Lakers look to end playoff losing skid

Editor's Note: This is the second in a three-day series looking at the Tribune's area prep football teams. The Fruitport Trojans will be featured on Thursday. SPRING LAKE LAKERS 2010 Record: 7-3 (6-1 Lakes Eight Conference, 1st) Playoffs: Lost in the opening round to Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 45-34 Starters Returning
Nate Thompson
Aug 10, 2011

Offense: 5 (senior Keegan Wolter, QB; senior Zac Boeve, OT; Tyler Goeglein, OT; senior Noah Ellingboe, TE; senior T.J. Kriger RB)

Defense: 4 (senior Ellingboe, LB; senior Aaron Dalman, CB; senior Goeglein, DE; senior Boeve, DE)

Key Losses: WR/S Trevor Tidswell, RB/DB Brandon Zervas, LB Ibs Hamati, OG Bob Pennell, RB/CB Ryan Walling, OL/DL Andrew Hissom (injury)

Burning Questions

• Can the Lakers get over the hump and end their playoff losing streak? Spring Lake has lost six-straight opening round games in the Division 4 playoffs, including last season’s setback to eventual state champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central. The last time the Lakers won a playoff game was in 2001, when they defeated Orchard View, 18-7. “Let’s not kid ourselves; we got some bulls-eyes on our backs, but the big thing that we told the kids in our meeting is our No. 1 goal is to be conference champs,” said Spring Lake coach Jerry Rabideau. “It would be nice to be that three years in a row. Then we want to go 9-0 and then we want to move onto the playoffs. I told the kids one of the things we need to focus on as a goal is to get through the first round of the playoffs.”

• Spring Lake’s veer offense averaged 33 points per game last season. Can the Lakers remain explosive without playmaking wide receiver Trevor Tidswell, who is now playing at Hillsdale College? Quarterback Keegan Wolter should keep the Lakers dangerous offensively. He had a breakout performance in the playoff loss to GRCC, turning in a Denard Robinson-type performance with 430 total yards from scrimmage (235 passing, 195 rushing) and accounted for four touchdowns. “We started (Keegan) a little bit as a sophomore and developed him as a quarterback and now that he’s a senior, he’s got to take control and make it his team,” Rabideau said.

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