As the Lisle Senior High School Lions football season kicks off Friday with a home game at Benedictine University versus the Manteno Panthers (at 7:15 p.m.), the Lions are putting serious investment into snaring the playoff spot that eluded them by just a few points last year, the Suburban Life reports.
According to the paper, Lisle (5-4 in 2012) has an experienced defense with several players returning to football fresh off of a spring state championship in baseball; due to the squad’s small size (just 24 players), several kids will play offense and defense, meaning conditioning has been at a premium during training.
“We just want to have a good season. It's our last season, our last time playing together, so we want to do it right and make it special,” two-way lineman Zach Trussell said in an interview with the paper.
“We want to win every single game, but we also want to take it one game at a time. We can't think ahead. Each team is just as good as the next one. This is our last time playing these teams for the rest of our lives so we have to go out there every week and take care of business.”
The Bugle also predicts that the 3-4 defense will be the Lions’ strength, combined with a fierce desire to make the playoffs, but that the small roster size could bite the team in the case of injuries.
“We’ve got some linebackers that can run and tackle,” coach Dan Sanko told the paper. “Hopefully, I think we can put more points on the board early instead of waiting until the middle of the season.”