New-look Lakenheath will get tested early
By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 1, 2017
Third in a series of DODEA-Europe high school football previews.
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — It’s a fresh start for Lakenheath this year as the Lancers field one of their youngest rosters in recent seasons under a new coaching staff.
Thirteen former players graduated and All-European running back Marcus Smith moved on to play his senior year at a Georgia high school, but new varsity coach Gabe Feletar says he has a plan for the upcoming season.
“Our offense was Marcus Smith, so we were limited in other ways because of that,” Feletar said. “We have a new offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach to work with this year and he’s going to bring in a different look. We are not just solely relying on the run.”
Players to look out for include sophomore lineman Joey Glenk, voted by his teammates to be one of the offensive captains, and quarterback Ashton Laflamme, who’s running the team’s new spread offense.
Ion Duenas, D’Angelo Cousar, Manny Cordero and Peyton Wilson are taking turns filling the role of running back. Cordero and Wilson are also starting linebackers on defense.
At least two sophomores are slated to start on the line and multiple players will have to play both sides of the ball. Many young players are being used to fill holes.
The team continued its offseason weight-lifting program with at least 25 players showing up every day in order to get stronger and build team cohesion, Feletar said.
Lakenheath players are used to being underdogs on the field and are scheduled to play three annual contenders at the season start.
First, there’s a non-league game at Ramstein, then the opening divisional game versus Wiesbaden at home, then a game against Stuttgart and a second game – at home this time - against Ramstein.
“It’ll be a good test for us,” Feletar said. “We did pretty well last year from what people’s expectations were and I’m hoping to just build on that.”