fair.png
Tuesday August 9th, 2022 3:48PM

Two-a-Days: Lions looking to youth as fall practice nears

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 24 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2022 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago. And teams throughout northeast Georgia already are in full countdown mode.

With that in mind, we spent the last couple of weeks catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how spring practice went, how the summer is going, and what coaches believe the fall will look like. Our "Two-a-Days" series honors those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs. 

Over the next two weeks, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...

LAKEVIEW ACADEMY

The Lions suffered through a rough 2021 campaign that saw multiple injuries to key players contribute to a disappointing 1-8 record after their first-ever playoff run the year before. The bright side is that several underclassmen got some needed varsity time and in 2022 they dropped out of the Georgia High School Association and joined the Georgia Independent Athletic Association.

The numbers are up and coach Lee Shaw is expecting some of the younger players to have impact years. They also will be breaking in a new quarterback for their spread offense. We caught up with Shaw to discuss how the spring and summer has gone.

QUESTION: Coach, a plethora of injuries derailed the 2021 season. But the numbers are up in 2022 with the move to GIAA. The younger players got crucial playing time last season. How is the progress of the underclassmen coming along heading into fall practice?

ANSWER: "Last year was very frustrating for everyone involved in the program. We had a great off season/preseason and felt really good after our preseason scrimmage with Lumpkin County. Our new quarterback then, Harrison Cooper, was gaining confidence in his ability to play the position. We had a lot pieces of the puzzle to be competitive. Then injuries hit us hard. It just became an out of control snowball effect. By the last game we had lost 8 starters, including Harrison. In my coaching career I had never seen that many injuries plague a team.

"With all that adversity, we had several young players thrown into the fire of Friday nights. Since I have been at Lakeview Academy we have averaged 25-30 players. That number will stay the same this season as well."

Q: You will have to break in a new quarterback this season in Logan Stanley. How has his progress been so far and who are some guys that are ready to step up on offense as the season approaches?

A: "Logan has the ability to be a dual threat quarterback for us. He has the tools, he just needs Friday night live reps. He has increased his speed, throwing accuracy and arm strength through our Summer Sacrifice training program. I look forward to helping him develop into the player he can be as well as the player we need him to be.

"I’ve seen great improvement from Jacob Davenport as a defensive back; Evan Yaskulka is a returning lineman; Stuart Daniel has increased his size and strength. We've gotten some great leadership from three-year starter Landon Hanes at the linebacker/running back positions. Kastian Haynes has become a multi-purpose player and TJ Blackwell is an athlete on both sides of the ball. Also, Robert Lawson on both sides of the line could be starting by the first game.

"New players whom could be difference makers are Antonio Cantrell as a talented running back, Armand Long at receiver/defensive back, Junior Thompson at linebacker/running back, Clyde Jones at receiver/defensive back, and Tristan Buffington receiver/linebacker could have a real break out year."

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Lakeview football, Two a days
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Harris, Olson help Braves snap skid, beat Phillies
Michael Harris II and Matt Olson homered, Austin Riley stretched his hitting streak to 18 games and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 Tuesday night to end a two-game skid...
10:43PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Two-a-Days: Lions looking to youth as fall practice nears
Lakeview Academy dropped out of the Georgia High School Association and joined the Georgia Independent Athletic Association. The numbers are up for the Lions, who are expecting some of the younger players to have impact years as they also break in a new quarterback for their spread offense...
4:04PM ( 6 hours ago )
Davenport soars to Hawkeye 50 victory at Boone
Jonathan Davenport powered to the lead on the third lap of Monday night’s Hawkeye 50 at Iowa’s Boone Speedway. From there, the Blairsville, Georgia speedster cruised...
11:17AM ( 11 hours ago )
Sports
Two-a-Days: Panthers reworking O-line as season approaches
The Panthers are coming off their best season and first playoff appearance since 2017. However, the graduation of several key starters on offense has them looking to fill some key spots and trying to develop depth, especially along the offensive line...
10:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Two-a-Days: Defensive front is high priority for Raiders
The Raiders have not made the playoffs since 2020, and their biggest issue during the offseason may be retooling a defensive front that was hit hard by graduation...
4:02PM ( 3 days ago )
Two-a-Days: Off-the-field excitement is high but on-field questions remain for Red Elephants
The Red Elephants are under new management, and they have made no bones about the fact they are ready to get back in the winning column. Former Hoover coach Josh Niblett has already revitalized over-the-top excitement for the program in just six months. But on the field, they still have some questions to answer...
10:02AM ( 3 days ago )
High School Sports
Two-a-Days: Linebacking group is top priority for young, talented Wolves
The Wolves are coming off a third consecutive state title but will be moving up to Class 7A in 2022. But the more immediate concerns are a large senior class that graduated, leaving the door open for a plethora of young but talented players to have to fill several key spots on both sides of the ball...
4:02PM ( 1 week ago )
Mic'd Up: Tester, Falcons work toward fall practice
Jason Tester hit the ground running when he was named head coach at Flowery Branch in March.
12:05PM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Leopards focusing heavily on QB, LB battles
The Leopards are still looking for their first non-losing season since 2016. Now in his fifth season in Homer, coach Jay Reid feels they may be ready to end that streak...
10:02AM ( 1 week ago )
Friday Game Night
Two-a-Days: Offensive changes main focus for Johnson
They Knights will be switching offenses to the more run-oriented single-wing, an offense coach Williams Harrell has run with great success at other programs. But a near-total rebuild along the offensive line may first be in order...
8:04AM ( 14 hours ago )
Two-a-Days: Changes abound for new-look Dragons
Travis Noland takes over for Gene Cathcart and brings in his pro-style offense as they transition away from the option. They also will be trying to fill several key secondary slots on defense...
4:02PM ( 1 day ago )
Two-a-Days: Panthers reworking O-line as season approaches
The Panthers are coming off their best season and first playoff appearance since 2017. However, the graduation of several key starters on offense has them looking to fill some key spots and trying to develop depth, especially along the offensive line...
10:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Two-a-Days: Defensive front is high priority for Raiders
The Raiders have not made the playoffs since 2020, and their biggest issue during the offseason may be retooling a defensive front that was hit hard by graduation...
4:02PM ( 3 days ago )
Two-a-Days: Off-the-field excitement is high but on-field questions remain for Red Elephants
The Red Elephants are under new management, and they have made no bones about the fact they are ready to get back in the winning column. Former Hoover coach Josh Niblett has already revitalized over-the-top excitement for the program in just six months. But on the field, they still have some questions to answer...
10:02AM ( 3 days ago )