However, regardless the outcome of the game, Pasley still has plenty of important games to look forward to.
That’s because Pasley signed a soccer scholarship Wednesday at Cartersville High to continue his accomplished career and play for Georgia Southwestern State University.
“It was down between a few schools and I just thought that was the best fit for me as far as how I felt about the coach and the team. My granddad lives down there, it’s not too far, but still, it’s not where I’m too close either,” Pasley said of why he chose Georgia Southwestern. “I feel good about it and I’m thankful for all the help my parents have given me and all the support my teammates have given me. I’m just happy with where I am right now and ready to keep going with it.”
Cartersville head coach D.J. Paradis said a player of Pasley’s talent does not come around very often.
“He’s been our leading goal scorer the last two years, almost about 40 goals total the last two seasons. He’s just been a dominant player in our region,” Paradis said. “He’s scored about 20 goals this season and he’s probably at least between 12-15 assists, so he’s an all-around player. He does a little bit of everything for us.
“A player of his caliber comes along every once in a while.”
Located in Americus, Georgia Southwestern State is an NCAA Division II program.
The Hurricanes play in the Peach Belt Conference.
Pasley believes he will move from a forward in high school to become a defender in college and hopes to have the same impact he had for Cartersville.
A four-year starter, Pasley has helped lead the Canes to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and led his team to the Sweet 16 a year ago.
“We’ve been lucky. Ross has come along about the same time when we had a couple of other players come around. He’s made [the state playoffs] three of the four years and he’s been a big part, especially the last two years, with goals he’s put in and the assists he’s gotten,” Paradis said. “His sophomore year, he helped us get in with some major goals that we needed against the teams we knew we needed to beat to get the seed we wanted to get that year. He’s played in every state playoff that he’s gone to.”
According to Paradis, the left-footed Pasley has been the primary playmaker for the Canes, typically playing forward on the left side.
“He’s been important in how we move the ball the last four years. He’s played striker, midfielder and defender at times. He’s been a do-it-all player for us. He just takes care of business. Especially the last two years, he’s really shot out the gate, being one of our playmakers, moving the ball around for us.”
It was during Pasley’s junior year that his physicality came along to match his high skill level.
“A couple of years ago is when he really started to develop into a better player, a more physical player,” Pasley’s father, Ronny Pasley said. “Probably between sophomore and junior year, he was able to take that growth spurt and it helped with the physicality of the game. In college, they’re even better, so you have to be able to play bigger. That’s probably when he started to come into it, and play against high-level players and be able to adapt and adjust.”
Despite his development in the last two seasons, Paradis said he could tell Pasley was a next-level prospect the first time he donned a Cartersville jersey.
“When I saw Ross play his freshman year, the first time he stepped on the varsity field, I saw how disciplined he was, technically sound he was,” Paradis said. “I knew he was going to be a college player.”
Pasley hopes he saved his best for last as Cartersville prepares for its playoff run. He enters today’s game with some momentum after his four-goal, three-assist performance on senior night at Weinman Stadium, a 10-0 victory over Adairsville.
Whether Pasley is able to replicate his performance on senior night remains to be seen, but Paradis believes his senior leader always has an impact on the play of his teammates. “Ross plays hard until the whistle blows to the last whistle, and he enjoys to play the game and that’s how other players need to be,” Paradis said. “He’s a great teammate. He’s a leader on the field. He’s the example when we step onto the field of how we need to play the game.”