Sports Spotlight - Keaton Leininger

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The Century boys hockey team is currently sits in third place in the West Region. While the Patriots have struggled a bit of late a big reason for the teams early success this season has been the play of last seasons top scorer and this week's Sports Spotlight, Keaton Leininger.

A short stint with the Bobcats this fall helped Century senior Keaton Leininger see the game differently since he put back on his number 24 Century sweater.

Keaton Leininger, Century senior, said: " Gotta get moving. Pick your head. Make the play quicker rather than hold onto it the extra second. It might take and at high school you might have a little more time but if you get rid of it quicker the lanes are open there's not people in the way. Just it makes everything a little easier. See things a little different."

Troy Olson, Century head coach, said: "Every year since he's been here, this is his third year with us, he's gotten better through the off season and the fall helped him prepare for what he was going to see in high school. A lot of ice time and the pace isn't nearly as great. Good opportunity for him to come out and be a leader for us."

Leininger put up 61 points last year forcing opponents to know exactly where he is on the ice this season So Keaton has had to adapt.

Leininger said: "Different ways to do it. When you look up and they've got two three guys coming towards you, you have to figure something out. And I think at this point in the season I'm starting to see things I didn't before. Finding ways to get open guys the puck."

Olson explained: "He wasn't a secret and so he started having to dish the puck a lot. Teams were putting two three players on him and to start the year this year they've been doing that so it's a lot more difficult for him to put pucks away and get points."

Despite that he's top five in the state in scoring but if he wants to stay there he can't stand around.

Leininger said: "I gotta move so protect the puck than try to stick handle. I can't just dangle through people. I have to make smart plays. Hold onto the puck where I usually might try to do something with it. And it's been an adjustment but just moving the puck a little quicker and keeping my head up should help us later on in the season."

Keaton says nothing is certain, his goal is to play junior hockey next year. Leininger has 11 goals and 13 assists and his next chance to add to that point total is on Friday at home against Williston.