LAKE PLACID - After a grueling three weeks of practice the Lake Placid football team is fired up for tonight's preseason game against Okeechobee.
The Green Dragons are coming off a 3-7 season, but have the talent and ability to legitimately compete for the Class 4A-District 6 title this year.
"We've had a good three weeks of practice and our players seem to understand their assignments and what we want to do," said sixth-year Lake Placid football coach Jason Holden. "But it's a lot different in a game than practice and we're looking forward to seeing how our guys react and compete against a good Okeechobee team.
"We're fairly healthy, but we do have a few guys that won't play because they are a little banged up."
Lake Placid is looking to put some points on the scoreboard with a talented offense that's led by senior quarterback Robert Walton.
The Green Dragons utilize a Wing-T offense and Walton has the footwork and ball-handling skills necessary to make the unique offense work.
"Robert is starting his third year and really understands the quarterback position," Holden said. "We utilize a lot of misdirection and fakes, he handles the ball well, has great footwork and is faster than he looks running the ball."
The Green Dragons are blessed with an abundance of talent and depth in the backfield with Jerry Fields, Foster Walker and Eldon McKenzie at wingbacks, while Marquavein Copeland is the fullback.
"We have speed and power in the backfield and that's a great combination," Holden said. "Jerry is smart, understands the game and has excellent speed, while Eldon is strong and fast and Foster is a slasher with quick feet.
"Marquavein is a powerful runner with surprising speed and we love his ability to hit the hole quick between the tackles because that will keep the defense honest."
Lake Placid wants to have offensive balance and will throw the ball more than last year with Alec Sassin, Nick Tuason and Isaihha Velazquez as Walton's primary targets.
"All three guys have good speed and soft hands," Holden said. "We have some quality guys backing them up and Robert has always had a strong arm, but he's really improved his footwork and accuracy throwing the ball.
"We're going to run more than we throw, but we want to be able to pass the ball to keep defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage."
Lake Placid has four returning starters on the offensive line, and this group has the size and strength to pave the way for the Green Dragons' rushing attack.
"This is the biggest and strongest offensive line we've had since I've been here," Holden said. "All of them have quick feet, good speed and are physical."
Okeechobee presents a stiff challenge for tonight's preseason game since the Brahmans have a quality program and are competitive every year.
"We haven't played Okeechobee since I've been the coach, but I know their coach pretty well," said Holden. "They have a solid program and I'm looking forward to seeing how we look against them.
"We're a small squad and everyone is going to play because we want our guys to get used to the violence of varsity football."
The varsity will play the first three quarters and the junior varsity will play the fourth quarter. Kickoff is set for 7 tonight at Roger Scarborough Memorial Field.
Okeechobee at Lake Placid
When: Tonight at 7
Where: Roger Scarborough Memorial Field