LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Our 6 Sports Two-A-Days coverage on Tuesday took us to Lansing Eastern High School and Fowlerville.
The Quakers are ecstatic to be on the field this year after not getting the opportunity to play in 2020 following the Lansing School District’s decision to cancel all fall sports and fourth year coach Jordan Morgan doesn’t want his team to use the year off as a ‘crutch’ or ‘excuse.’
Morgan was thrilled with the momentum Eastern was building following the 2019 campaign when they won two games because prior to that they went four straight seasons, from 2015-2018, without a single win.
“That was always the mantra coming in,” said Morgan. “You know we need to be tough. We need to play hard. It doesn’t matter who’s on our depth chart. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to play you hard and even if we lose a game that team’s going to leave saying, ‘Wow, that’s a different Eastern.’ So drilling that into these guys’ heads, yeah we had the year off, but we have some great athletes.”
One of those athletes is the Quakers’ starting quarterback Santiago Trainor who will be a junior this year.
“He was actually penciled in as our starter as a sophomore, so now he’s a junior,” said Morgan. “We’re really excited about him. He’s a young guy, so we still have one more year after this year. He’s got a strong arm. He’s athletic. He can move with his feet. It would have been nice to have that season last year to get the game experience under his belt but he’s one of the first guys out here. He was here every day in the summer and he’s got that playbook, as a quarterback, knows it like the back of his hand.”
Then we went east on I-96 to see the team the Quakers will be hosting on October 1, the Fowlerville Gladiators. The Glads hard-hitting defense was on full display during the afternoon practice but they told us the strength of this year’s 43-member team is their cohesiveness and brotherhood.
“Really the number one thing we’re trying to focus on right now is do we care about each other that’s been our number one question dating back to January,” said head coach Jon Fletcher. “We feel like if we answer that question and work hard at it we feel like we can be successful.”
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard and we sure have plenty of both,” said Fowlerville senior fullback Trevor Maybee. “We got hard work talent and like you said we’re just brothers.”
Team meals and getting a chance to know each other more can always bring a team closer together but for the Gladiators, they love their practical jokes.
“In the locker room they’ll steal like somebody’s towel or their deodorant or just simple little jokes but nobody takes offense to it cause they all know it’s just for fun,” said Fowlerville senior safety Jack Shrader.
“There’s a bunch of different things we do I mean every once in a while it could be as small as maybe untying somebody’s shoe to just stealing their deodorant in the locker room nothing personal whatsoever you know just everybody jokes at everybody you know everybody kinda gets picked on a little bit but it’s all in good fun,” said Maybee.