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Kim ready to make impact for Prep

Lucas Kim, Prep's middle linebacker, is determined to do whatever it takes to help his team win.

September 02, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

There's no doubt Lucas Kim has an effect on how the Flintridge Prep football team plays on Friday nights.

It goes way beyond the middle linebacker's ability to stop the other team's running back in his tracks, too. Second-year Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison will be the first to say Kim's the "attitude and heart" of the defense, as well as the team's emotional leader.

After just spending a few months with the varsity squad, Clayton Weirick, Prep's new junior quarterback, has already witnessed Kim's impact on the team.

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"Our team goes up and down with him, basically," Weirick said. "When he gets fired up, our team gets fired up with him. He does control the emotion of our team."

Kim, a senior, proved to be an important piece to the Rebels' success last year, evidenced in the team's Prep League opener against Chadwick, the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division at the time, on Oct. 15, 2010.

The Rebels were in control of the game in the third quarter, up 19-13, driving into Chadwick's 20-yard line when Kim, who also plays fullback, tore his MCL. Prep failed to score on the drive, turning the ball over on downs at the Dolphins' one-yard line.

It only got worse when Chadwick took over on offense and broke a 99-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 19.

"They actually ran through my A-gap, where I would have been playing, and that killed me the most," Kim said.

Chadwick went on to win, 33-19, scoring three more touchdowns — one of which came off an interception — when Prep's quarterback threw to Kim's replacement at fullback.

"The whole timing was changed just because I went down and I couldn't do anything," Kim said. "I know if I was in the ball game it would have been different. The season would have been different, too."

Harrison doesn't hesitate to echo Kim's statements.

"I strongly believe that," Harrison said. "We win that first game in league against Chadwick, who was ranked in our [division], and it gets us rolling. It's a whole different season. Our guys would have felt a lot more confident."

The Rebels went on to drop the next two games without Kim, as he was diagnosed with a grade-one MCL tear. Kim battled his way back onto the field for the last two games of the season. Prep was winless, 0-6-1 at that point, but something changed with Kim's return, as the Rebels defeated Viewpoint, 35-0, and Webb, 34-14, to close out the season.

Kim believes the confidence from that two-game winning streak will carry into this season.

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