LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down – it only matters how many times you get back up.
This saying applies to stops five and six on the 6 Sports Two-A-Days coverage.
In 2022, Lansing Everett went 2-7 with just one senior on the roster. The lone senior was the team’s kicker, meaning the Vikings return everyone from the offense and defense.
“Last year, with us being 2-7, nobody quit,” said Jaleel Canty, who’s about to enter his fourth season as the Vikings coach. “Nobody left, and to me what that means, throughout the lumps and bruises we had to take last year, the guys were enjoying their experience. They were enjoying being around the coaches. They enjoyed being around their teammates.”
On top of the entire offense and defense returning, Lansing Everett will also have junior wide receiver Mason Chadwell on gamedays this season. Chadwell had to sit out last season after transferring from Holt, and already holds a Division 1 offer from Marshall.
While Canty and the coaching staff are hoping the team’s record can improve in 2023, there’s already an area the Vikings have improved in.
“We raised our team GPA by a whole point. Last year, just to be transparent, we had 17 guys in summer school and this year we had three,” Canty said. “I think our team, our culture, everything we do is not just about football but life.”
One of the players who’s bought into the Canty and his staff is standout senior wide receiver Lajune Lubrin, who started playing football his junior year.
“The atmosphere, getting ready to play football, just seeing people play (I thought) this looks pretty fun. I might be able to do this,” Lubrin said. “The coaches push me to come out here every day and it turned out pretty good.”
Lansing Everett’s week two opponent was the next stop for the 6 Sports Two-A-Days coverage.
Lansing Eastern is preparing for its fifth season under Jordan Morgan and returns five seniors from last year’s 0-9 team.
There are nearly 20 newcomers on the team this year and having a weight room has helped.
The Quakers didn’t have access to the school’s weight room last season due to the roof being under construction. So, the team had to lift on the turf field, which didn’t help with the group bonding.
“We’ve been in there since December, January. So, we’ve been in there ever since just grinding because we didn’t have the weight room last year,” Lansing Eastern senior linebacker A.J. Tijerina said. “We’ve been getting strong.”
Senior left tackle and defensive end Malachi Reed said, “(Having) the small environment, pushing each other – like if they weren’t able to finish the rep – helping them finish the reps has helped bring us together more as a team.”
With a lot of the top male athletes at Lansing Eastern choosing to play basketball or other sports, Morgan has spent a lot of time teaching the fundamentals and trying to get more kids to come out for the football team.
“We just want to let them know the Lansing Eastern football program is still apart of them. They go to the school they represent. So, if they could come out and help us out with their athletic abilities, it’d be a huge help for us,” Morgan said.