Second-year head coach Chuck Leonard had one big priority after Lutheran’s 1-8 season last year.
“Kids know what the expectations are now,” says Leonard.
The Crusaders certainly expect to improve in 2018, and that will have to start on defense. All-conference senior linebacker Christian Bonacquisti was a tacking machine for last season. His 191 total tackles not only led the Big Northern conference, but the entire nation. Six-foot four-inch 280 pound junior Tavien Hobson anchors the defensive line, and junior Carivious Brown leads the secondary at safety.
“I think we’ll be a lot better,” says Bonacquisti. “We’ve got some good DBs, good strong up front, one of the biggest lines we’ve had in a while.”
On the other side of the ball Coach Leonard is handing the keys to the offense to sophomore quarterback D’Antone Meadows.
“He’s a sophmore for us so he’s young,” says Leonard. “But very athletic kid, throws a good football, and you know he did a great job for us last year at the jv level as a freshman. He’s got a really big upside so we’re really excited about him.”
Meadows will look to lean on all-conference junior running back Carivious Brown. Brown’s play making ability can ease the load for a quarterback adjusting to varsity football.
“He’s young so we just have to get him ready for the quarterback position,” says Brown. “He’s athletic. He can throw the ball. So I’m pretty excited to see him in action this year.”
“We’re not just here to prove everyone else wrong we want to prove ourselves wrong too. So it’s a lot of work, we’re getting there.”