Local Sports

A learning process

The Lake Placid football team has a different look this year with lots of new faces behind the Green Dragon face masks.

There are 31 players out for the team and a large number of them are underclassmen with little or no experience.

“We’ve got a young and inexperienced team,” said Lake Placid football coach Jason Holden. “We lost a bunch of seniors especially on our offensive and defensive lines, and we’re really having to coach up the new guys. “They are great young men, they’re working real hard with only five days of practice under their belts and it’s a slow process, but its going to come eventually.”

Lake Placid, which went 2-8 last year, will run a Wing-T offense again, but will use a single-wing formation instead of a double-wing.

“This is the traditional Wing-T offense,” said Holden. “This puts the fullback behind the quarterback with the tailback the primary ball carrier. “The wingbacks are more for counter plays and reverses.

“We have some solid running backs, most of our experience is at the skill positions and this offense fits the talent we have.”

The Green Dragons will have to replace talented senior quarterback Robert Walton as the spark to the offense.

“Robert was a special player who could run or pass and we’re looking at several guys at quarterback,” said Holden. “We have sophomore Zach Waters who was the junior varsity quarterback last year and Jake Baker who was our third string quarterback last year but played several other positions because of his versatility.

“Zach and Jake are good athletes and only going to get better.”

Lake Placid ran the ball most of the time last year behind a strong and experienced line.

“We want to have a balanced offense and we need to be able to run the ball with success,” said Holden. “We’re young on the offensive line and our guys are learning and getting better every day. “There’s a lot to learn playing the position and our guys need to be quick off the ball to open some holes for our running backs.

“All of the guys are working hard and have great attitudes, but some of them have never played football and it’s going to take them a while to learn everything.”

Lake Placid is not holding a green/white game.

“Holding a green/white game isn’t what we need right now,” Holden said. “We need every practice we can get working on the fundamentals of the game like blocking and tackling and hanging onto the ball.”

The Green Dragons will play a spring game at Tenoroc on May 23 with a start time of 7:30 p.m.

“Tenoroc has a solid program and we want to see if our guys can line up in the right positions and execute the plays properly,” Holden said. “I definitely want us to be aggressive and running to the ball. “With the inexperience we have a lot of our guys don’t understand the intensity of the game, but the other team does and it’s going to be a learning experience that comes quickly.”

No matter the outcome of the spring game, Lake Placid players will have to dedicate themselves to getting stronger during the summer conditioning program.

“We are way behind in strength compared to other teams,” the Green Dragon coach said. “Our guys have to buy into the summer program, be here on a consistent basis and hit the weights if we want to be able to compete in the fall.”