Lakewood Cougars plan to reap rewards of program building

Lakewood senior quarterback Justin Lane gets ready to lead the Cougars’ offense for the fourth year. - Travis Sherer
Lakewood senior quarterback Justin Lane gets ready to lead the Cougars’ offense for the fourth year.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood football coach Dan Teeter has been strategizing for the 2010 season for a few years now.

He has all the pieces in place to make a run at the Cascade Conference championship, now it’s a matter of taking the right steps starting from the first practice, which began Aug. 18.

“Our expectations are very high,” Teeter said. “We are expecting to be a very physical team.”

The physical part is something Teeter said was missing in 2009, but not for lack of effort.

“A year ago, we just had to play too many freshman and sophomores so we weren’t as strong,” Teeter said.

But that is about to change as the Cougars graduated just 12 seniors from last year’s squad which finished 3-7 (1-6 Cascade Conference), and are bringing back a number of starters, including captains Justin Lane, Alex Wilson, Dustin Stanton, Christian Melton and Jacob Micheletti.

“We are going to be able to do a number of things differently this year, on both sides of the ball,” Teeter said.

One of the changes Teeter suggested is the increased presence of a running game into his spread offense, but that doesn’t mean the Cougars are going to turn away from throwing the ball.

“Obviously we’re going to throw the ball, but in order to do that, we have to prove that we can move it on the ground and we have the kids to do that,” Teeter said. “It takes the will out of teams if they can’t stop a team at either attack.”

Leading the offense will be Lane, who entered his fourth season as starting quarterback, and he will be surrounded by more weapons than he’s had in the past with Stanton at tight end and Micheletti at wide receiver, among others.

Up front, Wilson, a three-year starting left tackle, will provide the protection to Lane’s blindside and open holes for Melton, a junior halfback.

“He’s the strongest guy on the team,” said Teeter of Melton. “We’re expecting big things out of him and he’s been at it all summer.”

As far as the Cascade Conference goes, Teeter sees Archbishop Murphy, which finished 7-0 in conference, contending for the title yet again, but is most worried about how quickly his team will be challenged in the season.

“If you look at our first five games, we’re going to have to hit the ground running,” he said. “Coupeville has a good program and Granite Falls will be right there.”

The Cougars will also have to play King’s in week five, in a battle of the quarterbacks, as Lane will face the Knights’ Thomas Vincent Oct. 8.

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