HOT SPRINGS LAKESIDE RAMS: Rams look to build on winning season
August 26, 2012
After a 10-win season in 2011, the Lakeside Rams are bucking for a 5A Southwest Conference championship in 2012.
“We had a really good year last year,” said head coach Jared McBride. “We hosted our first playoff game in probably 25 years and won.”
In that playoff game, the Rams took down Alma but lost in the second round to White Hall. McBride said last year’s senior class was one of the biggest strengths of that team.
“[We had] a lot of kids that were dedicated to what we were doing and really were determined to win,” he said. “We just had great leaders in that group.”
Leading the offense this season will be quarterback Garrett Carson. The junior started eight games last season, and McBride said he’s excited to have Carson back again.
“Garrett’s a good-sized guy, he’s about 6-1 1/2, right at 200 pounds,” McBride said. “He’s starting to understand more and more about what we’re doing. We put a lot of pressure on our quarterbacks to get us into the right play and make the right reads. He’s grown a lot with that experience he gained last year.”
Garrett Garner will also be returning as running back. Last season, Garner rushed for more than 600 yards and racked up 300 more receiving.
“He’s a good solid running back, a good blocker, solid inside runner and a good pass catcher out of the backfield,” McBride said.
Junior Blake Lawless will also be stepping in at running back.
“He’s kind of our strength guy, our big back and our short-yardage specialist,” McBride said. “He scored six or seven touchdowns for us last year and will be back to anchor down the short-yardage part [of the team’s game].”
Senior Teveon Perkins is back this season at wide receiver. McBride said he hopes Perkins’ leadership and athletic ability will be an asset.
“He had a good, solid year for us last year,” he said. “[I hope] this year he can be more of a playmaker.”
Junior Logan Nelson will also be fielding some catches, and senior Spencer Bryson will be lining up at tight end.
Defense could be a weakness this fall, McBride said. The team lost all of its starting linebackers and will be looking for new players to step up into those positions. McBride said he will be looking to players like Lawless, junior Spencer Hecke and senior Brett Kindig to hold down the defense.
“They’re going to play hard for us, and they’re kind of the life of our defensive front,” he said.
As for the conference, McBride said the competition will be even hotter this season with the addition of Watson Chapel to the 5A Southwest.
“At the top end of our conference, you’ve got to expect Camden to be there and Watson Chapel to be right behind them,” he said.