By John Orrell, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury High School (SHS) senior Justice Lane, a linebacker and special teams player for the 2016 SHS Super Bowl football team, was recently recognized at Gillette Stadium by the Mass. High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA). He was the sole winner from a statewide pool of candidates for the MHSFCA Leadership Scholarship of $2,000. The scholarship was sponsored by Adrenaline Fundraising.
“Justice’s commitment to our program was outstanding,” said SHS head coach John Aloisi, who recommended Lane for the prestigious award. “He was a very hard worker and incredibly consistent. As his senior year progressed, he became an effective vocal leader as well. He is completely selfless and never wanted the spotlight.
“Throughout his career, he had no labels (captain, all-star, etc.), never scored a touchdown and only started one year, but was arguably our hardest and most consistent worker. He is an outstanding representative of what our program stands for and deserves to be recognized for it.”
“It was made clear to me that this was a statewide honor so I feel very honored getting the award,” said Lane. “It’s not like it was just being the best leader here in Shrewsbury or even in central Mass. It’s a statewide thing and I think that’s a pretty good accomplishment because it’s not about skill but how I’ve presented myself to my teammates and my coaches. I’m very proud of this.”
Lane has learned the values of leadership and responsibility over the years through his coaches and parents. Not being designated formally as a captain or even assistant renders his recognition and achievement all the more special.
“I didn’t have any labels that I had to look up to. It was just me being the best that I could be and that helped me get better and do things that I knew were the right things to do,” he said. “I’m kind of a quiet leader that leads by example.
“The way it developed was that I observed what other people do and put that into effect and I just tried to follow in their footsteps. When the time came this year, I realized that I needed to do all the things that those people were doing because it wasn’t a given that someone else was going to do it.”
Lane was a part of the squad that captured the Central Mass. District title and went on to compete in the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. That will be a lifetime memory and one that he and his fellow teammates will always cherish.
“Playing at Gillette was a very good experience,” Lane said. “It was a real eye-opener as to how big the stadium is. It was good to have a moment before the game started to have a look around and was pretty unbelievable for our team knowing that we had done all the work and gotten there.”
Lane is presently undecided with his college choice but plans to major in physical education and coaching or kinesiology (study of movement). He is a National Honor Society member and enjoys competing on local baseball and basketball teams. He is also quick to express pride for the privilege of representing Shrewsbury High.
“Being able to represent Shrewsbury High has been special because it’s a big responsibility,” Lane noted. “Every time we go out we play with Shrewsbury on our jerseys and that’s not something you take lightly because when you play you have to have class and be cautious not to let your team down. It’s been a very high honor and I’m happy to spend my four years here because it was a really great experience.”
“Justice mostly leads by example but on occasional he will speak up,” added coach Aloisi. “He was not a captain but certainly behaved like one. He is loyal, dependable, consistent and conscientious. He also has a good sense of humor. We will miss him.”