Receiver Pearce Russell, Benton football won't sleepwalk vs QB Arch Manning, Newman
“The guy sleeps through just about all of our hunts,” Halbert said. “He’s missed a few good ones. But also, a couple Saturdays ago, he slept in when we had an early tee time.”
Russell isn’t likely to sleep late this Friday. The Tigers (1-1) are heading to New Orleans to play Newman (2-0) and quarterback Arch Manning, the Texas commitment and No. 1 recruit in the country according to 247Sports.
“All eyes are (rightfully) going to be on Arch Manning,” Benton coach Reynolds Moore said. “At some point, people are going to have to take notice of Pearce and he’s going to have a lot of eyes on him the rest of the way.”
The matchup is a result of the relationship Moore has made with Newman coach Nelson Stewart, who he met 12 years ago at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux.
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“I was looking for a travel game and thought it would be a cool place to play and a big opportunity to get our guys some much deserved recognition,” Moore said.
Russell, who caught a school-record 53 passes for 1,032 yards and 11 TDs last season, has played football with quarterback Gray Walters, along with linebackers Cole Weir and Halbert, since preschool. He’s also been late for assorted events since preschool.
“I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes waking up for hunts does become kinda challenging,” Russell admitted.
But when Russell gets on the football field, he has the ability to make things happen. At 6-foot, 180 pounds he has optimal speed and his precise routes allow Walters to find him in key situations. This season he has 12 catches for 167 yards and a TD.
Russell loves playing golf when he can get up on time. But he has yet to surpass Halbert on any new or old course.
“He’s never beat me, I don’t think, and the best he’s ever shot is 101,” Halbert said. “He’s done it for the last five times he’s played - guy can’t break a hundred.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.