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Lincoln-Way East senior AJ Henning looks for running room in the Class 8A state championship game against Warren on Saturday, Nov. 30, in DeKalb. Henning ran for 125 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown run, in the Griffins' 12-0 victory. Julie McMann/22nd Century Media
Jon DePaolis, Freelance Reporter
10:56 am CST December 1, 2019

Just how much can one player change a program’s fortune?

For the answer, look no further than Lincoln-Way East and its star senior AJ Henning. Before the Michigan-bound Henning took over as a varsity star in 2017, the Griffins were a perennial playoff team capable of making noise in the postseason.

But with Henning, East has won two state titles in three seasons and has held a top three state ranking since early in the 2017 season.