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Primetime 23: Chase Owen of West Lincoln

The Primetime 23 recognizes the 23 best football players for the upcoming season in the area.

West Lincoln rising senior wide receiver and defensive back Chase Owen is used to the spotlight.

Owen was on the cover of Gridiron Magazine last season, which was an honor and a humbling experience for him, he said, but Owen wants more in his final year for the Bears.

“Making the Primetime 23 two years in a row means a lot for me because it means I am one of the best competitors at my position,” Owen said. “As a senior on the team, I have to set an example on the team not only for the young kids, but the whole team itself. I like taking the role of a leader and I have my whole life.”

The 2016 season ended in disappointment for Owen and West Lincoln with a 2-8 overall record and missing the playoffs.

Owen knows there’s a lot of work to be done in his final go-arouned, but he’s confident in his team and his new head coach, BJ Smithhart.

“It has been a great summer with coach Smithhart,” Owen said. “He expects us to bust our tail every day Monday through Thursday. The main thing I’ve learned from Coach is that we are a very good team. We just needed him and coach (Brad) Bland to push us to be great every day.”

The talent is there in West Lincoln, led by Owen at the wide receiver position, to be dynamic on offense. The defense will feature a lot of new faces, but they are a lot of young and hungry players looking to shine.

That’s just one of many things Owen likes on his team in his senior year. The most important thing for him is the chemistry he and fellow senior Le’Darrius Jones share. Both Jones and Owen have been together for a couple of years now on the football and basketball teams and the chemistry has been building for a while.

“Le’Darrius and I have great chemistry,” Owen said. “I look to him as a brother and I would do anything for him. We often train together in the afternoons to get each other faster and better and I believe that there is not a team in the district that can stop the both of us.”

The senior duo provides a great combination in the backfield with Owen at wide receiver and Jones as an all-purpose running back. When it comes to receiving and making a play with the ball in their hands, Owen believes the tandem can be destined for great things in their final season.

West Lincoln will play against great competition in 2A with games against Lincoln County opponents Loyd Star, Enterprise and Bogue Chitto to end the regular season. Enterprise was victorious against Enterprise and Bogue Chitto last year, but fell against Loyd Star 56-14 to end the 2016 season.

Owen recognizes the great opportunity ahead of him in his senior year to build a program with a new head coach. That’s what he’s most excited about.

“You can expect great things from our team this year,” Owen said. “I believe we have enough weapons and great coaches that will push us into the deep rounds of the playoffs.”