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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Making Strides

For the past two seasons the Wilson Lakeman have finished up one week later than the year before. Should the trend continue in 2018 you’ll be seeing the Lakeman play at New Era Field.

In 2016 Wilson lost in the quarter-finals too Allegany-Limestone. The Lakeman were unable to score the go-ahead touchdown late in the game when they had 1st and Goal. Last season it was almost the same story. In a tight battle against Southwestern during the semi-final playoff game, the Lakeman scored a TD with under a minute in regulation. Wilson chose to go for the two-points instead of the extra point to tie. The Trojans stopped them and went onto the Section VI Football, Class C championship.

Coach Bill Atlas, now in his 12th year at the helm is looking to take his team a step further. “We play in a very tough league and it gets harder each week,” Atlas said. “We’re hoping to stay on track and take things further this year.” Taking it further means playing for a Sectional title.

The Lakeman have another year of Steve Frerichs and Marcel Wilson. One of the most prolific quarterback-to-receiver combinations in our area. Wilson has already shattered all of the Lakeman single season touchdown records. “Our division knows Marcel (Wilson) well and what he’s capable of so we expect some more double teams and tighter coverage there,” Atlas said.

This year, Atlas believes they have three to four guys that can help take the pressure off of Marcel.

Frerichs set four Wilson records last season; touchdowns (21), yards (1664), passing attempts (239) and completions (126). The previous record for completions was set back in 1984 (113 – Scott Perry). “Steve is real business like. He does not read into things or worry about what people say about him or the team. He could care less about the attention,” Atlas said.

Last season Wilson scored a week one win over Silver Creek/Forestville, the same team they open up against in 2018. In week two, they suffered a blowout loss at home versus Cleve-Hill and then a disappointing 28-21 defeat at Akron. “That was a bit of a wake-up call for us,” Atlas stated.

Indeed, it was, Wilson went on to win the next three games by a 107-34 margin. It started with a shutout win over Lew-Port and then a road win at Eden, 28-6. In week six they had a shootout with JFK, winning 52-28.

Their 2-2 league record earned them their playoff match-up with Falconer/Casadaga Valley. It was yet another shootout and better yet, a post season win and they did it on the road. That sent them to the semi-finals at Southwestern where the season ended.

One of the areas that the Wilson Lakeman are addressing is their defensive tackling. Atlas believes that this crop of defenders is as fast as any he’s had since he’s been there. “Obviously we need to work on our tackling but I like our speed.”

There will be a healthy change over on the offensive line this season. This could be an area of concern.

Atlas believes in his JV class that have made the jump to Varsity. Among them are Ben Mahar, Declan Faery, Braden Thompson, Thomas Baia, Mitch Mahar and his own son Bobby.

Additionally, Wilson has Drew Westmorland (RB), Bradon Dunlap (RB) and Aaren Horvath (G/LB).

Atlas refers to his two running backs as ‘Thunder and Lightning’ with Dunlap as more of a shifty kind of back that has the ability to make defenders miss while Westmorland “has no problem running through you.”

Atlas is looking for a quick start this season and knows they have a very tough schedule, opening at home against Silver Creek and then Cleve-Hill in week two.

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