By Ellen Graves
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Blue and gold aren’t just colors to Ackerman High School seniorQuinton Lane, they are a lifestyle. Every Friday night in the fall, Lane steps out under the lights to play the game he loves: football.
With football offers from some of the South’s top colleges like the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, Lane’s hard work on and off the field is paying off. Lane is being recruited by a host of other colleges as well.
“I’m not going to lean towards one college more than the other. I’m just going to wait,” said Lane when asked if he had picked a college yet.
For Lane, the football field is a platform where lessons are learned, goals are reached, and friendships are made. He understands that to reach his dream of eventually playing in the NFL, he has to work hard.
“I think the average person will quit whenever he’s tired, so I just want to keep going and be more than just the average player,” said Lane.
Lane plays a variety of positions including receiver and safety. However, he understands that football is a team sport and that players have to work together to win.
“Everything I do, I say it’s for my family and my team because we are a team,” said Lane. “I just want people to realize that I’m not selfish, and I’m being a team player.”
Ackerman’s head football coach Adam Dillinger has seen Lane develop as a player over the past few years. “Quinton is a really good kid with a great work ethic. He comes in everyday and works hard in the weight room. He is really driven and wants to succeed as a team and individually,” said Dillinger.
Lane is ranked No. 88 in the nation and No. 14 in the state. He said he is “pumped” about the rankings but reminds himself to be humble by thinking of how hard he’s worked to make it. Lane cites Ackerman’s Coach Shaston Coleman as one of his mentors that has really pushed him to play his best.
“He’s really taught me and made me the young man I am,” said Lane.
Although college recruiters are primarily looking for raw, athletic talent, they have to take into account whether a player succeeds in the academic arena as well.
“The first question college coaches ask is grades. It doesn’t matter how good they are if they can’t qualify. They want kids who are hard workers and are good kids. Talent is always a necessity as well,” said Dillinger.
Lane knows college is more than football and wants to major in business or engineering. Lane’s plan is “to put schoolwork first and then whenever it’s time for football, it’s time for football.”
Teammate Alex Foust believes Lane has what it takes to make it to the next level.
“He’s just always had the gift of athleticism, and he has an amazing work ethic,” said Foust. “He’s a really good guy and has a good head screwed on him.”
It’s hard for Lane to describe the feeling of playing Friday night football, but he always remembers what the late Coach Steven Moss told him, “Big time players make big time plays.”
A bright future in the world of college football is ahead for Lane, but right now he is focused on enjoying his senior year of high school. When asked his goal for his last year of high school football, he replied with a smile on his face, “State championship. Most definitely.”
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