THS football standout steps up
by Bob Brownne
Mar 29, 2013 | 4117 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy High senior Bruce Russell had West Coast options when it came to pursuing college football, but he held out until he found the team that suited him best.

According to Russell, that team is the NCAA Division II Golden Bears of Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.

The 2012 winner of Tracy High’s Peter B. Kyne Award signed his letter of intent on Friday, March 22, in front of the Bulldogs football trophy case in the Bill Swenson Gymnasium.

Russell, a 6-foot, 212-pound running back and linebacker, said he had looked at several Division III schools, as well as relatively nearby Division I schools like University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

But Russell said Concordia coaches contacted him about a month ago and offered him a scholarship when he visited two weeks later.

“Football-wise, it’s a very good fit for me, the coaches and everything,” Russell said.

He said the school and its tight-knit, supportive community reminded him of Tracy High.

He expects to play running back, the role he had with Tracy’s varsity team for three years. Russell also plans to study psychology.

Tracy High football coach Matt Shrout said Russell has shown his character by talking up fellow Tracy High players to recruiters.

“The reason we knew exactly what was going on with Bruce is that the coaches would call and I would talk to them, and then they would call asking about other players,” Shrout said. “That’s how unselfish he is.”

He added that Russell, the San Joaquin Athletic Association co-most valuable player for 2012, has been a cornerstone of the Bulldogs ever since Shrout took over as head coach three years ago.

“He started every game unless, he was hurt, for three years,” Shrout said. “We built around him. We knew he could be the rock we could go to, and he could go to the team if we needed.”

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