Times Sports Editor
The 2010 football season was a special one for the Northview football program and senior quarterback Trent Lancaster. An eight-win season, a conference championship and a sectional victory was the icing on a prep career that culminated in Lancaster's commitment to the Indiana State Sycamores on National Signing Day Feb. 2. The Sycamores beat out a number of schools for the services of Lancaster, who was Honorable Mention All-State in Class 4A this season.
"I had a little more interest out of Southern Illinois, Illinois State, St. Francis and some other smaller schools, but through the whole recruiting process I wanted Indiana State," Lancaster said. "I love what Coach (Trent) Miles and company are doing with the football program, and talking to the coaches, I can tell the program is going in the right direction. Coach (Trent) Miles seemed like a great, down to earth guy who is a 'family first' type of guy. That is kind of how I've been raised, and that's what stuck out to me the most."
Lancaster also mentioned that the Sycamores' resurgent, six-win season in the fall was an important factor, but his comfort with the coach was also very important.
"I think the past season was definitely a factor but I love the university," Lancaster said. "My parents went and my brother is there now. It's 10 miles away and it just seemed right to choose State. Before the season, I talked to coach Miles for the first time and I could tell he knew what he was talking about, and I knew the season was going to be a success."
The road to ISU began on Oct. 12, 2007, when the freshman quarterback got his first career start on the road at Brown County. Lancaster opened eyes even on that first fall evening when he completed nine-of-13 passes for 178 yards while rushing for 68 yards and two touchdowns in a victory. Twenty-one victories and 6,400 passing yards later, Lancaster is a Sycamore.
Of course, Lancaster finished his senior season in style as he threw for 2,553 yards and 34 touchdowns and completed 64-percent of his passes while finishing 11th in the state averaging 232 passing yards per game. He also rushed for 700 yards and 13 scores.
Over the course of his prep career, Lancaster earned all-conference honors three times and was the team MVP during his junior and senior campaigns.
Northview head coach George Gettle was at the helm for each of Lancaster's four years and had a front row seat for the development of his quarterback.
"I see Trent's desire and competitive spirit to be a very successful person in life as being his greatest asset," Gettle said. "He has shown a tremendous ability to lead men and make those around him better. Those are two major characteristics in being a very successful QB at any level high school, college or pro."
"I can think of several, but two intangibles that really helped Trent in leading a very successful football team over his years as the starting QB were his work ethic and his toughness," Gettle said. "Trent was always willing to put in the extra time and effort to work on his fundamentals/skill set and learn the game of football. He and his teammates spent many hours on the practice field, at position-specific football camps during the summer, and in the weight-room and film room. The second intangible is the most important to being a good football player no matter the position of choice and that is toughness.
"Trent was a warrior in the pocket, his ability to withstand contact and still deliver the ball down the field is what separates him from most others at his age," Gettle added. "Not only did he show that toughness in the pocket he also showed it with his ability to run the football. Trent rushed for over 2,500 yards in his career from the QB position, which is pretty remarkable."
The 6'1, 180 pound signal caller will retain plenty of great memories from his career, but was drawn back to his freshman season for one of his fondest.
"It was definitely a special time for me to play for Northview the last four years. I couldn't have asked for better support coming from teammates and coaches from freshmen till senior year," Lancaster said. "I would say my most fond memory was playing with my older brother (Nick Lancaster) when I was a freshman. He was a senior, and I didn't ever think that we would get to play together, but we did, and it was a very special time for me that I will never forget."
What few will forget about Lancaster is his leadership abilities as he was always on the sideline encouraging his teammates on the defensive side as well as sacrificing himself for the success of the team. His character is what separates him from a lot of other players and what has drawn praise from coaches.
"Trent is like a son to me -- maybe even a little brother," Gettle said. "The entire Lancaster family and I have grow really close over the past eight years or so. Trent is a tremendous person just like his dad, mother and brothers are. He is an awesome student/athlete, a great teammate, and a very genuine and sincere person who truly cares about people. He was a pure joy to coach and most of all he was always willing to put his team and teammates first and make sacrifices for all those around him."
Despite his high school success, Lancaster knows that hard work and improvement will have to continue for him to take the next step to collegiate football. However, he credits those around him for his development.
"I have a lot of work to do to play at the Division I level. It's a totally different game, so much faster, and I am looking forward to the challenge. I'm going to have to improve in every category and it won't be easy," Lancaster said. "Having said that, I feel like I have one advantage, coaching. Growing up as a coach's son, my dad has been a great model to look after. His passion for sports is what he instilled into me. I couldn't have asked for a better father.
"I also wouldn't be in the position I am in if it weren't for Coach Gettle. He has taught me everything I know about the quarterback position and has an expert mind on it," Lancaster added. "My endless work with him starting my freshmen year has put me in a position to play at the next level, and I am so thankful for Coach Gettle. I have been blessed with great mentors."