The girls’ basketball team went from winning a combined five games in 2005-06
and 2006-07 to posting a 14-7 record under coach Dick Fox two years ago.
Last season, first-year coach Denny Meyer led the Flyers to a 22-1 overall record and a 14-0 mark in the SLL en route to winning the league title.
The Flyers were ranked as high as No. 6 in the Division III state poll while going 20-0 in the regular season for the first time in school history. Lake reached the district finals before losing to fourth-ranked Liberty-Benton.
Meyer, who came to Lake from Oak Harbor, gave credit to Fox for playing several members of the current junior class at the varsity level when they were freshmen. This year's juniors went undefeated as eighth-graders.
"Three of them played varsity as freshmen," said Meyer, whose daughter, Kimberly, was a key component for the Flyers last year as a junior. "For me last year, those girls were sophomores and already had that experience."
Meyer said he has witnessed Lake athletes making a commitment to turn the Flyers' athletic programs into winners.
"We do a lot of offseason work," Meyer said, "and if we are in the weight room we see football players and soccer players. The kids are committed. They want to win in every program and they are working hard in the offseason to get better."
Boys begin rebuilding
Second-year boys basketball coach Jim Scharer, who has taught at Fremont Ross and Genoa, said he followed Lake's levy situation when it occurred.
The boys’ basketball team has been trying to find an identity for nearly a decade, as coach after coach came in and out of the program like a revolving door. Lake has won as many as seven games just once in the past six seasons, and the last two teams have each finished 4-17.
Since the 2003-04 season, the Flyers have a 33-95 record.
"The boys’ basketball program has really been the one that has suffered the most, probably, out of all of them," Scharer said. "Not only because of the players, but the coaching turnover. Last year, I was the third coach in four years and maybe the 10th coach in 13 or 14 years. It was just a parade of coaches. That really lends to a lot of difficulty for kids - no continuity whatsoever. You have staffs that change every year all the way down to the junior high.
"As far as numbers are concerned and as far as quality kids starting here now and not losing anybody, the ship is righted. Our seventh and eighth grade teams have started 4-0. Our sophomore class, the class of 2012, won the SLL in 2008-09. That's something we're building on and something we're using as confidence as far as turning things around."
This year's team is young and in need of shooters who can score consistently, Scharer said, but he sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
"We are going to improve during the course of the season," he said. "Things are looking very positive."