Lake Catholic High School’s storied football program boasts three state championships, five state semifinal appearances and 21 conference championships.
The last time the Cougars earned a conference title, though, was in 2010, and it last qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association playoffs in 2011.
Second-year head coach Scott O’Donnell and his players are determined to add a winning chapter to the program’s history this fall.
“Together, we can accomplish anything,” O’Donnell said while describing his primary message to the team. “We need to raise our football program back to where it needs to be.”
This preseason, O’Donnell has preached to his players the importance of forming an unbreakable bond with one another.
Heeding their coach’s advice, the Cougars have chosen “Rise as One” as their mantra for the 2015 season.
Lake Catholic returns 15 letterwinners – 11 starters – from last year’s squad that posted a 3-7 overall record and 2-3 mark in North Coast League Blue Division play.
“Our team’s biggest strength is the way the players have come together to this point,” O’Donnell said. “They love going out to the field together as a family.”
The Cougars will operate a balanced offensive attack out of multiple formations and employ a 3-4 defensive scheme.
The team’s focus is on the present – getting better each practice and game. The Cougars believe taking that approach gives them the best opportunity to reach the milestones each team sets out to achieve at the start of the season.
“Our goal is to go 1-0 each week, win the conference, go to the playoffs and win a state title,” O’Donnell said.
Senior two-way players Connor Fitzgerald (quarterback/safety), Nick Carina (offensive/defensive lineman), Domenic Marinucci (offensive/defensive lineman) and Chase Struna offensive lineman/outside linebacker) were voted team captains.
2015 Captains Emerge from JCU Camp pic.twitter.com/jfk85aSYd4— LakeCatholicFootball (@LCCougarFB) July 16, 2015
“They lead by example and take the role of leading our underclassmen to show them the way,” O’Donnell said.
Lake Catholic opens the season at home against Norwalk on Aug. 29.
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