Before the game of football as we know it was eleven players, there was six-man football. In Ashland County, you can’t talk about six-man football without talking about Russ Cutlip.
Russ played under the fine leadership of Coach Wes Boales at Jeromesville High School in 1953, 1954, and 1955. During the 1954 and 1955 seasons, the Jerries were number one among the undefeated and untied teams in the nation. Coach Boales’ team held the record for the most consecutive wins. They were also ranked nationally for their offensive and defensive records.
At the conclusion of the 1995 season, Russ held five national records. Most notable of these was his scoring record of 213 points. This broke the previous 202 mark set in 1951. To accomplish this, Cutlip scored 28 touchdowns and 41 extra points in that season. His extra point booting was all done by dropkicking; the so-called “lost art” at which he was an expert. He converted the longest dropkicked field goal of 28 yards that season. Cutlip also held the title for the most yards rushing with 1,428 in 102 carries averaging 14 yards per carry. He completed the highest percentage of passes at 60% and converted the most after-touchdown drop-kicks at 51%.
Graduating from Jeromesville High School in 1956, Russ was considered an all-around athlete earning 13 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. The Ohio sports writers chose him first “six-man” football player to be named All-Ohio. He was one of two players from Ohio listed on the All American Honor Roll in the National Prep Football Magazine. He was also named the Times-Gazette Outstanding Player of the Year.
After high school, he turned his talents toward the game of bowling. During his career he has bowled one perfect game, two games of 299, and has a high series of 806 to his credit. That 806 series was Ashland’s first 800 series on October 30, 1971 during the Masters Tournament. At the end of the 1972-73 season, Russ finished with his career high league average of 233. This remains as the record high average in Ashland.
Cutlip’s tournament wins include the State All-Events title in 1963, Ohio Heart Fund Tournament in 1967 and Ohio Intercity Doubles Championship with Bob Cooke in 1973. On the local scene, Russ has placed in the top five numerous times in the Ashland Masters Tournament and won the title in 1974. He has been a part of the winning five-man teams, doubles teams and singles champ as well as all-events winner in the annual Ashland Men’s Bowling Association tournaments. Active in two leagues, Russ carries an impressive 200+ average.
He and his wife Cindy make their home in Jeromesville. They are the parents of LuAnn and Brian Funk, Todd and Kelly Dilgard, John and Heidi Cutlip, Amy Beth Dilgard, and have one grandchild, Michelle Ann Funk. Russ has worked for the Ohio Department of Transportation for 27 years where is currently a projector supervisor. He and his wife also own Perkins Family Restaurant of Ashland.
Nominator: Cindy Cutlip