Dreadnaughts gearing up for Preseason Showdown

OLB Jack Smith pursuing the ball carrier during practice
OLB Jack Smith pursuing the ball carrier during practice

Lakeland, FL – BCP stopped by Bryant Stadium yesterday to observe the Lakeland Dreadnaughts start of game week practice. East Bay will travel to Bryant Stadium in Lakeland to challenge the home team this Friday at 7:30pm for the preseason classic. Traditionally Lakeland plays crosstown rival Lake Gibson for game but the Indians will get a taste of this great football environment.

Our arrival was midway through practice and the incoming rain cut our visitation short. But here’s what was observed: The strength of the team will be on defense this season. Former QB Holden Hotchkiss, RB AJ Davis and WR James Robinson have graduated and moved on to continue their academic and athletic careers at the college ranks. The three headliners combined with the other offensive players created a scoring machine that plowed over many of the defensive units that lined up against them last season. Now, the defense will take up much of the spotlight. The defensive line with Tre Huntley and Latrell Jean will be the first line of defense. OG Aleek Saint-Aime will step in at times to provide even more bulk. OLB Jack Smith will be the playmaker behind them. The senior Syracuse commit is one of our top 2017 prospects and one of the biggest hitters in area.

The secondary will be a brand new crop of playmakers as J’quan Lawrence, Jeconiah Jones, Damarri Mathis and Shedrick Floury have run out of eligibility and created space for new names to be inscribed on the success of the defense. A fast, athletic, energized group with plenty of ability to cap the defense.

Well documented is the transfer of QB Kevaris Thomas from Lake Gibson. Thomas will provide another pure passing threat for the Dreadnaughts. Big and strong, he will allow the passing playbook to expand creating space for 2020 RB Demarkus Bowman. Brown replaces AJ Davis who earned his spot in Lakeland football history. Hard to follow up such a player…Bowman is up to the challenge and has the skill and potential to be the next great to wear the Lakeland orange and black. On the outside is TE Keon Zipperer. Being recruited by several handfuls of college football programs, Keon has one of the best set of hands in the area and loves to push around defensive linemen and line backers. The trio will headline the offense. A talented unit expected to place a bunch of points on the scoreboard.