Oh no. The worst possible start for the Lions has come true. Coach Weinberg worked tirelessly this summer to make sure that LT would be ready for the daunting season ahead, but clearly did not have enough time to prepare this extremely young and inexperienced football team. An 1-3 (1-1 in conference) start with a state ranking of 206 wasn’t what anyone had in mind, but it didn’t come out of the blue.
After going 7-3 last season and a tough loss in the first round of the playoffs, LT knew their football team might crumble. Ben Bryant, the outstanding quarterback who lead the varsity team to winning seasons all four years of his LT career, graduated and took his talents with him to the University of Cincinnati. He was the thirteenth best football player in the state of Illinois and received various scholarships, most notably from the University of Wisconsin. The Lions also lost several key offensive and defensive pieces, each of them heading off to their respective colleges. The Lions knew that they had some gaping holes to fill, but it would clearly be a tough task.
They decided to start senior JJ Dutton at quarterback this season, a guy who did play the position for one year at Mount Carmel before transferring over to Lyons Township. It was a big gamble, however, as Dutton had won MVP on defense at defensive back for LT last season and was the Chicago Tribune athlete of the month after returning a 100-yard interception for a touchdown. LT would have preferred to keep him at his natural position, but sacrifices had to be made to win. Most of the other positions were filled with players who had little to no experience last year and would have to learn their positions on the fly.
Lyons football fans got a glimpse of how the season would go as LT took on Carl-Sandburg for the first game of the year. Although it was senior night and the home opener, giving LT a little something extra to play for, they did not seem ready to start the season. A 24-13 shellacking by the Eagles at Bennett field left the bewildered Lions players wondering if they might not make it to the playoffs again this season. They followed that with a 27-7 loss at Hinsdale South and a 28-0 loss at home against York. Dutton ended up breaking his right wrist against Hinsdale South, ending his short career as the LT quarterback, but did get an interception against York after switching positions. Thankfully, LT did makes its mark in the win column last week against Proviso West squeaking out a 13-7 overtime victory!
Here is hoping the winning streak is extended this week at Homecoming as our Lions take on the Leyden Eagles at 1:30pm on Saturday.
Come on LT, we’re pushing for you!
Want to know how the rest of the year plays out for LT football? Tune in to 88.1 FM WLTL LaGrange to catch every game both home and away this season!
Who Are We?
We are the management staff of WLTL. These are our stories.