As key leader, MVP’s Reed Rus propels Titans football into Class 11B – Mitchell Republic

MOUNT VERNON, SD — When Mount Vernon/Plankinton varsity basketball players had the chance to help teach the game to students in kindergarten through second grade for a few days last year, a presented for each session.

It was star guard Reed Rus.

Now back on the gridiron, Rus leads in a different way. He’s the top rusher for the third-highest scoring offense in Class 11B, as the undefeated MVP battles for the No. 1 seed heading into the final week of the regular season.

Rus has thrown for three touchdowns this season as the Titans’ starting quarterback, but his biggest impact is on the field, where he’s racked up 931 yards and 18 scores on 100 carries. And he attributed his success with the ball to additional new equipment.

“This year it was different. Usually when I go out people can’t catch me,” Rus said. “I was always having bullshit in training (because) I was slipping away and getting caught. It’s really exciting.

Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Reed Rus (18) follows the block of teammate Brady Fox (24) during a Class 11B football game against Tripp-Delmont/Armor on Friday August 19, 2022 at Heroes Field, Mount Vernon .

Landon Dierks/Republic Mitchell

Rus traveled to Sioux Falls three days a week during the summer to work on speed training and the difference was noticeable. Over the summer, he had a 4.8 sprint time for 40 yards, and he’s already scored six more rushing touchdowns this season in two fewer games. He’s also averaging more than double the yards per attempt while approaching double his total yards in the game at the pitch.

However, the speed has never been more evident than at the start of the season against Tri-Valley. One of his four touchdowns this game came after taking a bad snap that rolled, beat everyone to the edge, and passed everyone into the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown.

“Coach said, ‘That was a great call, watch him go,'” MVP coach Brent Olson said with a laugh. “He can take bad plays, bad situations and turn them into good plays. When you have these special types of athletes, they can clear up some situations for your guys and do some things to get you out of trouble that other kids probably can’t.

Rus’ athleticism extends beyond the 100 yards of grass and Friday night lights, however. He was a second-team Class A basketball player last season, averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals per game while leading the Titans to an appearance in the SoDak 16. In athletics, his season-best high jumper of 6ft 4in – matching Rus’ height – was the best in all of Class A last season. Additionally, his season-best time in the 110-meter hurdles of 15.29 seconds was fourth-best in the category, and he possessed the top 15 marks in the 300-meter hurdles and as a member of the Titans 4×400-meter relay.

But his passion remains football despite his successes elsewhere.

“Usually I always tell people soccer or basketball, whatever I’m playing at the time. At present, [it’s] football,” Rus said in his notebooks with a smile.

This passion for football started at a young age when he started with Mount Vernon area football as a sophomore. And the potential was there from the start too.

“I can’t remember the last time Reed wasn’t on my sidelines,” Olson said. “First year, second year, he started being a waterboy, a ball boy for us and hanging out at practices, most of my coaching career here. … When he was in eighth grade and playing quarterback for us, I said to our coaches, ‘This guy will be the best quarterback we’ve coached when we’re done with him.’

090222.REEDRUS2.JPG
Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Reed Rus (18) carries the ball outfield with teammates Brady Fox (24) and Isaiah Olson (2) in front during a Class 11B soccer match against Tripp-Delmont/Armour Friday, September 2. , 2022, at Heroes Field, Mount Vernon.

Landon Dierks/Republic Mitchell

That passion will likely continue at the college level, whether it’s NCAA Division I or II. Rus currently has a preferred offer from the University of South Dakota at linebacker, but he’s also evaluating offers from a host of Division II schools like Augustana, University of Mary and Minnesota State-Moorhead, among others.

Rus comes from a football background. His uncle is former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, with whom he often communicates. (Rus also visited Iowa’s beloved University of Greenway earlier this year.) But the rest of his family is just as athletic. Her sister, Reagan, is one of the stars of the MVP volleyball team and her sister-in-law, Berkeley Engelland, is one of the top sprinters in the state. And having that athletic of a family comes with a lot of competition.

“Every time, anything, the smallest little things – who can go to the fridge the fastest. It’s always a competition,” Rus said.

As much as he does on the pitch, Olson said Rus does the same off the pitch. In addition to volunteering every day for basketball camp last winter, Olson said he was the first kid to come down and talk to elementary school kids and try to learn their names – and it speaks to who he is as a person.

“There’s no one in the school who doesn’t like him,” Olson said. “You could talk to any teacher, any of the guards, helpers, anyone in the school and they would all talk about how good a kid is.”