Local fans taking CWS vacation

Published 1:48 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NATCHEZ — Kurt Russ’s family was all set to spend a week at the beach for their annual summer vacation.

But thanks to an upset-minded team and the family’s love of baseball, they’ll be spending their vacation in America’s Heartland instead.

Southern Miss fans Kurt and Jennifer Russ, and their daughters Chandler and Annie will be heading to Omaha, Neb., later this week to watch the Golden Eagles participate in the College World Series for the first time in school history.

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“I always said before the final game (of the Super Regional against Florida) that if (the team) is going, I’m going,” Kurt Russ said. “But I thought there was no way they were going to beat Florida twice. When they did, I had to call my own bluff.”

So he began scouring the Internet for tickets and a hotel room. He was able to get a hotel room about 30 minutes outside of Omaha and got a book of general admission tickets to Rosenblatt Stadium that are good for any game in the tournament.

“There are 5,400 general admission seats, and you’ve got to get there early enough to grab them,” Russ said. “We’ll get to see Southern Miss play and LSU play as well.”

Russ was originally going to head to Omaha by himself, but his wife and children canceled a trip to Florida with friends in order to tag along.

“My wife and kids were going to Florida with friends, and I told them, ‘You go to Florida, I’m going to Omaha’” he said. “But my daughter said she wanted to go with me and then the other daughter said she wanted to go, and then my wife said she wanted to go too. So all four of us are going, and we’re taking another little boy with us who is a big Southern Miss fan.”

It’s hard to figure who is more excited about going to the College World Series, Russ or his two daughters.

“We’re so excited we can’t see straight,” Russ said. “I ordered USM baseball jerseys for me and the kids. We’ll take plenty of pictures and get to experience the atmosphere of the College World Series.”

And you can be sure the family will enjoy the experience. After all, who knows when Southern Miss will be going back to Omaha.

It took 43 years for this to happen,” Russ said. “I figure that if it takes another 43 years, I’ll be too old to go.”