SIBLEY – It’s not every week you go up against an Southeastern Conference committ at the 2A high school level, but that’s the challenge this week for Lakeside and head coach Jason Martin.
The Warriors will hit the road Friday for a date with the Plain Dealing Bulldogs and their all-state wide receiver Keldrick Carper.
Carper, a Texas A&M commit, has a combination of size and speed (6-foot-3, 190-pounds) the Warriors don’t cross paths with very often.
“He’s definitely a great athlete,” Martin said. “Probably the best we’ll see this season. Our defensive gameplan is to not let him beat us. If they’re going to beat us we’re going to make someone else do it. But it’s definitely going to be tough, I don’t know if we have anyone on our team who can cover him.”
One-on-one matchups are what Carper thrives on, and when coaches make that mistake, he usually ends up in the endzone. Martin said the Warriors will send some of their offensive weapons into the secondary this week in an attempt to limit Carper.
“We’ve got some new guys back there, trying to get a little more athleticism back there. We’ve worked a lot on defending the routes he likes to run. If he does catch it, we have to make sure we tackle him well.”
Some spectators consider the Bulldogs a one-man show, but Martin says that’s simply not the case.
“They have some pretty big kids up front,” Martin said. “That’s definitely going to be another big test for us. We have to be more physical than we were last week, because they come off the ball hard and they’re coached really well.”
The Warriors have more confidence in their offense than they did a week ago after scoring 26 points against Ringgold. The goal now is to continue scoring at that clip.
“I was down after the loss last week,” Martin said. “But after looking back and hearing the positive reactions from the fans and players, everyone seems excited about it. We’re getting better, but we’re not where we want to be yet; we’re headed in the right direction.”