Lakeside Men’s Soccer Kicks Off 2019 Season
In each of the past four decades, Lakeside’s Men’s Soccer Team has won a state a championship. With the introduction of a new head coach Tyler Lafleur and assistant coach Ken Beamer along with a roster full of experienced seniors, the 2019 varsity team hopes to continue this streak in the final year of this decade. They enter their region schedule with a record of 6-1-1 in non-region games with their only loss coming to undefeated North Gwinnett High school by a score of 1-0.
Social Studies teacher Tyler Lafleur, took over the head coaching position for the team after serving as the assistant coach for just one year. Players new and old have praised the intensity he has brought to the program this season. “He’s changed the dynamic,” said senior goalkeeper Aziz Phillips, “he makes strategical substitutions and it has been helping us get better and push ourselves.” While the team has maintained their practice schedule from the previous season, the returning player has noticed a noticeable shift in intensity and focus. Senior defender Carter Hunnicutt emphasized the improved “discipline.” I responded to the ways the team does drills now, Hunnicutt said: “they do the drills properly and take them seriously.” This new attention to detail may come as a result of a roster full of strong senior leadership. We have five or six guys that could step up to be captains this year,” said senior captain Parker Morford, “we have a really strong senior group and we haven’t had that in my past years.” With the departure of multiple key starters last season, the men’s team will have to rely on the experience of their current starters to help the younger players grow and contribute to the team. “I would say we aren’t more talented than last year, but we are definitely a better team,” said senior captain Andrew Seybolt.
Although the team has missed the state playoffs the past two seasons, the players attribute this to the difficulty of moving to a harder region, an issue that has plagued almost all of Lakeside’s sports teams. In their first region match this season, Lakeside defeated Brookwood by a score of 5-2. Since Brookwood knocked them out of playoff contention last year, this win provides the team with a sense of optimism headed as they continue into region play. “This season there is a lot more team chemistry,” said senior midfielder Jerod Spetseris. “ We just need to keep limiting our mistakes and working on finishing because we have struggled with that.”