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West Bloomfield

Lakers roster full of underclassmen looking to overachieve

April 30, 2014

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West Bloomfield High’s Jasmine Hollins, pictured during a game against Farmington Hills Harrison April 22, is one of four freshmen on the varsity roster.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — On the roster, youth is more than evident.

In fact, it looks like a typical junior varsity team.

On the field, however, the play is anything but junior.

In fact, this collection of underclassmen is, by many accounts, overachieving already.

And Jason Clark is just fine with that.

“There’s a fresh energy this team brings to the field,” Clark, the West Bloomfield High soccer coach, said last week about his squad. “They have the speed, the talent and they’ve pushed us. It’s been fun.”

Despite a starting lineup in which more than half of its occupants aren’t eligible for a driver’s license yet, the Lakers were 5-2-0 at press time.

Knar Totouzin, a four-year varsity vet, is the lone senior in the starting 11. Two more starters are juniors, six are sophomores and two are freshmen.

In total, Clark said he’ll call on five freshmen and seven returning sophomores to play before a game is out.

“We’re still figuring some things out,” he said. “It’s been a process, to be sure. There are bumps in the road, things they have to get used to. But what I love is how the younger girls aren’t afraid to step in and really attack the game. They’ve taken the the opportunity and ran with it. This is a group that wants to play and wants to win.”

Last year’s team finished right at the .500 mark.

Two years ago, the Lakers were 3-13.

“There’s an attitude here that they are tired of losing,” Clark said.

And that attitude has given way to some lofty expectations.

“The main goal is to win a league title, and we get to host districts this season,” Clark said. “I think we’re closer to the competition in the district than we have been in a lot of regards. We’re closing the gap, and I think the girls realize that.”

Scoring roughly three goals per game, coupled with a swarming defense, has fueled the solid start.

Things will certainly get tougher as the league schedule gets up and running, and Clark knows it will be more learning on the fly.

So far, though, so good.

“It’s good job security, isn’t it?” Clark joked of having a successful team that should be together for a few years. “The hope is they continue to grow and continue to progress as we move forward.”

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September 28, 2015

Farmington Hills Harrison

Farmington Hills Harrison earned the honor after beating Southfield High 17-14 at home in a battle for first place in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. The win put the Hawks 4-0 (4-1 overall) in the division, a game ahead of Southfield. After trailing 14-7 at the half, Harrison scored 10 unanswered points, capped off by a 27-yard field goal by Alex Bolstrum with 10:57 left in the game. In the last four meetings between these rivals, each team has won twice with a 4.5 average margin of victory.

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