WESTERN SPRINGS – Lyons Township running back Leonard Ross committed to Miami University in Ohio in early August, just in time to focus on his final season with the Lions. In Friday’s varsity scrimmage, Ross showcased his explosive speed for a touchdown run before coach Kurt Weinberg promptly took him out to avoid injury. Ross spoke with Suburban Life sports reporter Dan Santaromita about the different feel around the Lions’ camp and why he thinks that means good things are ahead.
Santaromita: Last year’s Warren game was a tough loss. Is getting even for that game what’s on your mind for Week 1?
Ross: We’re trying to get off on a great start this year for Week 1. We’re trying to take it one game at a time. I feel like last year we had a problem with that. We were worried about Glenbard West and OPRF before we even played Warren, so this year we’re going to take it one game at a time. Hopefully we’ll start off better and have a great season.
Santaromita: Is there anything you notice that’s different about this group?
Ross: Yes. The vibe is way better this year than last year. The team chemistry all together, everyone is just excited. Last year we were somewhat excited because we liked football, but not because we felt we were going to do good. This year we have a lot of talent coming back, so it’s a great feeling right now.
Santaromita: Does it feel good to have your recruitment out of the way?
Ross: Oh yes. Oh yes. No more scouts. I’m committed to Miami of Ohio. Go Redhawks. It’s good.
Santaromita: What are your goals for the season?
Ross: State. That’s it. I don’t care about stats. I don’t care about records. I just want to win state, but you got to take it one game at a time.
Santaromita: You and quarterback Tommy Fiedler are both back with a year of starting experience. Do you guys have a good bond in the backfield?
Ross: Yeah. It’s not the whole, ‘Let me get the ball this play.’ We know when we read the correct read on the defense we’re going to make the right call and make the right move for what’s best for the team.
Week 1 Outlook
Who: Lyons Township at Warren
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 500 N. O'Plaine Road, Gurnee
2013 records: Lyons Township 5-5, Warren 7-4
Outlook: Last year the Lions lost a wild one to the Blue Devils after leading by 21 points in the fourth quarter. Warren went on to win 42-35 in triple overtime. This year LT heads north hoping to avoid another slow start. The Lions have lost the past two season openers.