The Loyola Flyers are off to a 7-0 start for the first time since 1976.
"I knew it was possible; we all new it was possible at the end of the season," Ethan Stansell said. "But none of us knew that we would come out and execute like we have and do what we are supposed to do and actually go 7 and 0. Hopefully, we can go 10 and 0 and win out."
The Flyers' run game has been tough to stop so far this season. And it's opened opportunities for the entire offense, especially running back Stansell.
"He knew that we were going to be counting on him a lot this year. And I talked to him in January, and I talked to him about what his role was going to be and what he needed to do to get prepared for this role," head coach Steven Geter said. "He took it in stride. And every day, he came in and worked out and prepared his body for this role.
"We are a read-option team and he is 6'3' and 230 pounds."
Stansell's grandfather remembers the day he was born. "He is a big kid, I remember when he came home from the hospital, and my daughter is 5'2" and you ask yourself where did Ethan come from," Harold Turner said.
Stansell the humble Giant has 17 touchdowns and has more than 1,000 yards so far this season.
But he says he wouldn't be the player he is today without his teammates.
"I mean, yeah, I do well and everything. And maybe some of it's me, and we have a phenomenal team and our offensive line does well. We have some athletes at the receiver spots. Our defense keeps us in the games; I mean, they've saved our butts a few times. We put together a great team effort, I think."
Stansell has his team on the field; and then there's his team in the stands, his family. "They are more than supportive, to say the least," he said.
Turner loves see his grandson compete on Friday nights.
"I'm prejudiced; I'm his grandfather, I'm not objective. Win or lose, I would be proud but to watch Ethan work hard and reap the benefit of his hard work," Turner said. "I think having played sports myself, it taught me so much about life and how hard work pays off. I think that's something that you need to learn; and I think that sports is something that Ethan and his teammates can learn from for rest of their life."
The support doesn't stop there, Stansell gets his height from his great-grandfather who is 91 years old, still makes it to the games and picks up a paper every Saturday morning.
"He calls me every Saturday, I saw what he did, he tore them up. He's really proud of Ethan," Turner said. "I took him (Stansell's great-grandfather) to the game down at Northwestern State. And after the game, to show you what kind of kid he is, he climbed up in the stands to hug my dad, his great-grandfather. He started crying and it was really special."
Stansell also is solid in the classroom. He carries a 3.8 grade-point average and scored 25 on the ACT.
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