LANSING – Lucas Leak made his mark for the Waverly football team a year ago by earning all-league recognition for catching passes.
Now the senior is back to delivering them.
Leak is back at quarterback for the Warriors — his position as a freshman and sophomore — after spending last fall as a tight end and defensive end.
And he put together a strong showing in his return to the position with a 300-yard passing game and by nearly orchestrating a game-tying touchdown drive in the final seconds of last week’s 35-28 loss to Lansing Catholic.
Leak exceeded his own expectations in what was his first varsity start at quarterback. Waverly coach Anthony Walker estimates Leak had only played 15 to 20 snaps under center at the varsity level prior to Friday.
“The confidence that our team could execute like that – it was very exciting to see what we can do this season,” said Leak, who threw for an area-best 349 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions Friday. “I expected a good performance, but that went beyond what I expected. I just know we have good things coming ahead.”
Leak hopes to build off his performance and help Waverly (0-1) reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012 and just the third time in the last two decades. Having dangerous skill position players like Kye Tackett, Jaden Sutton and several others give Leak confidence in his return to quarterback and fuel his belief that success is on the horizon for the Warriors, who will try to even their record when they face Eastern (0-1) on Thursday.
“We know we have the talent to go out there and make it to the playoffs (again for) coach Walker,” Leak said. “I believe that gives us a lot of confidence. I believe we’ll be able to do it.”
Hopes of the Warriors returning to the playoffs will be a gradual process. And Leak and Walker know conditioning and finishing games will be keys if that goal is to become a reality.
“Obviously conditioning was a problem,” Walker said. “We’ve got to step it up and get in better shape. We’ve got to do a better job of finishing. I felt like we had a great chance to win in the end (last week) and unfortunately we just didn’t get it done, so we’ve got to work on finishing.”