Russell hopes to help lead Kids to EPC North title
After Kids loss to Parkland, Northampton’s Jared Russell expected his team to play better.
They all have.
The senior wide receiver/safety has played a pivotal part in the Kids’ success this season, as NHS will enter Friday night’s game at Stroudsburg at 5-1 as they continue on their path to an EPC North title.
“We have been able to put points on the board all season,” said Russell, who also has played a key role in the Kids’ revival the past two seasons. “Defensively, we have been able to cause some turnovers and keep teams from breaking out against us.
“This is what we expected this season. We made a lot of strides last year, and we’re all very confident to see what we can do. One of our main goals is to win the EPC North.
Through six games, Russell has 18 catches for 306 yards with seven touchdowns. Defensively, he has been among the Kids’ leaders in tackles along with an interception.
He has a stronger connection with junior quarterback Joe Kerbacher, who took over the reins halfway through 2018.
“We seem to be very connected this season,” said Russell about the relationship. “We have better timing between us, and he (Kerbacher) knows my stride and when he can release. He also knows how to lay the ball out for me.
“We have been working well together.”
Head coach Kyle Haas realizes Russell’s contributions.
“Kyle (Russell) is one of our leaders,” said Haas. “He has really played well on both sides of the ball. He was instrumental in our season last year, and he has continued to helps set the pace for us.
“He has been one of our senior leaders and knows what we are trying to accomplish. Kyle has real developed into a solid player and has a great season so far.”
Russell also sees plenty in the reciprocal.
“Coach Haas has had a big influence over me,” said Russell. “He always has believed in me. He taught me discipline and never to be satisfied because you can always be better.
“Consistency is a big key and it has paid off for me.”
Russell plans to continue his playing a career at Misericordia University next fall, and also will pursue a career in teaching or law enforcement.
He obviously has been influenced by his mother, Gwen, a teacher, and his father, Kyle, a warden at the Lehigh Valley Prison.
“I’m not sure what I want to do yet,” said Russell. “Both of them have had a big influence over me. Both are very interesting careers.
“I do think I would like to get into coaching someday.”
In the meantime, Russell is focused on the EPC North title.
“We’re really in a good groove right now,” added Russell. “We have had some big wins and our confidence level is high. We know teams will be gunning for us.
“But we believe that we can take this pretty far this year.”