After a playoff battle to end last season, the Lakewood football team is looking to make a deep run this year.
The Cougars had a disappointing year in their division as they went 0-4, but still finished .500 with an overall record of 5-5. They ended their season with a loss in the second round of the District playoffs to the Burlington-Edison Tigers, 29-12. During the offseason they lost 13 seniors from their varsity roster including linebacker Spencer Neiffer, wide receiver/cornerback Michai Harris and center/linebacker Gavin Wright.
“We had a good offseason, but it’s not real until we get out here for fall, so we’re excited to get rolling now. We are significantly improved in our offensive and defensive lines, and we are bringing back a lot of experience from last year. I think we are going to be an improved team and we’ll prove it out on the field,” said Lakewood Head Coach Dan Teeter.
Lakewood will come into this season with 18 seniors from last year’s varsity roster and expect to make a huge leap. Their senior class is led by Jared Taylor, Jackson Schultz and Morgan Stacey. Taylor, First Team All-League quarterback, finished last season with 30 total touchdowns and a combined 2,462 yards on the ground and through the air. Schultz, safety, will be flying all over the field as he had 73 tackles, one tackle for loss and two forced fumbles last year. Stacey, receiver/outside linebacker, will be a two-way starter as he racked up 205 receiving yards, three touchdowns, 76 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one blocked field goal.
The offensive and defensive lines look to be stronger units this year as well, with two starters coming back from an early injury last season in senior tackle Mason Anderson and junior guard Keegan Bach. Two other linemen are making huge jumps this offseason in sophomores Jakobus Seth and Jayden Riley. In their freshman seasons Seth put up 37 tackles and two sacks with Riley adding on 13 tackles.
“It’s one thing to have talent and skills, but if you haven’t been out there and done it, you don’t know what it’s like. We have guys who have played significant time on varsity and they can play at a faster speed. We’re expecting big things from them,” said Coach Teeter.
If you want to come out and support the Cougars their first home game of the season will be against the Kings Knights on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m.