New coach bringing back the past at Lakeland
New coach Jeff Wasilchak had to not only beat his former team in Lakawanna Trail, who he built into a consistent Class A threat, but also show the Lakeland fans that he can be every bit as good as his father, Gerry Wasilchak, former coaching great at Lakeland. He was out to prove he will be just as successful as his father, as he did everything from using a similar system to his father, to wearing the same tie on gameday. Coming into this season, Lakeland wasn’t known to be a good passing offense, as they seem to only use it on rare occasion in games. But, Coach Jeff came into the game out to change that.
After the initial kickoff, Junior quarterback Ryan Kiehart threw a 65 yard pass to reciever Vinnie Amacio for an opening play score. Lackawanna Trail was most definatly not prepared to try and stop the pass on that play, and it showed throughout the game. Lakeland didn’t slow down after that, as they went on to score another passing touchdown, four running scores, and another score in the return game.
Vinnie Amacio, Randy Nichols, and Corey Besten, the three best positional seniors on the team, accounted for all the scores, with the help of junior quarterback Ryan Kiehart. Kiehart went 6 for 7, with passing touchdowns, and really looks like he can be a great quarterback at Lakeland this season. The success in the passing game is reminiscent of former record-breaking quarterback at Lakeland, Evan Kraky, who broke the state record for passing yards and was once considered a top ranked college quarterback. While the production may not be the same, the consistency and rhythem might be there, and that should result into great success.
Lackawanna Trail, on the other hand, really struggled the whole game, especially the first half. They failed to gain a first down until early on in the second half. They managed three touchdowns late to show some signs of hope, but the damage had already been done.
Another key note on the game was the domination of the Lakeland offensive line, especially left guard and team captain Vince Tuzze. He is the brother of Akron fullback Joe Tuzze, and looks to be a fine player himself. He matched up the whole game against Trail’s best defensive player Kyle Locker, which made for an interesting side battle. Although Tuzze seemed to win most of the battles, Locker still looked impressive and tough, and is a great player himself as well.
With new coaches on both sides, it was tough to say what each team would do this season. But, with Trail struggling all game long and Lakeland’s offense looking very sharpe, it should be interesting to see how both of these new guys move foreward from this game.
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