A perfect storm is an event where a rare combination of circumstances will alter a situation drastically. For the Indian Lake football team, a perfect storm of talent, leadership, and experience appears to be brewing. This storm may even be powerful enough to give Indian Lake its first football playoff appearance in school history.
Indian Lake was the fifth stop in our Camp Confidential series and the Lakers have a lot to look forward to this season. The team is led by long-time head coach Dave Coburn and an experienced staff that Coburn likes to boast is one one of the best in the area. The team has a large number of returning starters on both sides of the ball including five First-Team CBC Mad River Division players and one Special Mention CBC Mad River Division player. The Lakers will rely on their 16 seniors to provide leadership to the team. Coburn spoke highly of his seniors and when asked what he was most impressed by with them he replied, “Just how they’ve hung with the growth of our program. When you’re younger and not meeting some of your expectations and goals it’s easy to listen to the naysayers. But our guys have really hung with us and understood that this is a two to three year process and hopefully it all comes together with our master plan this year. The seniors are obviously going to be the focus of that. I guess that’s what I’m most proud of, how these 16 guys have stuck together and just continued to fight and battle day in and day out not only in the season but in the offseason as well. They’ve really hung together and that’s going to be big this season.”
Indian Lake will start their season with a rematch of a Week One classic from last season against Triad. The Lakers squeaked out a 40-33 comeback victory over the Cardinals last year. With both teams returning loads of talent and boasting two of the best teams of the area, this should be the game that every high school football fan has circled on Week One of their calendars. Coburn acknowledges the tough match-up his team faces in week one, but is still focusing more on what his team needs to improve on saying, “We’ve been obviously focusing on Triad and game one and I’m sure they’re doing the same thing with us. But our focus right now is on ourselves. We’re challenging our guys to try to get better each and everyday. We want to see growth, improvement, and knowing our technique. But also all the things we do as a group and as a team to try to get better and maximize everything we can do going into game one.”
Offensively, the Lakers run a wing-T offense. The team is returning the majority of their skill position players and plan on giving opposing defensive coordinators fits in the press box this year. Senior quarterback Christian Grider leads the offense, senior fullback LJ Henderson sits directly behind him, Chris Teague and Hunter Vance will play the tailback position, and seniors Ben Wahl and Montel Morgan will play wing back. Coburn was very high on his offense saying, “We have potential to have a potent offense this year as long as we execute up front and take care of the football.”
Defensively, Indian Lake will have four down linemen led by senior Ethan Downing. The linebacking core will be lead by seniors Wahl and Henderson. In the secondary most of the teams’ depth is returning from last year with seniors Cole Wurster, Teague, and Morgan all looking to provide ball hawking coverage this season. Coburn talked about what his team would need to do to be successful on defensive noting, “It’s a defense that you have to play as a unit, team, and group. You’re all tied by strings and everybody has to move in unison and do their assignment to make sure you don’t leave any open spaces on the field.”
The Lakers are trying to win their first CBC Mad River Division title since 2007 and will have to dethrone Urbana who has had at least a share of the crown for the last three seasons. Coburn recognizes the fact that Urbana is the king of the hill right now but won’t write off any of his other divisional opponents saying, “Everybody in the league at this point is capable of winning that league title. Obviously it goes through Urbana because they were the champions last year.” Winning the league title isn’t the only goal that the Lakers have. The Lakers are striving to reach the playoffs for the first time in the school’s history. Coburn talks about the team’s goal of reaching the playoffs explaining, “That’s our goal, that’s been our goal since the day we stopped last year. I remember getting done at the end of the season last year and turning our attention right to this season. Then we started talking about playoffs and league championships last year. So here we are and now it’s time to execute and get the job done.”
The time is now for Indian Lake football. The 2013 team’s success won’t be determined if they have a winning record or not but rather if they finish the season as division champs and reach the playoffs or not. Expectations for the program haven’t been this high in a very long time and the team recognizes the need to win this season. If the Lakers can weather the storm that is their season schedule, they’ll be able to part the clouds and make program history.
Indian Lake’s schedule is the following.
8/30 H Triad
9/6 A Kenton Ridge
9/13 H Upper Scioto Valley
9/20 H Tippecanoe
9/27 A Bellefontaine
10/4 A Graham
10/11 H Northwestern
10/18 A Greenon
10/25 H Urbana
11/1 A Benjamin Logan
Listen to the full interview with head coach Dave Coburn.