NORFOLK – One of the stranger sports cliches is wondering how a team will handle success.
Lutheran High Northeast seems to be handling it pretty well, considering that’s pretty much all they’ve had. The Eagles have outscored their first three opponents this year 156-26.
So for Lutheran High coaches, the big question for them will be how this team handles their first bout with adversity.
“We haven’t experienced that yet, so it’s just talk right now,” said Lutheran High head coach Darin Suckstorf. “Being able to handle adversity is something every good team needs to be able to do. So when that happens, I think we’re ready.”
The Eagles will probably face some adversity this week, as they host a Lincoln Lutheran team that was one point away last week from coming to Norfolk with a 3-0 record. The Warriors have an all-state caliber quarterback in Zach Clausen, and Coach Suckstorf says they want to make Clausen have to beat them.
“They do run the ball pretty well, too, so if we can make them one-dimensional and get them in known passing situations I think we’ll have a better chance of stopping them,” Suckstorf said.
Success at Lutheran High over the years has been synonymous with big, strong, experience play on the offensive line. The Eagles have that again this year, and it’s not a coincidence that they’ve started 3-0.
“Our offensive line has taken pride in being a good running team,” said Suckstorf. “We have a good passing game, we just haven’t needed to use it yet. Our running game has been there for us, picking up first downs. We still believe in being a running team and relying on defense to win us big games.”
Their first big game comes this week, and after that it’s on to district play, against teams that have a combined record of 12-3 to this point. So the Eagles will get plenty of chances to see how they handle adversity.