CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday night’s win has been a long time coming for Lakeview. After a winless 2021 season, the Bulldogs picked up their first win this past week since October 16th of 2020.
Now the Bulldogs, with the one win under their belts, are hungry for more, looking to restore the program’s glory in Cortland.
“I felt on top of the world just like the rest of the team did, it was a great feeling,” says senior quarterback Damien Natali.
“It felt great, it just felt great for everyone to see what we are about and that last year doesn’t define us,” senior lineman Nonda Makroglou says.
Carrying an 11-game losing streak, Lakeview made a statement Friday, topping LaBrae 34 to 7. Not only snapping the skid but giving head coach Sam Bellino his first win.
“It felt great,” Natali says. “Just seeing the smile on his face. Realizing all the work he put in with the coaching staff is finally paying off. Great to see his smile.”
“I can’t be more proud of the kids and how excited they were,” says Bellino. “They couldn’t wait to throw the water on me. Talking to the kids in the end zone after and seeing how excited they were. And I don’t think just for me but to get the monkey off their back and get a win and get the feeling of being successful.”
It is a feeling that has eluded the Bulldogs. After 14 straight winning seasons from 2003 to 2017, Lakeview has been just 4-25 since. Something this senior class is looking to continue to change.
“It is all we think about,” Markroglou says.
“Every day everyone here comes to work. “Take the lead,” says Natali. “This is our last year, we don’t want to go 0-10 again. Do everything we can to succeed, help our teammates do what they need to do to succeed as a whole.”
Even though it is the Bulldogs’ first win in nearly two years, they aren’t satisfied with just one.
“They don’t want to be a one-win team,” Bellino says. “We want to be a team that is going to pile wins on wins and make the playoffs.”
“I think we are ready,” Natali says. “I think we are very ready to make an impact and change the way people think of the Lakeview Bulldogs.”