Season Preview: Lakeside

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Head coach: Randy Hill (Fifth year)

Lakeside Panthers  Special
Special
Lakeside Panthers

Classification: GHSA Region 3B-AAAA

2005 record: 3-7

Four-year record (since 2002): 9-30-1

Last playoff appearance: 1994

Returning starters: 2 offense, 4 defense

Key Panthers: Senior RB/DB John Arena (5-11, 170); Senior DL Jermel Bennett (6-2, 240); Senior FB/LB Lance Driggers (5-11, 240); Senior OL Blake Goolsby (5-11, 200); Senior OL Drew Hall (6-2, 240); Senior K Demetri Palaez (5-10, 150)

Offensive attack: Lakeside's option attack fooled no one last season; it averaged less than 12 points per game. The Panthers have size and experience on the line with Goolsby and Hall. Arena and Driggers should give the team a one-two punch in the backfield. Lakeside still has questions at quarterback and in the receiving corps.

Defensive keys: The defense faded in the final month of the 2005 season, allowing 27 or more points in three of the final four games. Headed by Bennett, the line is the team's deepest position. But the linebacker position, which is crucial in their 3-5-5 scheme, is not.

Thin at: Linebacker

Big game: Vs. Evans, Sept. 15

Different this year: Team lacks a true playmaker to replace QB/S Chris Drayton, who is now playing for Kentucky.

Could go bad if: Lakeside struggles in the first month. The Panthers should defeat Aquinas in the season opener before facing rivals Greenbrier and Evans, and then Richmond Academy. Lakeside should win at least two of those games, if not all four. If it fails to go at least 2-2, Lakeside can count on another losing season.

Great year if: The Panthers' young offense jells and the team goes .500.


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