Long Island Lutheran's Jordan Channer will try to help his...

Long Island Lutheran's Jordan Channer will try to help his team improve on last year' 1-9 record. Credit: Bob Mitchell

After a difficult 1-9 season last year, Long Island Lutheran will again find itself in a fog of uncertainty.

The Crusaders, who do not have a league of their own, have had trouble finding teams to fill a full schedule.

Saturday's game at Baltimore Lutheran is a good example.

Long Island Lutheran must contend with new NYSAIS regulations that say they're only allowed nine regular-season games. Because Lu-Hi has no ticket into any postseason, the team has been stymied just when it's starting to get it together, said coach Chris Reno.

Despite the hardships, Lutheran returns improved this year and, according to Reno, "we can have a winning season."

Lutheran returns junior running back Jordan Channer to anchor a strong backfield that will be the cornerstone of its Wing-T offense. Channer ran for 697 yards, tops on the team, and scored 42 points - about one-third of the Lu-Hi total. Look for collaboration between him and returning quarterback Rob Waldman to pace the offense.

The offensive line will be another strength, led by junior Loizos Loizou and sophomore Ian Brown. The defense will again center around Mike Valencia. Valencia, a sturdy senior who's cut his teeth guarding against the run game, had a team-high 66 tackles. Loizou had 25 tackles and led the team with three interceptions.

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