Rushing Ahead: Lane Carries Winter Haven into Playoffs
Thu. November 15, 2012 at 10:23 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
WINTER HAVEN | One of Adam Lane's favorite things to do on the football field is stiff arm opponents.
"I've seen it too many times," said teammate Tavares Rolle, a senior wide receiver.
But Lane, Polk County's highest-prized football recruit this season, doesn't only like helping his school win football games on Friday nights — something he'll try to do tonight when Winter Haven travels to New Smyrna Beach for a Class 6A regional quarterfinal game.
The Florida commit takes pride in being an executive intern in Winter Haven's freshman academy, where he helps administrators keep things moving along nicely at the end of the day.
Lane helps supervise breakfast duty, file paperwork and assist students and parents on things they need help with if they come in when he's running the front desk during sixth period.
Call the freshman academy just before school is out, and you might even hear a pleasant Adam Lane on the other line.
"The only time I'm mean is on the field," Lane said.
And there, the 5-foot-9 senior uses his aggressive style to get past defenders. So far this season, Lane has rushed for 1,332 yards on 161 carries. He's scored 10 touchdowns and only fumbled the ball twice.
"It sometimes surprises me to watch him do the things he does," Winter Haven coach Charlie Tate said after the Kathleen game on Sept. 20 in which Lane ran for 228 yards and two touchdowns.
"Even tonight, I was like ‘Wow, how did he do that,'?" Tate said as he scratched his head.
He was referring to a couple of big runs Lane broke off, one 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 54-yarder to put Winter Haven in scoring position in the second.
Lane will tell anyone he likes being the best.
"The thought of failure really motivates me," Lane said. "I hate losing with a passion, and I don't want to be the reason we lose ever."
He's the same with academics and disciplinary issues.
The last time he says he got in trouble was when he was in the fifth grade.
"A kid was messing with me at P.E., and we got into it. They brought us into the office afterward and they threatened to kick me off the track team, and I didn't like that at all," Lane said.
Needless to say, he hasn't been in the doghouse much since then.
He wouldn't be an executive intern if he had.
In order to qualify for the position, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have no disciplinary issues. They must also apply for it.
"They have to be good kids because they're setting an example for the freshmen," Freshman Academy Secretary Tammie LaJoie said.
"This is the cream of the crop here."
For Lane, it's no different than when you put the ball in his hands.
He makes Winter Haven go on offense and, for a lot of opponents, stopping him is their focal point.
"He's a great player," New Smyrna Beach coach Lance Jenkins said. "He extends plays very well, and I think we're definitely going to have to be on our best game for sure to stop him."
Lane is hoping the turnout favors Winter Haven, and not only because he likes winning.
Over the years, he's grown to have more of an affinity for the school and for school pride.
He has the chance to enroll early at Florida but wants to stick around so he can graduate with his senior class. When asked what message he wanted to get across for tonight's game, he didn't throw any chalkboard material out.
"Just tell all the Winter Haven fans to come support us," he said.
[Solange Reyner may be reached at 863-802-7526 or email@example.com.]