Lakenheath sports: Playoff longshot Lancers face powerhouse Ramstein this week
(See this week's Lakenheath cross country results at end of story)
RAF LAKENHEATH — The seniors on the Lakenheath High School football team have never gotten a taste of postseason play in a Lancers uniform. This year, it may be different as they fight for the last Division I conference playoff spot.
The only thing standing in their way is the undefeated powerhouse Ramstein from Germany and an upset in the Kaiserslautern-Wiesbaden game this Saturday.
It may be a slim chance for the Lancers, but there’s still a chance.
“It’s going to be hard. You’re not 5 and 0 for nothing. We’re just going to have to play above our level,” Lakenheath head coach Joe Hacker said about the upcoming Ramstein match, which will be held in Lakenheath at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“Hopefully, we can slide in through the back door,” Hacker said, referring to the playoffs.
A playoff spot almost became a reality for Lakenheath (2-3) last Saturday when it was leading host Kaiserslautern (2-3) 14-12 going into the fourth quarter. K-town had other plans and won the game 27-14 behind Andrez Brewster, who threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another.
If that wasn’t enough, Lakenheath’s starting quarterback Ben Green had to leave the game with a foot injury. Starting linebacker Wes Kleniec stepped in and went 8-for-12 for 171 yards passing with a couple of touchdown passes to Carl Snapp, who finished with four receptions for 102 yards receiving.
Kleniec also maintained his defensive duties and had at least 10 tackles, Hacker said. The other starting linebacker Dave McBride had 12.
Green is believed to have suffered a bruised toe bone in the game and he may be able to play this Saturday, Hacker said.
“We didn’t play as well as we hoped,” Hacker said about the loss to K-town, who now just has to beat Wiesbaden (0-5) to take the last playoff spot.
Hacker blames the loss to K-town on his team’s numerous penalties and turnovers, which is something that he wants to change in their next game.
“We need to minimize our mistakes,” he said.
Even without a playoff appearance, Lakenheath’s season has been successful. In the past two years, the Lancers have a 2-10 combined record. The current team already has racked up two wins when it beat Wiesbaden 16-7 and SHAPE 17-0 earlier in the season.
“It’s a big improvement. We have a lot more heart,” McBride said during a practice last week.
Lakenheath’s latest accomplishment doesn’t stem from just one or two studs on the team either, but from a team effort, Hacker said.
“We really don’t have superstars. We’re playing as a team. We have a bunch of good guys who give it their all,” he said.
The entire team will have to give its all and then some when Ramstein, who just captured the Division I conference title after pounding Patch 41-20 last Saturday, comes rolling into town.
Cross countryResults from the races held at Hinchingbrooke Park in Huntingdon on Oct. 14:
Boys top 10 finishers: Greg Billington (Lakenheath)15:45Josh Hoffman (Lakenheath)17:59Gabe Flood (Lakenheath)18:52Ben Ketchum (London Central)19:08Mike Regan (London Central)19:18Randy Gilliland (Alconbury)19:22Conner Knight (Lakenheath)19:54Matt Hill (Menwith Hill)19:59Chris Brew (Menwith Hill)20:11Robbie Gonzalez (London Central)20:11
Girls top 10 finishers: Kaitlin Swanstrum (Lakenheath) 22:14Jade Lewis (London Central) 22:27Megan Searle (Lakenheath) 22:30Samantha Beatty (London Central) 23:35Emily Larson (Menwith Hill) 23:59Gianna Summa (London Central) 24:07Amanda Schrader (Lakenheath) 24:44Kayla Kinch (Menwith Hill) 24:49Kelly Sweeney (Lakenheath) 25:13Danielle Lutes (Menwith Hill) 25:17
Middle school 2 mile
Boys top five finishers: Andrew Luna (Lakenheath) 12:10Jacob Camacho (Alconbury) 12:28Tristan Harris (Lakenheath) 13:33Zach Pelzl (Lakenheath) 13:46Aric Higgins (London Central) 13:52
Girls top five finishers: Caragh McMaster (London Central) 14:26Diamond Rogers (Alconbury) 15:13Haley McWilliams (Lakenheath) 15:16Beth Strachan (London Central) 16:08Alex Sherenco (Alconbury) 16:43