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Zebra football players stand tall

What a difference a year makes
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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It’s a good time to be on the Lincoln High football team. The undefeated Zebras, with an 11-0 record, are campus celebrities. Last week, Lincoln won just the second playoff game in school history – the other win coming in 2000. Lincoln was 10-0 in 1975 but lost in the first round of the playoffs. “Everyone knows who we are now,” said Lincoln senior lineman Jacob Tryon, a star on the defensive line who also plays some on the offensive line. “Everyone is like ‘good game’ and everyone is happy that we are 11-0. And they are just happy. Everyone knows your name and everyone in the town knows your name. Even people I have never seen in my life.” Lincoln senior quarterback Alex Stewart has experienced the same. “The electricity,” answered Stewart about what he feels around campus. “Everyone is fired up and everyone knows that once the day is over, it’s one day closer to Friday and watching us come out and play,” Stewart said. “If you are on the team, everyone kind of knows you, whether you know them or not. And it’s really cool. You can meet a lot of new people.” Senior defensive lineman and tight end J.J. Castillo said it is “much different” than it was a year ago when Lincoln’s season was 1-9. “It’s a good environment. We’re kind of held on a pedestal now,” Castillo said. “It’s a lot better than last year. Last year, we would come back (to school) and get made fun of. But it is kind of fun being 11-0.” Although it’s easy to get consumed with football at the moment, Stewart said the Lincoln coaching staff makes sure the players can take care of their schoolwork as well. “The way we have it set up is we have a very homework-friendly practice schedule,” Stewart said. “And it gives us enough time to get in and get our homework done and stay focused.” Tryon and Castillo agreed that keeping up with homework is not a problem, despite the pressure of playoffs.