VISIT TO LAKES HIGH SCHOOL FALL CAMP
Championship-contending football teams perpetuate that same mindset – and very few programs around the state of Washington exemplify that better than Lakes High School.
With early-afternoon temperatures climbing, practice was not slated to begin until 2:40 on the school’s back practice field. But 90 minutes beforehand, some 20 players were already on the field, stretching, talking – preparing.
As the outset of this season, a few of the veterans say that this has the feel of the 2010 season – a year in which the Lancers carried the next-tier contender torch in Class 3A, and advanced all the way to the state semifinals.
Last season, all the expectations laid at the Lancers’ feet – and they were promptly eliminated in the 3A quarterfinals by eventual champion Bellevue, 35-14.
“When the best fall,” senior linebacker Kevin Thompson said, “the doubters rise.”
As it seems almost every year when Lakes takes the field for the first time, players and coaches appear ahead of the curve. Direction is prompt. The pace is crisp. It seems as if it is October, not August.
And when coach Dave Miller speaks, it is as if Don Vito Corleone is talking to his sons from “the Godfather.” Except Miller’s tone is more Knute Rockne, less Marlon Brando.
In the huddle leading into practice, Miller’s instructions were simple and earnest: “Give great effort with great attitude. … Have great commitment. … Compete hard!”
“You expect the first day to be the FIRST DAY,” Lakes High coach Dave Miller said. “You teach and correct – and not yell like you are expecting to play the state championship game tomorrow.”
What makes this team intriguing now is its youth. And Miller will have as many as 10 ninth graders up with the varsity, expecting to start at least two of them. That has never happened at Lakes during his tenure.