During the 30 year span between 1978 and 2008, Lane Tech had only 3 seasons with a .500 record or below. The last 5 years it has been a completely different story as Lane has finished all 5 of those seasons with a .500 or below record.
Will this be the year they finish with a wining record again? No one knows. But I do know they return a lot of experience and talent.
It starts with the quarterback position. Jason Santana(jr, QB) will likely return as the starting quarterback. Santana started last year as a junior. Despite his impressive athletic tools, he was still an unproven talent at the quarterback position because he was injured for most of his sophomore year after suffering a broken ankle during a basic drill. In the games I watched him play, he displayed a strong arm (he is a 3 year starting catcher on Lane's baseball team), good mobility, good decision making, more than adequate athleticism, and leadership ability. But his lack of experience showed at times last year. He sometimes had a bit of an issue connecting with receivers when Lane decided to throw the ball. This to me is a sign of inadequate amount of repittions throwing the ball to receivers. However, now that he has another year of quarterback experience under his belt, I expect him to be a much improved thrower.
Another area that will help Santana is Lane's running game. Lane Tech has a couple of really solid running backs in Bright Boachie(jr, 5-10, 178lbs, RB/LB)and Malik Hamilton(sr, 5-10, 157lbs, RB/WR). They were both a bit under the rader last year due to Lane's depth at the running back position. But from the times they touched the ball, they clearly showed talent. Hamilton is one of the faster backs in the city. I saw him make a few long runs on the sidelines last year using his blazing speed. Boachie is one of the faster junior running backs in the city. He has that good combination of speed and power as he is a solid and built 178lbs of muscle.
I feel one of the keys for Lane this year will be their line play. Offensive line play has to improve from last year to give Santana more time to throw the football and to open holes for Lane's backs. Lane seldom starts a junior at the quarterback position like they did last year. In fact if my memory is correct, the last time Lane Tech had a two year starter at the quarterback was in 2004. In that year Lane Tech legendary quarterback Couri Benz threw 46 touchdown passes led the state that year and also is tied for 3rd in state history for single season touchdown passes, and led Lane Tech to a city title.
I am not saying Santana will throw anywhere near what Benz did. He doesn't have to. If all Santana does is lead Lane to at least a winning record, he'll give Lane fans some relief from the hard times the past 5 years and optimism for continued success.