August 6, 2009

Johnson hoping to put Plano East back on top

Plano East has historically been one of the better high school programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Although they have never won a state title, the Panthers usually found a way to make the playoffs and were always known for having a crushing running game and a tough defense.

However, last year Plano East fell on hard times. The Panthers finished 1-9 and had to beat another winless program in order to pick up their only victory of the season. In order for the Panthers to return to their winning ways something had to change.

That change started in spring workouts and carried forward to state 7-on-7 qualifying tournaments during the summer. It involved a change in attitude, but it also involved a number of younger, talented players who helped Plano East to the state 7-on-7 tournament.

One of those talents is junior safety Lyndell Johnson. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Johnson earned Second-Team All-District honors at free safety with two interceptions and 39 tackles before breaking a collarbone with two games to go in the season. Since then, Johnson has triple-jumped over 43 feet to earn a berth in the Class 5A regional meet. He has also been a hit at 7-on-7 tournaments across the Metroplex, establishing himself as a future star with his range and size.

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