When head coach Dustin Patee took over the Lincoln football program, the team was coming off a 1-8 season.
Now into year three, Patee believes his team is ready not just for a winning season, but a playoff appearance.
“Strength this year is experience,” said Patee.
“We have nine young men who have been in the system for three years. Our guys have seen lots of varsity football time, and hopefully, this transitions to more confidence on the field.”
The Leopards have five seniors that hope to give the team it’s first winning season since 2015.
5’3″ 132 lbs. senior Dillon Baxter should cover the field on offense and defense with his speed.
At wide receiver, Baxter recorded 235 yards and three touchdowns.
On defense, Baxter attributed to six pass deflections, 53 tackles, and an interception.
To balance Baxter’s speed, senior Landon O’Hare should be a tall target on offense and a wall on the defensive end.
O’Hare, listed at 6’4″ 186 lbs., in 2019 hauled in 476 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Defensively, his 2019 stats include 64 tackles, eleven of them for losses, and a team-leading three sacks.
Another senior leader is Tyler Good, who returns at running back and linebacker.
The 6’0 185 lbs. Lincoln student-athlete rushed for 1608 yards with 21 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 117 tackles.
Seniors Dalton Cooper and Kenton Myers will anchor the front line on offense.
Cooper will play linebacker on defense; he contributed 48 tackles, six for losses, and two sacks.
Myers promises to be a force up front at 6′ 243 lbs.
“We will be super talented, but there are two huge questions,” said Patee.
“How hard did (the team) push to stay ‘in shape,’ during this pandemic? Will anyone, outside of Kenton Myers, buy into the offensive line? If we can take care of those two things, it should be a fun season!”
The Leopards football team is eager to win this group of seniors first district win.
“Lincoln hasn’t made the playoffs in 10 years and has only gone six times in school history,” noted Patee.
Lincoln’s district includes Little River, Herington, Solomon, Bennington, and defending state champions Canton-Galva.
Only two of the five games, Herington and Canton-Galva, are at home for the Leopards.
Lincoln begins the 2020 season at home against Northern Plains League rival Tescott on Friday, September 4th, 2020.