Returning tailback to anchor New Brighton's young lineup

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:29 p.m.

Coach Joe Greco believes the Lions are on the way up.

“We've had an excellent offseason,” the New Brighton coach said. “We have a solid core of kids grades 10 through 12. They've put the time in.”

With one more win in 2011 than the year before, Greco believes that this year, the team will be even more competitive.

One obvious strength in the lineup is senior Kellen Mackey, who rushed for 799 yards last season.

“Kellen's going to be one obvious impact player. He's looking for a healthy and successful senior season,” Greco said. “He's a strong, fast kid.”

But Greco isn't looking for Mackey to carry the team.

“We're going to have to be more than just him,” Greco said.

New Brighton is still a young team. Senior Tony Tomasi and juniors Craig Thompson and Braden Thomas will play wide receiver, while juniors Lamar Taft and Tyler St. Esprit will play fullback. Joe Greco's son, Gabe, a junior, will play quarterback in the team's spread offense.

The Lions have not been to the postseason since 2003, and this year Greco wants his team to be in the mix.

“The (Midwestern Conference) is always competitive. That's just the way it is,” Greco said. “We hope to be one of the teams fighting for a playoff spot.”

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