Features | Friday Night Drive

After a year away from football, Lane Robinson emerges as St. Charles East starting QB

Quarterback Lane Robinson gets ready to catch the ball during practice at St. Charles East on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

ST. CHARLES – Lane Robinson felt perhaps a bit overlooked.

Robinson, St. Charles East’s senior quarterback, actually stepped way from football last season to re-set.

When Robinson transferred in from Kaneland High School entering his junior year, the Saints’ quarterback depth chart was settled with then-three year starter Nathan Hayes already installed. Robinson prioritized wrestling last school year.

One year later, with new coach Nolan Possley at the helm of the Saints, it’s Robinson’s time to prove he’s ready for the moment.

“It was a decision of, ‘am I really getting the most out of it’? Robinson said of his decision to sit out last year. “I wasn’t really playing much on varsity [during the summer]. They had [Hayes] above me…I said I’m going to take my talents over to wrestling. I’m going to start training there and I’m going to come back next year because I knew…Possley was the man and he was going to help me out and get me ready.”

After a summer-long competition with junior Mac Paul, Robinson has emerged as the Saints’ starter.

“It was an unbelievable competition this summer,” Possley said. “…Both were getting after it. They really battled it out until the last day of summer camp.”

Paul will now shuffle between running back and linebacker defensively.

“I really feel like this team has something special going on,” Robinson said. “I’m here. I’m here to win a DuKane Conference title. That’s the goal here. We haven’t done that yet. And that’s the mission every day.”

“[Robinson] was a guy that legitimately got better every single day,” Possley said. “I had not worked with Lane much before. I didn’t really know what we had with him either [initially]…I knew him as a wrestler. Lane and I knew each other. I didn’t know what he really was going to be as a football player. He’s a guy that came out here and legitimately, every single day, impressed us and got better.”

To Possley, Robinson’s combination of leadership and athleticism “has been extremely impressive.”

With Robinson solidified, the attention now turns to reversing the results of the past few seasons for the Saints. St. Charles East went 2-7 last year.

“The energy is through the roof this year,” Robinson said. “I’d say the bond that we have is very tight. These guys, I haven’t really known [in] my second year here; basically my first year playing football [for a full regular season] and the bond we have, I feel like [they’re] my brothers.”

“We have some talent on offense,” Robinson continued. “We have some talent on defense. I know our offense is going to be dynamic.”

Robinson feels the offensive system fits his athletic ability.

“I can open it up. I’m able to run. I’m able to pass. I’m able to use my feet and that’s what I’m good at,” Robinson said.

The Saints also return three starters from last year along the offensive line, headlined by senior Austin Barrett, an Indiana recruit. Hayden Harbison, a senior, and junior Bodey McCaslin also return.

Mason Tousignant, a three-year varsity wideout, and Blake Schuette will be primary targets for Robinson out wide.

“We’re using tight end more. It’s good because guys from the outside can get a look,” Tousignant said. “[Defenses] really can’t bracket us as much because they’ve got to worry about the tight end, which is good.”

“I feel like we’re going to pound the ball this year,” Tousignant continued. “We’re going to pound it and then throw it deep. I think teams are really going to be worried about the run. We have a really good running back Trent [Matejko]…he was hurt the majority of the year [last year] with an ankle [injury].”