ST. CLAIR SHORES — The defense of the St. Clair Shores Lakeview football team has been so strong this season that the unit could have its best season in some time.
Through seven games at press time, the Huskies had allowed 107 points. At that pace, the team would allow 137 points over the nine-game regular season, giving the team its lowest total since 1987 — when it allowed a program-low 56 points.
“We honestly haven’t talked about those types of things regarding defense. Our goals are to keep (opposing teams) out of the end zone and off the board,” said Lakeview coach Pat Threet, whose team sat at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division.
“It would definitely be a cool thing to accomplish if we could; however, the teams we face with our schedule and the quality of the players we face each week, and the coaching in our conference is better than it’s ever been. So I’m not really concerned about comparing ourselves to the past in that respect,” Threet continued. “Football is very different with no-huddle and spread teams, as well as old-school teams that do the little things. Defense is a challenge each and every game, series within a game and play.”
Lakeview is allowing close to a touchdown per game less than it did last season — when the team advanced to a Division 2 district final.
“I think our coaches and players do have a lot of pride (in stopping opposing offenses). They work very hard in the film room, weight room and on the field,” Threet said. “No one outworks our players or coaches. They are very dedicated, and it shows.”
Anchoring Lakeview’s defense is senior lineman Harold Irby. The team also gets strong contributions from junior linebacker Ken Soderberg and senior linebacker Ahmad Goode. Seniors Isaiah Robinson and McCall Lucy lead the secondary.
First-year defensive backs Alex Sorgeloos, Andrew Messina and Shamar Askin, along with rookie linebackers Hunter Beresford and Jude Hage, and defensive linemen Pierce Ratliff, Kyle Cichowski and Zach Reilly have also shown a knack for making plays, Threet said.
Irby said this year’s group is eager to improve and focuses on giving its all to help the team win.
“We have such a tight bond with one another that we know we can rely on each other to do our part,” Irby said. “From the defensive line to the linebackers to the secondary, we all play with great awareness and physicality. Thanks to the hard work we continue to put in, we’re at the top of our game.”
Because of improvements on both sides of the ball, Lakeview has a chance at a program first.
The Huskies need one win in their final two games to earn a playoff berth. That would give the team back-to-back trips to the postseason for the first time. Lakeview has gone to the playoffs three times — all under Threet’s watch. The team could also set a new record for wins over a two-year span (2009-10).
“It would be a great accomplishment, for sure. I think for our program to take the next step, we need to have an expectation of wanting to (make) the state playoffs every year,” Threet said. “Our goals are to control the things we can: our effort and our attitude. We know how tough it is to make the playoffs, and we compete against a lot of great teams. So anytime you’re in position to make it to the state tournament, it’s a big deal.”
“We still have multiple things we must clean up and do better, but by keeping the same mindset of never being satisfied, we will be able to get the things that need work completed,” Irby added. “We will continue to get stronger, faster, quicker and smarter every day and make some noise this postseason — you can count on that.”
Lakeview’s regular-season finale is against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Lake Shore.