WR/LB Zander Bailey (6’1″ 195, ’17) – We are high on Bailey, as he plays hard, fast and with unmatched intensity. Bailey works very hard and is always looking to improve his game. He will likely be one of the leading receivers on offense, and a leading tackler on defense.
QB A.J. Allen (6’6″ 190, ’18) – Potential is the name of the game for Allen. He has a tremendous frame and all the tools to be a big time QB, now he just needs to prove it on the field. Allen spent the offseason refining his mechanics and finished it with a nice showing at the Northwest 9.
WR/DB Bennett Dondoyano (5’11” 160. ’17) – Dondoyano has the ability to lock down opposing receivers as a corner, is probably the most dangerous offensive playmaker as a receiver, and can even play some QB if needed. End of the day, he is Lakeside’s top all-around athlete.
OL/DL Hunter Gossman (6’3″ 240, ’17) – Gossman has potential to be one of the better lineman to come out of Lakeside. He has good size and a ton of upside, with an occasional mean streak. Gossman was 2nd team All-Metro as a DE last season and also starts at RT.
RB/FS Ben Hinthorne (5’11’170, ’17) – Hinthrone saw plenty of time in 2014, but will become the feature back this coming season. He is a north/south runner and one of Lakeside’s more versatile athletes. He will also start on defense where he will be a leader in the secondary.
Lakeside has come a long way under the guidance of fifth year head coach Casey Selfridge, and this looks like it could be one of his better teams.
I am not sure Selfridge has had a QB over 5’10” since he took over, and now he has 6-foot-6 sophomore A.J Allen. There could some growing pains this season, but the coaching staff is very excited for his future. Allen can make all the throws and will be vital to the success of Lakeside’s wide open offense.
Cole Stephens finished over 1,000 all-purpose yards last season, mostly on the ground, but has moved on after graduating in the spring. Junior Ben Hinthorne will take over in the backfield, after seeing action in all 10 games last season, including a 20 carry, 217 yard, 2 TD performance in a week one win.
While Bennett Dondoyano and Zander Bailey look to be the two most athletic wide-outs, Lakeside does have nice overall depth at receiver, and a few other options to keep an eye on. Mihir Venkatesch (5’11” 175, ’16) will be the primary slot receiver, with Adam Stringez (6’4″ 170, ’16) being the biggest target in the group, and has great hands. Look for Adolphus Adams (6’2″ 175, ’18) to also see some action on the outside.
TE Sam Kuper (6’0″ 170, ’16) returns after a strong junior season. He took over for Erik Rottsolk following a season ending injury in week three.
The strength for the Lions is on their line. They return all five starters from a season ago, and have eight players with at least one start on the offensive line.
Guards Billy Allocca (6’3″ 240, ’16) and Carter McKaughan (6’2″ 260, ’16) are back as three-year starters and will flank Aaron Ballmer (6’0″ 190, ’17) who stepped up last season as one of the better centers in the Metro League. Eric Buie (6’1″ 230, ’18) worked his way into the starting lineup late last season at left tackle, and will get the go again this year. Hunter Gossman, mentioned above, rounds out the offensive line at RT.
Cassius Pumphrey (6’2″ 225, ’16) has seen more than his fair share of time along the offensive line, and has started games since his sophomore season. Expect to see Sam Bae (5’10” 210, ’16) and Colin Petersdorf (6’1″ 225, ’16) should the coaching staff need them. Those two have started before and the staff is confident if needing to insert them into the lineup.
The defensive line will see a lot two-way athletes, and plenty of rotation to keep them fresh. Gossman and Allocca are really the headliners of the defensive line. Bae, Petersdorf, McKaughan and Ballmer have all started at some point.
Isaac Kleisle-Murphy (6’3″ 185) has started in the past and will see plenty of action on defense this season. He also got offensive reps late in games last season after converting to tackle from tight end, and handles the long snapping duties.
Zander Bailey will be the rock in the middle of Lakeside’s defense, and is expected to be an impact player. Starting along side Bailey will be Mihir Venkatesh and Nick Kaye (6’1″ 175, ’17). All three linebackers play a physical style and have plenty of athleticism for coverage. Also expect to see Cassius Pumphrey in the mix all season.
Corner Bennett Dondoyano has the ability to shutdown most opposing receivers and has some high expectations on him this season. Opposite Dondoyano is Adam Stringez, who brings athleticism and length that should create some mismatches. Sam Kuper and Ben Hinthorne are the Safeties, and the coaching staff has full trust in them to make plays on the back end.
Lakeside had a diamond in the rough these last two seasons with big-legged kicker Wyatt Paul. They look to offset his graduation with two players as Bobby Tiscareno (5’8″ 160, ’18) will handle the field goals, with Nolan Kim (5’11” 175, ’17) doing the punting.
Bottom Line: The Lions (6-4) finished fourth in the Mountain Division last season, and have the pieces to improve. It would be very tough to get by an Eastside Catholic or O’Dea, but I think sneaking into third place ahead of Blanchet is very possible. Should they get solid production from Allen and the other young skill players, they could make some noise this season.
@ Shadle Park (9/5)
vs Seattle Prep (10/9)
@ Bishop Blanchet (10/16)