STONEBORO, Pa. (WKBN) – Last year, Lakeview won four games, which was more than the Sailors were able to compile over the previous four seasons (3-35).
The Sailors won their final four home games of the season, including a 22-12 win over Saegertown, which finished 5-3. Lakeview ended the 2020 season by scoring an average of 46.5 points over their last two games against Mercer and Franklin.
“We expect our program to prepare and compete at a high level,” Coach Bill Hickman said. “We’re looking to contend for the region title.”
Lakeview will begin the 2021 season by traveling to Titusville (if their turf project has been completed) Friday, August 27.
Coach: Bill Hickman, 4th season (6-21)
Previewing Lakeview’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 26.0 (T-32nd in area)
Total Offense: 309.8
Returning Starters: 7
Key Returnees: Mason Bevan, SR/OL; Brendan Malone, JR/OL; Kyle McFadden, JR/OL; Dalton Mentch, SR/OL; Gavin Murdock, SR/QB; Mitchell Tingley, SO/K; Calogano Wilkins, SR/RB; Hunter Yeager, JR/OL
Key Losses: Lane Barber, WR; Isaac DeVault, OL; Damon Kerr, OL; Hunter Miller, WR
Name to watch for: Gavin Murdock, QB
QB Gavin Murdock earned first-team All-Region in his second full season as a starter. He went from a signal caller who completed 32.2% (38-118) as a sophomore to last fall’s 48.4% (62-128) and to throw for 884 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 744 yards on 98 carries (6 TDs).
“Gavin continues to refine and improve his mechanics,” Hickman said. “He’s getting bigger and stronger each year. Gavin has such a high ceiling. He has the potential to be a Division I recruit.”
This season, Murdock will be without his top three pass catchers (Hunter Miller, Lane Barber, Kendall Crocker) and two reliable linemen up front (Isaac DeVault and Damon Kerr).
However, the team returns five players who started a year ago up front in Mason Bevan, Dalton Mentch, Brendan Malone, Kyle McFadden and Hunter Yeager. The coaching staff is also expecting Kyle Deviney, Garrett Mentch and Garet Guthrie to compete for time along the line.
Calogano Wilkins will be back in the fold after scoring five times on the ground and running for 345 yards (6.3 avg). He’ll be joined by Mitchell Tingley and Aiden Osborne in the backfield.
Danick Hinkson, Sean Cole, Zach Pullman and senior Anthony Bonanni should all be called upon to play receiver this fall.
Previewing Lakeview’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 25.8 (36th in area)
Returning Starters: 5
Key Returnees: Mason Bevan, SR/DL; Anthony Bonanni, SR/DB; Brendan Malone, JR/DL; Gavin Murdock, SR/DB; Calogano Wilkins, SR/LB
Key Losses: Lane Barber, LB; Kendall Crocker, DB; Isaac DeVault, LB; Kiefer Guthrie, LB; Damon Kerr, DL
Names to watch for: Mason Bevan and Brendan Malone, DL
Last year, Lakeview forced 23 turnovers in only eight games played. The Sailors allowed the lowest average points total per game since 2015 (22.1) a year ago (25.8). In 2015, Lakeview last advanced to the playoffs (6-4).
The Sailors’ defense will have to pick up this summer without their leading tackler in each of the last three seasons — Isaac DeVault. Their standout linebacker amassed 294 tackles during that timeframe. DeVault is scheduled to begin his college career at Hiram.
Along the defensive front, Mason Bevan and Brendan Malone will be joined by senior Dalton Mentch and juniors Kyle McFadden and Kyle Devinney, as well as sophomore Garrett Mentch. Freshman Garet Guthrie appears to have the versatility to move from linebacker to play along the defensive line. Calogano Wilkins, Mitchell Tingley, Aiden Osborne and Danick Hinkson are all expected to play key roles on defense from their linebacker spots this year.
Gavin Murdock intercepted a pair of passes last year, while compiling 56 tackles — good for third on the team. Murdoch and Bonanni should anchor the defensive backfield for the Sailors.
Aug. 27 – Titusville
Sept. 3 – at Greenville
Sept. 10 – Farrell
Sept. 17 – Sharpsville
Sept. 24 – at Wilmington
Oct. 1 – Kennedy Catholic
Oct. 8 – at Mercer
Oct. 15 – Reynolds
Oct. 22 – at West Middlesex
Oct. 29 – at Franklin