Lakers roster full of underclassmen looking to overachieve
April 30, 2014
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.”