Quotes From Erk Russell That Will Turn You True Blue

Quotes From Erk Russell That Will Turn You True Blue

GATA, Eagles!

“My first 31 years in this business were like a guy eating at a buffet table. Later, when I came here to Georgia Southern, it was like eating the dessert.”

“People ask me, ‘Do you miss coaching?’ And my reply is, ‘Every day that rolls around.”

“Emotionally, our players are just as tough as theirs. It’s more physical than anything. Their players are taller. We’ve both got 260-pound linemen. But the ones at Georgia are 6-5, while the ones at Georgia Southern are 5-10…. We’ve got a bus that, conservatively speaking, has about five million miles on it.”

“The best way to win a game is not to lose it.”

“Do what your Momma tells you to do, go to Sunday School, go to church and when you die, you’ll go to Statesboro.”

“I wasn't willing to make another four- or five-year commitment. Did I make the right choice? Absolutely."

“I’m gonna say it one more time. We are Georgia Southern. Our colors are blue and white. We call ourselves the Bald Eagles. We call our offense the Georgia Power Company…and that’s a terrific name for an offense. Our snap count is 'rate, hike.' We practice on the banks of Beautiful Eagle Creek and that’s in Statesboro, Georgia–the gnat capital of America. Our weekends begin on Thursday. The co-eds outnumber the men 3-to-2. They’re all good looking and they’re all rich. And folks, you just can’t beat that…and you just can’t beat Georgia Southern. And you ain’t seen nothin yet.”

“One more time for the greatest team in America!”

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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Living on a Runner's High

It's about more than just being fit.


I'm sure we all have that memory of being forced to run a mile in middle school gym class to pass the statewide fitness test and yes, I hated it as much as everyone else in that gym did. As a child, especially in middle school, self-care and taking initiative in my life was not something I even thought of.

I ran cross country throughout middle school because all my friends were doing it. It was not until I reached high school that I actually began to enjoy running.

Throughout high school, I ran cross country and played lacrosse. I never really understood the importance of having an outlet before I reached high school. For those who were artistically talented that outlet was drawing, dancing or singing, but whatever it was it was something that you could pour all of your stress into.

During high school, a time of adjustment into a stressful time academically, running became my outlet. I joined cross country originally because I ran in middle school and thought it would look good on my resume but then shortly realized how important it became in my life.

For me, running was more than just an outlet. I really began to understand the commonly used phrase "mind over matter" when it came to running cross country in high school. I was by no means the best runner on my team, but over my four years of running, I improved.

But that sense of accomplishment was not the most significant thing I gained from running cross country. Most importantly I learned that if you set a goal in your mind you can almost always achieve it no matter how difficult it may seem. While I am aware how cliché this sounds, it is true.

In terms of running, your body can handle a lot more than you think it can. You just have to push yourself. Even if you are uncertain of the outcome failing is better than not trying at all, this is what running has taught me.

This mentality that I developed from running has shaped the steps I have taken so far in my life. In between high school and college, I took a gap year and decided to live in Israel. I did not make this decision because my friends were doing it, in fact, I was the only one of my high school friends to take a gap year.

I did it because I did not feel prepared for college and wanted to learn more about the world before settling down and studying a specific major in college. This mentality encouraged me to study abroad for a year despite the many unknowns surrounding this decision which ended up being one of the best choices I ever made.

While running may not be for everyone it is important to find something that works for you. For me it's running and exercise. For others, it's something else. Everyone should have something that pushes them to their limit mentally or physically, in turn, allowing them to grow as a person.

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