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New Lakewood defense may prove key
LAKEWOOD If a great offense is a good defense, Lakewood football is on it's way.
After a summer of camps and passing tournaments with his promising young quarterback and veteran running back and receiving corps, Lakewood coach Dan Teeter has a pretty good idea of his team's capabilities on offense. But after a disappointing 2007 season in which the Cougars went 2-8, holding opponents to single-digit output just once in 10 games, his team's defense is the big question mark.
Let's start with the good news. Lakewood returns sophomore quarterback Justin Lane, who emerged as the team's starting quarterback midway through the last season. Teeter is optimistic enough about his young leader to consider him a contender for league kudos this season. With a couple of seasons in pass-oriented arena football league on his resume, Lane should be a good fit with Lakewood's only returning all-league player, wide receiver Jordan Stauffer. Teeter is also counting on big things offensively from three more seniors, tight end Andrew Campbell, running back Joey Davenport and Saul Velasco.
After a lot of hard work this summer, Teeter said he has confidence in his offense coming in with good instincts from their summer tournaments.
"It just helps our receivers running their route combinations, it helps our quarterback to read defenses," Teeter said of the team's activities.
Less certain is the defense. Teeter has brought on a new defensive coordinator this season to help address their shortcomings last season. How well the team learns the new plan will have an impact on their season.
There are two positive signs in that department. One, many of Lakewood's talents on offense play both sides of the ball. Stauffer was also named all-league as a cornerback last season, while Davenport and Campbell play on the line. Two, the Cougars' schedule may give them the opportunity to learn the defense throughout the season. Lakewood will get their first chance to try it out against non-conference opponents Lakeside (Sept. 5) and Lynden Christian (Sept. 12). The teams Teeter expects to pose the biggest challenge won't come up until October. The guys will face last year's league champ Archbishop Murphy under new coach Dave Ward a state champion at Oak Harbor in 2006 on Oct. 10 and runner-up Cedarcrest on Oct. 30.