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It’s all about the team for Mountain View senior kicker and receiver Josh Lillie.
It’s bigger than his statistics. It’s bigger than his results on the field. It’s bigger than him.
For Lillie, his focus lies on bettering Mountain View in any way he possible can.
“Really just following through for the team is really important because of it’s kind of the bigger than the game aspect with the brotherhood and the camaraderie of having teammates and working towards that common goal,” Lillie said. “it’s just an experience that you can’t get anywhere else but team sports and especially for this team, for this Mountain View High School like football team this year.
“We have a bunch of really talented guys, motivated guys and we’re all close with one another, so that’s what keeps me going and keeps me motivated.”
The selfless Lillie has only been around football since his sophomore year of high school, and not long later was it evident just what he was capable of.
During a junior season when he averaged 39.3 yards per kickoff and connected on a 38-yard field goal while Mountain View went 7-4 and qualified for the Central Coast Section playoffs, Lillie began to take notice of what his ceiling was, reaching out to colleges about potentially joining their respective programs.
“And then now just kind of playing wide receiver for Mountain View more so for the next level or maybe that’s a possibility just another part of my repertoire of me as a player if I were to play at the next level,” Lillie said.
At receiver, Lillie is new to the position, but over the offseason he’s been training as much as possible with some of his teammates and finding ways to fit in with the Spartans’ dynamic offense.
“As a wide receiver since I’m fairly new to it, I’m still discovering kind of honing in to what my style is,” Lillie said. “But as of now I think I’m more of just kind of finding weak spots in zone defenses. I’m just kind of a possession receiver, move the sticks, just give another option for the quarterback because (Drake signee) Austin (Flax) is a high profile target, so maybe setting pick routes for him, whatever it is, blocking hard, just doing whatever the team needs really, so just kind of fitting in with the system however it needs.”
While working together with his Mountain View teammates, who record each of their reps while on the field, he’s found growth in every area.
Lillie has worked on footwork, route running for a defensive back, guarding routes and trying to remain consistent in the process. And he’s practicing like the season is about to begin, not worry about whether one might happen or not.
Plus, Lillie’s strength and size increased, too, lifting a lot more and adding strength to his play at receiver and as a kicker.
“That has really translated well to both kicking and wide receiver so I can kick touchbacks a lot easier now, kick further field goals, and then for wide receiver the mental part of it has just been previous years I’ve played DB,” Lillie said. “And so applying what I know of DB to how to run routes, how to read the defensive what routes you can run against different coverages as well just understanding from the QB’s perspective what how to help the QB out with your route running and just little nuances and trying to just learn something new each time we get out there.”
Once the season does roll around, Lillie wants it all, aiming for wins in every regard before heading off to college.
“I want to have a great regular season and beat some teams that we lost to last year and also beat teams that we did beat last year,” Lillie said. “So just dominate the regular season and then really show what this team is made of and the mission we have in playoffs, which is to go far. We’ll take one game at a time, but really to have more success in playoffs like they were saying.”
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