When it comes to their 3-0 Lake football team, returning all-league players Nick Walsh and Jared Rettig agree that the Flyers can make a bid to become legitimate contenders in the Northern Buckeye Conference under new coach Mark Emans.
They say Emans, an Eastwood graduate and former Bowling Green State University all-conference gridiron star, is giving them the schemes, knowledge, work ethic, and sense of solidarity they need to succeed.
"Coach has fit in very well in the Lake community. We've fully accepted him," says Rettig. "Thanks to him, we have become a stronger team, both mentally and phsically, and I think our discipline is much improved from last year."
|Lake first-year coach Mark Emans (middle) enters Lake Community Stadium
flanked by assistant coaches Greg Wilker to his right and Kevin Mermin to his
left. (Press photo by Heather St. John)
"This team is different than any other team I've been a part of," continues Lake's QB. "We are like brothers, and we've been gelling so well together ever since Coach Emans came in. Our defense is fast, and full of tough hitters. Our offense is more balanced, which makes us tough to stop. Our line has made great improvements. We have two stud running backs in junior Marcel Bryan, and sophomore Brandon Short. Marcel is our quick back, who can hit the holes fast, and bust off big runs, while Brandon is our power back who likes to run people over and push the pile forward."
Walsh adds, "I really enjoy playing for Coach Emans," agrees Walsh. "He has fit in so well, and I love what he's done with our team this year. When he came in, he told us we needed to get back to playing physical football, and that's what we've done. He's set high standards for us, and he demands a lot, but we love playing for him."
"I think what our offensive and defensive lines have been able to do in the trenches so far this year. . .that's the biggest reason we've been successful," adds the Flyer captain. "Our lines have greatly stepped up, and they don't get as much credit as they deserve! And, sophomore wide receiver and defensive back Adam Duncan, and junior wide receiver and defensive back Todd Walters are also two standouts who bring a lot of speed to the table for us."
"I want people to remember this team," interjects Rettig. "I want these guys to know what it takes to be champions. I want them to be the best they can be. I want to come back 20 years from now, and see Lake making the playoffs every year."
"I'd like to leave this team with high numbers in the weight room all the time, and seeing kids in there always wanting to make themselves better," counters Walsh. "I'd like to leave this team with the belief that they have to continue to play with passion. Playing with passion gets the team, the student body, and the community to all rise up together. Passion is a big part of this game. Passion is something you need to be good."