t like to let the moment get too big,” Cann notes. “I like to stay humble and play the game. Don’t let it get too big, not showboat too much, not let it get into my head, just go out and play. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was young so, why change it?”

He also gave credit to his teammates and coaches for the recognition.

“It’s a team effort and that’s a team award, it’s not just an individual award.”

Cann has been playing varsity for the program five years, since 8th grade. It’s a situation that almost didn’t happen, where he could have ended up a Titan.

“Getting denied from North Cross my first try getting in,” he recalls. “Then going to school at Hidden Valley and then coming back and giving it another shot and realizing this is where I needed to be.”

“He’s a worker and I think that work is what he will leave in terms of his legacy in our program,” adds Coach Alexander.

The program is working to tackle one opponent in the VISAA Division II State Championship Saturday, when Cann will lace up as a high school football player for the final time.

“Ian will lead us,” says Alexander. “He’ll be a big piece of the game plan. That’s not giving away any secrets, everyone knows that.”

That’s all while Cann is ready to enjoy the moment.

“Everyone keeps telling me ‘this is your last one, this is your last one,’ but I’ll wait until it actually happens. After this game I’ll probably take a step back and realize and stare at the field and think ‘wow this is my last time’, and especially what a group of guys to go out with.”