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Luke Strauss Leads the Way for the Spartans

Griffin Schmoyer, Jakob Bloss, and Townsend Colley

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Photo credit: Kolbi Harding

Every Monday morning on the Channel 2 Spartan News after a football game, one name always makes the scoresheet: Luke Strauss, one of the Spartans’ most influential and dynamic players, and a vital part of the team’s success.

Strauss, a senior, has been the starting running back for the past two years. He recently eclipsed the 2,000 career rushing yards and 20 career touchdowns milestone after a 31-28 win over rival Saucon Valley.

But the now-star running back wasn’t an overnight success. Like every other player to enter the football program as a freshman, he had to fight his way up the depth chart. The Southern Lehigh coaching staff got their first glimpse of just how lethal Strauss could be on Friday nights during his sophomore year when he ran back a kick return for a touchdown against Palmerton.

However, that touchdown wasn’t the only thing that put him on the map. Over the course of Strauss’s high school football career, he became a fixture for the football team in the weight room. During the off-season he was rarely known to miss a lift, even during the track season when he would come in and lift after track practice.

“There’s a lot of great players that have come before me, and even players I played with like Timmy Walters, Zach Mohr, they motivated me to just be the best player I can be and really just kind of jumped on that,” Strauss said. “The better I am, the better it is for the team, which is great.”

But hard work can only get you so far. It takes talent, and Strauss has that in spades.

“He has a rare combination of speed and strength, and is able to accelerate really fast and effectively,” head football coach John Toman said. “He has good vision, and can see stuff that other running backs can’t.”  

Strauss has not only been turning the heads of his teammates and coaches, but also many throughout the Valley. His eye-popping statistics frequently place him among the top running backs in both the Colonial League and the entirety of District XI football. In his junior season he averaged ten yards per carry and nearly 140 yards per game, enroute to a 1532 rushing yard season. Strauss has become such a powerful threat, that opposing teams will often leave eight men in the tackle box in order to contain the two-year starter.

“He has great field vision,” junior quarterback Logan Edmond said. “He knows how to follow his block and he trusts the players around him.”

While Strauss’s explosive running abilities open up seams in the passing game through the use of play action, he has also proven himself to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Over the course of his career at Southern Lehigh, he has amassed 25 receptions for 237 yards: an average of nearly 10 yards per reception.

“It creates a legitimate threat for the defense, so it allows the receivers to get open because the corners and safeties bite for the run,” Edmond said.

Throughout Strauss’s two seasons as the primary running back, the Spartans have amassed a 15-3 record, and a sizable portion of that success can be accredited to the 5’11” workhorse back. However, his contributions to the team cannot be measured in statistics alone.

His leadership along with other intangible qualities that he brings to the table are one of the reasons Strauss was named a captain for the 2017 Spartan football season. The impact he has left on Southern Lehigh will forever be enshrined in the record books and in the minds of opponents that he has left in the dust.

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Luke Strauss Leads the Way for the Spartans