Football preview: Playoff miss in 2012 fuels Lisle this season

LISLE – With the high school football season kicking off Friday, teams across the state will be taking the field with one goal in mind — make it to the state finals Thanksgiving weekend. The players and coaches at Lisle believe they have the pieces in place to do just that.

WHAT TO WATCH

LEAVE NO DOUBT:
Lisle earned enough wins to make the playoffs, but the Lions didn't accumulate enough playoff points since the teams they beat did not have many victories. The Lions stayed home for the postseason. This season, they don't want to leave anything to chance.

"It's all we think about, honestly," senior linebacker and captain Kevin Coppin said. "We were one game away, a couple points away, last year. If we had won one more game, we're in. That's our goal. Every single game counts, that's our motto this year."

GETTING GASSED: With a small roster, many of Lisle's players will be playing on both sides of the ball. Conditioning has been a big part of practice, and head coach Dan Sanko has been encouraging his players to drink post-workout sports drinks and protein shakes to help recovery.

"It's been a lot of hard work," senior Griffin Huba said. "We're down a couple guys but everyone has been working just as hard as everyone else."

WINNING TOUCH: Experience should be a strength for Lisle this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball with several linebackers, linemen and defensive backs returning to the fold. The fact that several players were also part of Lisle's state championship baseball team shouldn't hurt.

"We've got kids who have played this game, and we've got kids who have won a state championship [in baseball] who know what it takes to win," head coach Dan Sanko said.



AT A GLANCE


Class: 3A

Coach: Dan Sanko

2012 record: 5-4

Conference: Interstate Eight Small, 3-2, 3rd place

TOP RETURNERS

Jared Arellano sr. OL/DL

Kevin Coppin sr. LB/RB

Kyle Dwyer sr. OL/DL

Griffin Huba sr. QB/LB

Cliff Krause sr. S/RB

Billy Loconsole sr. OL/DL

Zach Trussell sr. OL/DL

KEY NEWCOMER

Alex Lange so. OL/DL