Breckenridge Texan

From Buckaroo to Cowboy: Rance Russell signs with Hardin-Simmons

From Buckaroo to Cowboy: Rance Russell signs with Hardin-Simmons
February 06
12:18 2019

With family, coaches and friends looking on, Breckenridge High School senior Rance Russell signed a letter of intent in the Breckenridge High School Athletic Facility and Fine Arts Center’s media room Wednesday morning, Feb. 6.

Russell agreed to play football for the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboys. The son of Tamara and Rodney Russell played both defensive and offensive positions on the 2018 Buckaroo team and was named the Defensive MVP for District 3 – 3A Division 1.

During the signing event, several Buckaroo coaches addressed the crowd and talked about working with Russell. “He’s tenacious,” said Defensive Ends/Special Teams Coach Lee Lewis. “When he feels like he knows what’s going on, he’s all about it. … He’s a little stubborn sometimes, but I think stubborn is sometimes a great characteristic.”

Offensive Line Coach Matt Stapp said he has known Russell since Stapp’s first year as a Breckenridge teacher and coach when Russell was in the fourth grade. “It’s great to see how the journey’s progressed and where it’s at,” Stapp said.

BHS Defensive Coordinator Brian Valenzuela echoed the comments of the other two coaches and added his perspective. “I was fortunate to come in when he was a sophomore, so I got to witness the growth that had already taken place. Playing defensive line requires a process mindset, and I think there’s no better example than Rance, who just embraced that process and in that process became a very dominant player on the defensive side of the ball and, I know, on the offensive side, too,” Valenzuela said. “I couldn’t be more proud of what I saw from his sophomore year all the way through his senior year, in terms of the development, not only in a player, but as a man. He’s going to go and be a great student, and whatever he decides he wants to do after college, it’s going to be awesome because of his commitment level and his drive to be as good as he can possibly be.”

Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Casey Hubble then showed some video highlights of Russell’s senior year football season. Click here to see some of the highlights on the website

“I want to thank you, Rance, for what you’ve meant to this program,” Hubble said. “When I got here, you were an eighth grader. I’ll say this about what happens to a young man…Rance was an extremely average junior high football player, but because of his dedication, hard work, his commitment, his buy-in to everything that we were selling, he turned into a defensive MVP and a truly dominant player. So, from the athletic department, thank you; I appreciate it very, very much.”

Rance Russell, center, poses with family members after signing a letter of intent to play football at Hardin-Simmons University. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: With Coach Casey Hubble and his parents looking on, Rance Russell signs his letter of intent to play football for the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboys. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)






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