Lena-Winslow’s tradition of football excellence likely to continue

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LENA, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Big things are always expected from the football teams at Lena-Winslow. With two future Iowa Hawkeyes on the team this year that certainly won’t change.

“For us the one thing that remains the same is the expectations. We expect great things out of our kids,” said Le-Win head coach Ric Arand.

Once again the Panthers have two goals…win a conference championship and be in the hunt for a state championship. It takes special players to do those two things. The Panthers have them. Senior running back Sean Ormiston is one of them. He rushed for more than 1700 yards last season.

“I’ve gotten faster on the track by doing track last year, and then also I have gained a few pounds for weight-wise too,” said Ormiston.

Then there’s Ormiston’s backfield mate big Isaiah Bruce…now in his fourth season of varsity ball. He has committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes as a defensive tackle. He’ll play on the defensive line again this season for the Panthers, and he’ll be carrying the ball and catching the ball again on offense.

“To be able to move a kid like Isaiah around and be as versatile as he is that’s important for us to do, so we’re constantly looking for ways to do that,” said Arand.

Bruce says playing running back comes more naturally to him now that he has a year of experience doing it.

“Last year toward the end of the season I got the hang of it, but during practice and stuff I’ve noticed that my vision has gotten a lot stronger, so I can know like the whole field now. It’s gotten a lot better.”

If that’s not enough ammo in the backfield super-fast sophomore Marey Roby is ready to step in and take some carries. He’s the younger brother of former Le-Win standout Rahveon Valentine and current Le-Win halfback Ronnell Valentine.

Speaking of brothers, sophomore Luke Benson is taking over at quarterback. His older brother Cade was the Panthers’ quarterback last season. One of his main targets at receiver will be Senior Kade Chrisman.

“We’ve got to be able to utilize him,” says Arand. “He’s extremely fast.”

Up front at right tackle is 6’6 275 pound junior Gennings Dunker. He also has committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“He’s just a unique kid,” says Arand. “He’s got the huge frame.”

One key for the Panthers this will be filling in two big holes on both lines replacing the graduated Ian Keuhl and Parker Magee. Both were first team All-Conference players. If that happens those high expectations at Lena-Winslow just might be fulfilled.

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