Hines plays bigger part in Brownstown offense


Taking Lucas Hines out to eat can be a challenge for the budget conscious these days.

Try to stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets. Watch out for McDonald’s. Be cautious around menus that have two sides.

This is a guy whose New Year’s resolution was probably the opposite of most of the rest of America’s. Instead of pledging to diet and trim down, the sturdy football player for Brownstown Central has been calculating how to overburden his scale.

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Hines, a running back-linebacker for the Braves, wears jersey No. 17 but acts as if he would prefer to be donning No. 77 as a double-wide lineman.

For the moment, the 6-foot-2 senior says he weighs 205 pounds, as opposed to the 195 pounds listed in the program for the team’s home games.

That’s because the roster can’t keep up with a guy who claims to be eating eight meals a day. Hines is not only attempting to become a leaner, meaner fighting machine, which he is accomplishing on a weekly basis for the 2-0 Braves, but so he can play college football on defense. The goal is to get big enough for someone to notice him.

This is not a mindless gorge himself program. There is very much method behind how Hines ingests calories, though he does admit the two-Big-Mac, large-fry order at Mickey D’s, isn’t necessarily the finest health option.

“Oh, they love to see me coming,” Hines said of the staff.

He washes down that selection with sweet tea. Other times, besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, he will supplement his daily intake with peanut butter sandwiches. And he eats fruit as often as possible all day long. Protein is often on his mind.

Most importantly, as Hines seeks to grow himself into a prospect, he is not only thinking about size but skill. In addition to Brownstown’s regular practices, Hines works out by running up hills and by doing agility drills to make sure those calories convert to muscle.

Hines, 17, has spent most of his previous high school offensive time at tight end and fullback than as a player chosen for handoffs into the line and around end.

But as Brownstown prepares for Friday night’s game at 1-2 Salem, someone whose offensive role was built more around blocking has been demonstrating a newfound speed and power and seeing remarkable results.

“It’s definitely different being able to touch the ball,” Hines said.

In Brownstown’s 42-7 victory over Charlestown, Hines rushed for 93 yards. In Brownstown’s 50-8 win over Eastern (Pekin), Hines rushed for 160 yards on only four carries.

He scored one touchdown against Charlestown and two against Eastern. The first TD in the Eastern game was a 29-yard run around the left end. The second, late in the game, was a 58-yard burst on a play that was supposed to be a punt.

“I fumbled the snap,” Hines said, suggesting with a laugh maybe he didn’t deserve too much credit for making something out of a mistake. “I just took off running the ball.”

Hines wasn’t sure if he was going to receive a compliment from coach Reed May or not.

“He said it was a good read,” Hines said.

May, who believes Salem will be a bigger test for the Braves than the first two opponents, said Hines is showing well.

“He’s a tough runner,” May said. “He’s a big, strong kid.”

Bigger and stronger all of the time, by design, according to Hines.

“I knew I was getting faster,” Hines said. “It’s rewarding to beat a defensive back.”

Hines said he did not dream up the if-I-see-it, I-eat-it plan on his own. Sophomore year, a friend who was a bodybuilder said if Hines wanted to gain weight, he should eat as often as he could.

“I’m trying so hard,” Hines said of the weight-add program. “I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”

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