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Shaffer’s Gridiron Success

Written by Jake Keiter and featured in our September 13th, Print Edition

As the sun sets on his high school career, Northern Lebanon High School’s senior, Luke Shaffer, prepares to make his final season on the gridiron one for the books. Shaffer, a talented Linebacker and Tight End, recently shared his thoughts and aspirations in an exclusive interview.

A Bittersweet Farewell and a Thrilling Beginning

Entering his senior year, Luke Shaffer is grappling with a mix of emotions. “It’s a little heartbreaking and sad,” he says, “But I’m excited because I get one final ride with my guys that I’ve been able to play and grow with over the last couple of years. I’m excited to see what this team can give.”

Goals Set High, Both Personal and Team

While Shaffer’s love for the game is evident, he’s set some clear objectives for his final season. “Our team goal is to have a winning season and to get on the right track because we didn’t have too many wins last year,” he states. On a personal level, Shaffer has his sights set on repeating his All-State status, aiming to make his senior year one to remember.

Leadership On and Off the Field

Shaffer’s contributions to the team go far beyond his impressive plays. He has been a captain for both the previous and current seasons, embodying the role of an emotional leader. “I hype the guys up and get them ready,” he explains. “But I also calm them down whenever they are in a tough situation. I try to keep them all in check, let them know that football is about having fun, so go out there and have fun, but at the same time give it your all.”

Training for Triumph

Success on the football field doesn’t come without hard work, and Shaffer sheds light on the rigorous preparation the team underwent leading up to this season. “We would lift three times a week throughout the summer,” he says. “This year, we emphasized conditioning a lot more; we were running after every lift, trying to get in shape and ready to play these games this year.”

Strengths, Weaknesses, and Anticipation

Shaffer believes that the team’s strength lies in their unity and commitment. “We play as a whole team,” he notes. “We are really good friends and we all play well together. We all give 100% all the time.” However, he acknowledges a potential weakness in the team’s ability to maintain momentum when faced with adversity, particularly after conceding a score.

Highlight Games Ahead

With an eye on the schedule, Shaffer is eagerly anticipating a couple of key matchups. “I’m looking forward to our Homecoming game against Columbia and our Senior Night against Annville,” he shares. These games hold special significance for Shaffer and his fellow seniors, as they mark the culmination of their high school football journeys.

Mental Preparation for Success

Shaffer’s mental game is just as strong as his physical skills. He emphasizes the importance of visualization and mental readiness. “I see myself having big plays but also see myself struggling,” he says. “This helps me in the moment and how to combat it when faced with it in real life. It helps a lot.”

A Journey of Growth and Achievement

Reflecting on his high school football career, Shaffer acknowledges the significant strides he’s made. “I’ve learned a lot from previous players as well as our coaching staff,” he remarks. “Also, during the summer, I go to coaching camps that teach me small things to help me improve my game, and I play against some good competition.”

Championing Academics and Athletics

Balancing academics and football responsibilities is a priority for Shaffer. “I do most of my work during study halls in school,” he explains. “I balance them pretty well. I do school work during free periods as well as after football practice.”

Eyes on the Future

Shaffer’s skills have attracted the attention of college recruiters. “I went on a couple of visits this spring, Army, VMI, and more,” he reveals. While he’s not committed yet, he’s considering the possibility of playing college football and weighs various factors in his decision. “Definitely the academics first,” he emphasizes. “I want them to have a strong academic program in either bio or forensic chemistry. To me, a strong academic program is more important because I need to consider what I’m going to do after I can’t play football anymore. I also want them to have a program that is actually interested in me. I want them to have a good staff and be relatively close to home.”

Mentorship and Inspiration

Shaffer takes his role as a mentor seriously, particularly with younger athletes. “We had a lot of freshmen move up this year,” he says. “One of them is named Bryce Yocum; he is also a tight end. Last year, I was the only tight end on the team. I didn’t have anybody to pass any information to. He has become a good friend of mine, but I am also mentoring him and giving him tips to be a better player since he will be taking over the role next year after I graduate.”

A Message to Aspiring Athletes

For aspiring young football players in his community, Shaffer offers words of encouragement: “Don’t give up. There will be times where you will feel it’s not benefiting you or just not working out. You have to see the bigger picture. Also, work your hardest every day; that’s the only way you’re going to improve.”

As Luke Shaffer embarks on his senior year, he carries the hopes and dreams of his team, school, and community on his shoulders. With determination, leadership, and a passion for the game, he’s poised to make this season one that will be remembered for years to come.


Jacob Keiter is a husband, a writer, a journalist, a musician, and a business owner. His journey to becoming a writer was one that was paved with challenges, but ultimately led him to find his true calling. Jacob's early years were marked by a strong desire for creative expression. He was always drawn to music, and in his youth, he played in several bands, chasing the elusive promise of fame and success. However, despite his best efforts, Jacob struggled to find the recognition he craved. It wasn't until he hit a low point in his life that Jacob discovered his love for writing. He turned to writing as a form of therapy during a particularly difficult time, and found that it not only helped him to cope with his struggles, but also allowed him to express himself in a way that he had never been able to before. Jacob's writing skills quickly caught the attention of others, and he soon found himself working as a journalist for The Sun out of Hummelstown. From there, he went on to contribute to a variety of publications, including the American Bee Journal and Referee Magazine. Jacob's writing style is reflective of traditional journalism, but he also infuses his work with a unique voice that sets him apart from others in his field. Despite his success as a writer, Jacob also owns another business, JJ Auto & Home, which specializes in cleaning. Jacob's commitment to excellence is evident in all of his endeavors, whether it be in his writing or in his business ventures. Today, Jacob is the author of two books and continues to inspire others through his writing. His journey to becoming a writer serves as a reminder that sometimes our darkest moments can lead us to our greatest achievements.

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