The Lions of Lutheran High School made it to the semifinals of the state 3A football tournament a season ago. Eventual champion Fort Morgan beat LHS by two points.
The Lions start out with non-league games against Mead (state 3A finals), Discovery Canyon, Pueblo East and Montrose (state 4A playoff semifinalist).
“That is one of the things we wanted to do. We needed to be challenged,” said coach Stephen Robbins. “How we can put ourselves in the position, in the playoffs, how will we know what it takes to win tough games? It’s not going to be easy. We had a lot of running clocks last year. It’s not going to be that way this year.”
Ryan Kenny will be back for his senior season. He gained 750 yards a year ago and scored 11 touchdowns.
Some things won’t change, such as a desire to run offensive plays every 12 to 15 seconds, perhaps in as little as eight seconds.
“Tempo matters. You can see how it gives us an advantage,” Robbins said.
“It works well,” added Braeden Mitchell, who had 19 tackles last season. “I liked it a lot. It doesn’t give the defense much time to prepare for what we are doing. It’s a big advantage. We practice it every day. Everyone needs to be of the same mindset.”
But there is one thing lingering over the Lions this season ... that two-point loss in the semifinals last year.
“We took the loss hard,” said Jadon Williams, who finished the campaign with 24 total tackles. “But as soon as it happened, we were back in the weight room and looking forward since that last game. We have a different attitude going into the weight room. We set a goal that we want to win state. We’ve been dedicated. We’ve been working hard.”
“We’ve added coaches,” added linebacker Josh Ayers, who recorded 74 tackles. “The weight room has expanded. We’re taking the weight lifting more seriously because the coaching staff is taking it more seriously.”