Howard finished the regular season undefeated last fall, before falling to eventual champion Potter County in the "9A" football semifinals. This season, the Tigers will lean on senior running back Luke Loudenburg to take the next step.
Howard senior Luke Loudenburg enters his senior season with over four-thousand career rushing yards and 55 touchdowns. He needs less than 1,900 yards to break the career 9-man record set by Hanson's Jim Williams. So how does a 5'5" back average almost nine yards per carry?
"I use it to my advantage because a lot of people don't see me until I'm already past the line. By that time I've already gained three yards before I'm seen. That is how I use my size to my advantage," Loudenburg said.
Number 23 is as explosive on defense and special teams as he is in the backfield. The fans in Howard have enjoyed his big plays, but not as much as the man that calls them.
"I always look forward to watching Luke run because he always does something that makes us coaches say wow. There are a lot of coaches in the area that say the same thing," Howard Head Coach Pat Ruml said.
Loudenburg has quite the trophy case with a baseball title and three consecutive state wrestling championships. Now he wants to complete the triple-crown by winning one on the gridiron.
"I've won three state championships and they were great, but football is my favorite sport along with baseball. I have won a state baseball title, so football is the last stone I have to discover and I'm really looking forward to get that this year," Loudenburg said.
The Tigers will open their season September 5th, against Chester.