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Hinsdale Central grads now captain Ball State football, swimming teams

By Heather Rule
Pioneer Press

8/10/2017

Hinsdale Central freshmen football coach Patrick Richards said he was not at all surprised when former Red Devils standout Jacob White was named one of the captains on the Ball State football team.

It didn't matter that White is entering his redshirt sophomore season.

Richard doesn't know if he's coached an athlete with a better work ethic than White. He was one of those athletes that you didn't have to tell to get into the weight room, Richards said. He would always put in the extra time.

Being named a captain for the football team was a prestigious honor, White said.

"I was honored that a lot of the guys had looked up to me, even though I was technically considered to be young as far as football eligibility," said White, a 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker from Clarendon Hills.

White isn't the only member of Hinsdale Central's 2014 graduating class who is now a captain at Ball State, a MAC school in Muncie, Ind. His friend Banistre Lienhart is captain of the men's swimming team for his senior season.

"I just thought it was really cool," Lienhart said of the similarities.

A three-sport athlete in high school, playing football, basketball and baseball, White said he's most proud to have played those three sports all four years.

White is competitive and a natural leader, Richards said. Richards recalled a Hinsdale Central game from White's senior year when he filled in as quarterback when the starting QB got hurt. White "basically became a human wrecking ball, and he pretty much destroyed the opponent because of his athletic ability," Richards said.

"They couldn't tackle him," he added.

After graduation in 2014, White helped coach the freshman football and freshman basketball teams at Hinsdale Central until he left for Ball State in January 2015. White, a business administration major, enjoyed the experience and said it could also be a career path for him.

At Hinsdale Central, Lienhart was part of the teams that took second at state his junior year and third as a senior. He was on a 400-yard freestyle relay team his junior year that broke a school record from 1989 with a 3 minutes, 7.16 seconds.

"To be able to swim for such a good team and have an impact on how we placed at state, and to be able to see my name on the record board, made it all worth it," said Lienhart, a Willowbrook native.

Lienhart, an advertising major on a half-scholarship for swimming, focuses on freestyle individual events and relays. His favorite is the 200 freestyle, calling it his "bread and butter."

He knows his role will change as a captain this coming season. He'll be there to motivate his teammates, Lienhart said.

Both White and Lienhart commented on how well Hinsdale Central's rigorous classes prepared them for their time as student-athletes in college.

"When I showed up at Ball State, I felt like I was ahead of the curve a little bit compared to a lot of other kids," White said.

The fact that White and Lienhart became captains "shows that character really counts, which is something that Hinsdale Central really strives to promote throughout high school to all their students and student-athletes," Lienhart said.

Heather Rule is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @Pioneer_Press 

Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/hinsdale/sports/ct-dhd-ball-state-football-hinsdale-central-tl-0810-20170810-story.html

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