Nothing says the beginning of a new school year more than Friday night lights and the start of the football season. The Lancers will kick off their preseason schedule when they face San Juan Hills High School this Friday at 7:00pm at Orange Coast College.
In preparation for the season, Orange Lutheran participated in the first ever Trinity League Football Media Day held earlier this month in Long Beach. They were joined by coaches and players from Mater Dei, JSerra, Santa Margarita, Servite and St. John Bosco, as each school fielded questions from the media and spoke about their expectations for the upcoming season.
Lancer head coach JP Presley was joined at the podium by senior linebackers and running backs Ethan Howard and Jonah Laban, junior defensive back and wide receiver RJ Regan and senior offensive lineman Adrian Tena.
The Lancers are coming off of a 2018 season that saw a 5-6 overall record, a 2-3 and fourth place Trinity League finish and a first round playoff exit at the hands of Corona Centennial, who they will face again at the end of this month. Presley shared some of his thoughts on this year’s team landscape, including how the graduating class of 2019 left a legacy of leadership, work and determination and how the current squad is continuing that effort.
“We’ve had a phenomenal spring and a new identity on both sides of the ball, and what we found over the spring is that we’re a gritty team,” Presley said. “We’re young. We’re hungry. And we’ve got great leadership in core areas of the program. We graduated a lot of playmakers… but the class of 2019 left a real legacy of work and what it means to compete and get better every day. We’re really proud of what they left for us and these young guys here have embraced [it all].”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Lancers are returning seven starters, including Howard and Laban. Presley indicated that the Lancer defense is at the core of the team’s leadership and will be setting the tone for the squad both on and off the field.
Offensively, Regan will be a key component, and several underclassmen will be vying for snaps this year at the quarterback position. Presley and the players agreed that the preseason schedule will be a good way for the Lancers to see where they are as a team, and that there is no rest for the weary in the perennially challenging Trinity League.
“But for me, it starts with the mission of the program – to develop competitive student athletes who are men of integrity, accountable to the team, secure in their faith and prepared for life after high school,” Presley said. “That’s the ultimate goal. We’ve got players that are embracing everything about our culture, and we’re focused on what we have and the grit we’re bringing to the field.”