Lane Tech Producing Top Football Players

Chicago Lane Tech used to be a powerhouse in high school football. It was producing Division I athletes in abundance. Now, after a number of down years, Lane Tech is beginning to rebalance the ledger. With top college prospects Louis Trinca-Pasat and Laken Tomlinson preparing for their senior seasons, college recruiters are flocking to the school again.

Football coach and Athletic Director Rich Rio has overseen a resurrection of Lane Tech football.

"I've been the head coach for 12 years, and we've had some real good quality kids. We've kind of rejuvenated the football tradition, and that's great. Lane Tech has always been a great football school."

He's thrilled to have a couple outstanding prospects on his team.

"I've been a coach for 28 years, and it's always exciting when you have kids that are being approached by other schools. It's nice for them, and it's nice for the program."

Coach Rio is proud of both Louis Trinca-Pasat and Laken Tomlinson. They visited Illinois for a Junior Day a couple weeks ago, and they are getting plenty of other attention.

"They rank very high as top juniors. They've both been offered already, and both have a lot of schools showing a lot of interest.

"They both enjoyed their experience down there (Illinois). They've also been on visits to Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue, and they're going to Michigan next week. They're keeping their options open. They're looking at all the schools to see what's their best fit."

Louis Trinca-Pasat has the size and quickness colleges seek.

"Louis is 6'-3", 235. He played outside linebacker, and he also played some tight end/wide receiver because he has great hands. He's a good physical kid who plays hard every down. Recruiters who've been in to see him say his motor is running all the time. He's kind of a quiet kid. He leads by example. He's played every down for us since he was a sophomore.

"Louis has had a ton of growth. Iowa has already offered, and they think there's a ton of growth in him. They like his mobility and his quickness, his long arms and big hands. I think physically he's gonna get bigger and stronger, and he has a tremendous work ethic."

With Trinca-Pasat's frame and ability to add weight, it is possible he might outgrow the linebacker spot.

"Being a down lineman is a possibility. It depends on what the needs are of the university that takes him."

Rio says Laken Tomlinson also has a great work ethic.

"Laken is 6'-5 and 1/2", 285. He has very agile, quick feet. He has no body fat, he's a very strong kid. He played offensive guard and defensive tackle for us. He even played some downs as a freshman for us. So he has a ton of experience on both sides of the ball. He is a shotputter and Louis also runs track, so both are two sport athletes."

Both Louis and Laken are academically sound as well.

"Academically, they're bright kids. Louis is a 4.2 honor student, and Laken has a 3.4 GPA. So they're both qualifiers anywhere they want to go. It makes it easier for the colleges. They're wanted for both reasons, the classroom and the football field."

Coach Rio is eager to help his athletes understand and work through the recruiting process.

"I have been helping them all along. We want to keep the young kids grounded and make them understand the process. So I'm very intimately involved with them."


Illini Inquirer Top Stories