CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Lakeview football had not suffered a losing season in 15 years, until 2018. The past two seasons, they’ve gone just 6-14, but their senior leadership has them optimistic for 2020.
Tom Pavlansky is now in his 22nd season as head coach at Lakeview. His son Stephen is now a senior and back at quarterback as a three-year starter, who tossed 10 touchdowns a season ago.
A total of five starters return on offense, with senior lineman Kyle Roberts paving the way up front
“We’re hoping to just play together and stay on the same page,” said Roberts. “Sometimes last year we weren’t always on the same page. Miscommunications, lack of leadership at some times, so we just want to be on the same page this year.”
“We just have to make sure we take care of the football,” said Coach Pavlansky. “We’re looking to get four yards a play just like always and however we need to do that, whether through the air or through running the ball, that’s what we’re going to do our best to do.”
Two of Stephen Pavlansky’s favorite targets are also back in Gavin Mauger and Nate Fox. But the big key to success will be a more consistent defense. The Bulldogs gave up nearly 30 points per game last season.
“I think our kids are going to play hard and I don’t think they’re going to make any excuses,” said Pavlansky. “I think they’re going to play together and play unselfishly and if you do those things, you’ve got a chance.”
“No matter what our record was last year, a realistic goal for us is to always win the conference,” said Roberts. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. We play in a really tough conference, but it’s always to win the conference.”
They’ll stack up in a loaded Northeast 8 Conference once again, where they went just 1-6 last season.
The Bulldogs’ non-conference is just as tough, as they open against state power Kirtland in week one.
“We obviously want to get to the playoffs, however we have to take it a day at a time,” said Stephen Pavlansky. “We can’t jump ahead too far of ourselves, we gotta take care of Kirtland first. There’s no days off, you just gotta keep on getting better, keep on pushing.”
“They get to know what a state champion looks like and they get to feel what a state champion hits like,” said Pavlansky. “They get to know, ‘Hey where do we gotta go to get to that level?'”