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The Drill: Sophomore Rudy Voss leads JCC Huskies into battle

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JACKSON -- Rudy Voss is a sophomore on a Jackson County Central varsity boys basketball team that is practically running amok with sophomores.

So you’d assume that this 2017-18 season is a rebuilding year for the Huskies -- a year where wins and losses don’t mean all that much -- a year where the “learning process” takes center stage.

Well, high school basketball players never stop learning. But this is not one of those kind of years for the Huskies. JCC qualified for the Minnesota state tournament in both 2016 and 2017, and this new, young team is going to be dangerous throughout the season. Voss is a major reason why.

The Huskies are similar in style to their previous two campaigns in that they score points in bunches, they run a lot of players in and out of the lineup, and they are solid athletes. They started the 2017-18 campaign winning eight of their first nine games, then they hit a speed bump immediately after the holiday break.

But they’re young. They’re still good. Voss is a leader on the team after having established his remarkable talent level as a freshman -- providing instant scoring punch and demonstrating that he could see and understand the floor about as well as anyone.

Last fall, he quarterbacked the JCC football team and learned lots about being a leader. Coaches call on him to lead the basketball team this winter, and he hasn’t shied away from the responsibility.

A friendly kid, an easygoing kid, when he’s not playing football or basketball he loves the farming life. He raises show pigs. He and his grandfather begin in the spring and work all summer at it for the fair.

Put him on a basketball court, however, and Voss is more than fair. Nobody can squeal about his work ethic or his talent.

The Globe motored over to Jackson recently to interview and shoot video footage of Voss for The Drill. You can see the video online at Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: Last basketball season, you impressed a lot of people with your performance, especially considering you were only a freshman. How did that season prepare you for your sophomore season?

ANSWER: “Last year as a freshman, the seniors prepared me. The seniors last year kind of took me under their wing. They kind of taught me a lot -- how to be a leader, how in close games to stay composed. Some people might think expecting me to be a leader as a sophomore may be pretty hard, but I’m ready for it.”

Q: What do you think are your best qualities as a basketball player? Is there still something in basketball that you need to be better at? And how are you working to improve?

A: “As a basketball player, I’d say one of my best things is probably my passing. I’m a pretty good shooter. I’d probably like to work on being a better defender. Being a better defender, a lot of it is in the heart. You just gotta have more heart.”

Q: How good is this Jackson County Central team? The Huskies have gone to the state tournament in each of the last two seasons. Is it too much to ask that you can get to state again with such a young team?

A: “Yes, we are very young this year, and not a lot of people think we can do it. But if we work hard and have our minds set, we think we can do it.”