LAKEVILLE, IN. – It’s a football night in Lakeville!
LaVille football opens the 45th Annual IHSAA state football tournament Friday Oct. 20. The Lancers (5-4) drew Hoosier North Athletic Conference foe North Judson-San Pierre (2-7) in the first round.
The Lancers shutout the Blue Jays, 33-0, in week #8 of the regular season on Oct. 6 in North Judson. LaVille did pick up a crucial HNAC victory, but also learned a bit more.
“We learned that they (North Judson) are a pretty good team,” said captain Nathan Nichols Petersen. “But we also found out our true potential as a football team. The way we played the first time we played them this year was very well disciplined and energetic. That’s the way we need to play every game. ”
LaVille coach Will Hostrawser describes the Blue Jays as, “a classic ground and pound team with the ability to throw the ball out of a spread formation. They are a nightmare to defend because they can attack a defense in numerous ways. They are big and physical up front and have a lot of skilled kids too.”
The Lancers know that playing a team twice in the same week, let alone within three weeks, is tough.
“It is something we have had to deal with for the last two years because we’ve had to beat Culver twice the last two years,” said captain Jacob Good. “We need to make sure we do not overlook them because we beat them already. I think it is hard to beat a team twice because you are more familiar with one another’s team.”
Same conference, shot turnaround, rivals, Coach Hostrawser knows what its all about.
“When you face a team for a second time in a season it’s never an easy thing,” said the fifth-year skipper. “They know your tendencies, your strengths and weaknesses so you really have to focus on controlling the things you can control. It’s very easy to take a relaxed approach the second time you face an opponent that you beat earlier in the year. We must make certain we do not lose our edge and have a spirited week of practice.”
The Lancers, following the graduation of several key players from a year ago, and a youthful group inserted this year has learned much about themselves.
“We are a young team and we have learned a lot about ourselves this season,” said captain Riley Wagoner. “We have gained a lot of experience and now that it is playoff time it think we are ready for the obstacles that come our way.”
As the Friday night lights begin to shine, Coach Hostrawser knows what is at stake.
“Every single team has 4 quarters left in their season – a mere 48 minutes,” said the LaVille coach. “Each practice could be their last and come this next Monday, half the teams in the state will be turning in their equipment. We must earn the opportunity to play an additional 4 quarters.
“This year has flown right by – I can’t believe its already playoff time!
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45th ANNUAL IHSAA STATE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Class 1A, Sectional #41
Friday Oct 20
South Central (4-5) at Winamac (4-5)
Caston (1-8) at Triton (6-3)
West Central (0-9) at Culver (5-4)
North Judson (2-7) at LaVille (5-4)