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Bruins' secondary mainstay

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By Robert Howey

Bruins’ senior defensive back Brion Strothers has a lot to live up to in his Lancaster High football career, but so far he’s holding his own.Strothers, a senior defensive back for the 4-1 Lancaster Bruins, is following in the challenging footsteps of his older brother Anthony, a 2007 LHS graduate.Anthony Strothers, a Bruins football and baseball standout, was a two-time all-region pick in football as well as an honor student. Strothers, during his career, saw action on both sides of the ball at fullback and linebacker.“Growing up, we competed and I want to do as well as he did,” Brion Strothers said. “Really, I’d like to outdo him. He’s my older brother and that’s something you would naturally like to do.”Strothers, a three-year member of the LHS varsity and a two-year starter, is off to a solid start in holding up the family name this season.To date, he has two interceptions and a fumble recovery to go with a 49-yard punt return to set up the Bruins’ only touchdown in their 27-7 loss to second-ranked Northwestern.Away from the football, Strothers is also strong in the classroom with a 3.87 grade point average. His latest report card was a glittering reflection of his academic work – straight As.“Anthony was an honor student and I want to do as well as he did,” said Brion Strothers, the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Back Award winner last fall.At the same time, Strothers wants just as much to help the team and motivate upcoming players for the future.“I want to put my team in position to win,” he said. “I know when I’m on the field, I’m motivated to do something a lot of people around here haven’t done and that’s go to college and play.”LHS head coach Bennie McMurray calls Strothers “the quarterback of the Bruins’ defense,” a unit which has allowed a total of 52 points this season.“Brion’s a complete player and he makes the adjustments on defense,” McMurray said. “He has great range and a nose for the football. Brion has that competitive edge, the will to win. That’s what makes him a good leader.”LHS assistant Joe Watson said Strothers plays sideline to sideline.“He combines his football smarts with his ability to make plays,” Watson said. “He fully understands what we’re schematically triying to do.”“I like defense because you get to hit other people and defense wins championships,” Strothers said.In addition to being a solid defensive back, Strothers is a Bruins’ weapon as a bonafide punt returner.“This is my chance to make a difference in the game,” Strothers said. “I want to put my team in a position to win. It’s exciting to give my team a boost.”McMurray notes Strothers’ natural skills in returning punts.“Brion has good hands to catch the ball and he’s very deceptive about setting up his blocks,” McMurray said. “He knows when to turn on the juice.”Strothers adds team success is part of his goal.“This is our chance to make a statement,” he said. “We want to make the playoffs. We’ve worked hard and we want that hard work to pay off.”He noted it’s important for the Bruins to rebound tonight against Nation Ford in LHS’s annual Parent’s Night game.“I think we will come back strong this week,” Strothers said. “This game will be important for the playoffs and we need the points for the playoffs.“Lancaster hasn’t been there in a while and we’d like to change that.”