Northside lineman headed to collegiate ranks

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014




Dale Russ signs letter of intent to play football at Division II Chowan University

For a high school lineman to earn collegiate recognition, it takes more than physical ability. Over the last four years, Northside lineman Dale Russ has proved to be one of the more cerebral and hardworking players in the area, and on Tuesday, his devotion to the game of football finally paid dividends.

After receiving offers from six other schools, including Fayetteville State, UNC Pembroke and Methodist, Russ signed his letter of intent to play football at Chowan University.

“The way they recruited me was perfect,” said Russ. “If I had a question, in a matter of hours they would answer back. The coaching staff acted like coaches. They didn’t treat you like a number. They treated you like a football player should be treated, and it was a real honor and a privilege to be recruited by such a great coaching staff.”

Russ knew the moment he stepped onto a football field in elementary school that there was no other game he’d rather play. As he moved up the ranks, Russ became more and more dedicated to the sport, until it became a vocation rather than a leisurely activity.

“In seventh or eighth grade, as soon as I stepped onto the field, I knew I loved it,” said Russ. “In high school, I enjoyed every moment of it. Now, here I am. In ninth grade, it was just a dream I’d play in college. Now, I’m getting the opportunity to play another four years of football—a sport that I fell in love with.”

Russ was selected as a 1A Four Rivers All-Conference defensive lineman, as well as the Academic All-Conference Award his sophomore and junior years. Looking past football, Russ realizes that working towards an education is of the upmost importance, and his father, Tony Russ, could not be more proud.

“It’s been great. He loves to play the game,” said Tony. “He’s been fortunate enough not to miss any games since he started playing for Northside. He’s at home, he’s got weights at home, he’s got playbooks, he’s reading those on the weekends. When it was game time, he watched film of games at home. He loves it.”

Russ will be playing offensive line for a Chowan team that went 4-6 last season.