Monday, 04 November 2019 21:54

Gavin Russell: The Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week Video

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Gavin Russell has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week. Gavin Russell has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Gavin Russell, a senior linebacker on the Richmond Senior High School football team, has been named the Week 11 Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tire & Service.

Each week, one male and one female student-athlete from Richmond Senior High School will be selected by his or her coach as ROSports’ Official Richmond County Athlete of the Week based on his or her performance in helping their respective team.

Russell’s play as an inside linebacker for the Raiders has been crucial to the team’s 10-game winning streak to start the season. He’s become a familiar face in and around plays this season, and was rewarded for his hard work with a career night against Seventy-First High School. This marks his first career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Age: 17

Birthday: Aug. 15, 2002

Year: Senior

Fall Sport: Football

Position: Linebacker

Years on Varsity: 2 Years

Height & Weight: 6-0, 215 pounds

Experience: 10 Years


RSHS Academics: The rigor of Russell’s involvement with the football program, which often sees practice run until 6 p.m., is matched by the tough course load he’s taking this semester. Enrolled in the Richmond Community College cluster, he’s taking four RichmondCC classes with two more at the high school.

At the community college, Russell is taking American History 112, Math 172, Microeconomics 250 and Spanish 112. He finishes his day with English IV Honors with Ms. Tiffany Covington and Weight Training Honors with the football team and head coach Bryan Till.

“Spanish is my favorite class this year because it’s unique to be learning a different language,” Russell explained. “My teacher, Will Albertsen, does a really good job of teaching us.

“It’s difficult to balance this type of schedule, but it’s worth it in the end,” he added of his busy semester. “There are a lot of late nights, but I get my work done.”

Russell is an “A/B” honor roll student with a 4.08 GPA. He’s also a member of the Raiders’ Football Leadership Council.

Future Plans: How Russell has played this season is imperative to his future, as he’s trying to play collegiate football. Currently, he’s had Lenoir Rhyne University, North Greenville University and Wingate University look into him as a prospective player. Russell said he hasn’t received any offers yet, but is hoping for one once the playoffs are over.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I do a lot of hard work, and I want to get noticed and it’s nice that I am. It’s been nice to explore the colleges and experience the college game day atmosphere. It’s so much different than high school and I would love to have the chance to play.”

Over the last month, Russell has been invited by Lenoir Rhyne, North Greenville and Wingate to check out their football programs, the team facilities and meet with players and coaches. Wherever he chooses, Russell said he wants to study business administration and hopes to own his own business someday.

Athlete of the Week Stats: The Raiders improved to 10-0 this season with a 45-6 rout of Seventy-First High School on Friday, which was also senior night. Russell was an instrumental part of the defense forcing a season-high seven turnovers, one of which was his first career interception. 

With 5:50 left in the half, and the Raiders leading 28-6, Russell caught a tipped pass caused by sophomore nose tackle JD Lampley. That play would set up Richmond’s final score of the half.

Russell ended the game with eight total tackles, six of which were solo hits. He added three tackles for loss, which is a season high. For his postgame grade, Russell received a 94 from inside linebackers coach James Johnson.

Coach’s Corner: Till, who also serves as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator, often works closely with Russell in practice and during games. While the interception was added plus, Till said he has been most impressed with Russell’s drive to the ball and leadership on the field.

“The interception was a good play and he reacted to the ball,” Till explained. “But the big thing during the (Seventy-Frist) game was how Gavin tackled and found the ball. We changed some things on reads, and their quarterback kept the ball more. Gavin was able to get his TFLs from that, and he was able to make tackles every time.

“He’s a leader out there, too, which is huge for us,” he added. “Gavin knows how to get things set and make calls. He’s also 100 percent healthy which is going to help us.”

Raider Video Chats: Gavin Russell, Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week

New this season is our “Raider Video Chats” segment that allows student-athletes to connect with fans and readers through video interviews. In his video, Russell talks about his first career interception, the Raiders’ dominant defense and answers questions in our “Rapid Raider Response” segment.

Click photo for video.


Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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