If you have ever been to a home football game, you might have seen the same girl standing on the sideline. Or if you have ever walked past the football team during practice, you might have seen the same girl watching and learning the game from the team. Abby Russ is junior who has had a passion for football ever since she was a young girl. She has taken that passion into her hands by joining the football coaching staff.
Russ came to practices last year but was not as involved as she is this year. “Last year I did not have as much time to be involved with the team and I hope this year that I can make up for the time I lost last year.” Russ said.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the main reason she got into football and the reason she is so passionate about it now. “Growing up I always loved watching the Steelers play. They were my family’s team and I just kind of started loving football by watching them play. I hope that in the future there is a possibility of me being involved with a higher level team whether it be college or NFL. It’s probably my biggest passion.,” Russ said.
Russ asked Head Coach Eddie Tolliver for the chance to watch and learn the plays by coming to practice every day. When she was allowed to start coming to the games, she took the opportunity. “I was so happy when Coach Tolliver gave me the chance to be on the sidelines at the games, I really got a sense of serious the game is and how much they work during the games.”
Some of the students took notice to the familiar face on the sideline. “I see her at all the home games standing near the coaches,” senior Griff Kirsch said.
The coaches have noticed her passion for the game. “I can tell she is a hard worker, she is persistent, and really does want to learn the game,” Offensive Coordinator Chris Papadopoulos said. “She comes to as many practices as she can and is always attentive in what I and the team are doing. She also seems to be interested in how the offensive side of the ball works.”
Russ plans to continue learning and observing the team for the rest of the season.