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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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The Lake-Northwood football game is a natural rivalry as they are only a few miles from each other.

This year, however, while it’s still a rivalry – things are different.  “In a strange way, despite our rivalry, we’re kind of close,” said Northwood football coach Ken James in early June.

The school’s football field, Flyer Stadium suffered heavy damage from a June 5 tornado.

After the tornado hit Lake and the surrounding community, Northwood’s football team was out helping the Lake community rebuild.

“We felt bad,” James said. “The kids were eager to help because if the tornado turns two miles north, we’re in their situation.”

In the aftermath of the tornado, Lake has a brand new turf football field, and they will christen their new field against the Rangers on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.

“It’s a heck of a facility,” said Lake head football coach Bob Abbey.

 

This will be Abbey’s fourth season at the helm for the Flyers. After winning three games in his first two seasons combined, the team won seven games last season. They look to improve that this season on

k-lakeFBField
The new field turf at Lake High School’s football stadium
awaits the Flyers and Northwood Rangers this Friday. Painted
in the end zone is 6-5-10, after the date (June 5, 2010) of
the EF-4 tornado that killed at least six residents locally and
caused millions of dollars in damage to about 100 homes,
Lake school buildings, and numerous businesses. (Press photo
by Ken Grosjean)

their new turf field.

Oregon-based Maumee Bay Turf Center, owned by former Clay athlete and Clay and Northwood coach Brad Morrison and partner P.J. Kapfhammer, have been busy replacing the sod at the stadium this summer and putting in artificial turf. The old sod from the football stadium is being used to re-sod some of the other fields that were damaged.

The cost of the turf is $750,000, which is covered by insurance, and school officials believe it will save the district money in the long run because of less maintenance costs. Maumee Bay Turf also installed artificial turf at Perrysburg and Ottawa Hills high schools. The field will also be used for other outdoor sports, including soccer.

Friday night, the Flyers will be looking for revenge on the gridiron after losing to the Rangers the last two years by a combined score of 70-33. Last year, Northwood was the only team to score more than 17 points versus Lake in their 32-20 win.

Northwood, which outscored opponents 369-241, advanced to the Division V playoffs last year before losing to Patrick Henry, which eventually reached the state semifinals.

With 57 players on the roster, this is the biggest team James has had in his 25 years at Northwood. Nine starters return on offense and defense.

The Flyers have a veteran backfield in senior quarterback Alan Martinez, junior running back Josh Tantari and senior fullback Carl Brown. Meanwhile, the Rangers have an all-senior backfield with quarterback Erik Russell, fullback Corey Jones, and halfbacks Zach Bermejo, Mike Prothero and Jake Pressley.

While Northwood has veterans returning at wide receiver, Lake has two new starting receivers in Kurt McKee and Ryan Kohlhofer.

Therefore, the game may come down to which defense can better control the game.

Each team will head into the matchup with one game under their belt. Lake traveled to Swanton and Northwood hosted Lakota on Aug. 27.

Lake will be pre-selling tickets in front of Lake Elementary for the Northwood game on Aug. 31 and Sept. 2 from 6-7:30 p.m.

k-lakefbfield
The new field turf at Lake High School’s football stadium awaits the Flyers and Northwood Rangers this Friday. Painted in the end zone is 6-5-10, after the date (June 5, 2010) of the EF-4 tornado that killed at least six residents locally and caused millions of dollars in damage to about 100 homes, Lake school buildings, and numerous businesses. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)

Pic-Northwood1-3
Northwood sophomore halfback Dustin Fullenlove tries to elude a St. John’s Jesuit tackler during the Shoe Bowl at Ottawa Hills. (Press photo by Scott Grau)

Pic-Northwood2
Northwood football coach Ken James after the Rangers lost to St. John’s Jesuit 7-6 during the Shoe Bowl at Ottawa Hills. (Press photo by Scott Grau)


 

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