Class C, Division IV
LAST SEASON: 5-3
Lansing returns a talented, athletic group from last year’s team that lost 48-12 to eventual champion Chenango Forks in the first round of the Section 4 Class C playoffs. And not only does coach John Winslow bring back several versatile seniors, he inherits a player who might run the show this fall.
Elijah Burns, who moved into the district from Spencer-Van Etten in the middle of last year, earned a berth on The Ithaca Journal’s all-region team a year ago after leading the Panthers to a 7-2 record. He scored 21 touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards from his quarterback position.
Burns is a physical freak: At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he can run a 4.5 40-yard dash and squat 550 pounds, according to Winslow, an assistant professor of physical therapy at Ithaca College. Winslow noted his team’s devotion to strength and conditioning.
“Our lifting program is starting to pay off, our kids are stronger and faster than ever before,” he said. “We have 14 kids that bench over 225 and five that run a 4.6 or under. We should be good if we can stay healthy.”
Other key returnees for Lansing include Winslow’s son, senior Tyler Winslow (6-1, 185), a RB/DB who runs a 4.5 40 and has a 38-inch vertical leap, according to the coach. FB/LBAustin Candea, one of the team’s captains, led the team in tackles the previous two seasons.
Co-captain Anders Presthus, a two-way tackle, bench-presses 375 pounds and has good speed for a big man, Coach Winslow said. And junior fullback/linebacker Brandon Davis is small in stature at 5-6 and 175, but Winslow said “he plays like he’s 6-6 and 300 pounds; he’s the toughest kid on the field.”
— Tom Fleischman