By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Camdenton Lakers are trending in the right direction and first-year coach Tyler Sevon looks to keep that momentum going.
Sevon comes to Camdenton from Laquey High School, where he compiled an 80-40 overall record and three district championships.
The Lakers, who finished 8-14-1 in 2018, improved to 12-14 overall and 4-5 in the Ozark Conference last season and made it to the Class 3 District 9 championship game, where they fell to Helias-Catholic, 6-1.
“Some underclassmen got valuable minutes last year and will be able to build from that experience and get even more quality minutes this year,” Sevon said.
“The team chemistry of this young group is great. They all get along well and want to get better every time they come to a training session.”
The Lakers lost three talented players to graduation and will need to try and fill the holes the decorated trio left.
• Josh Gerdiman – Earned Class 3 All-State, Class 3 All-Region 3, Class 3 District 9 Co-Player of the Year and All-Ozark Conference First-Team honors.
• Abi Rodriguez – Named Class 3 All-Region 3, Class 3 All-District 9 First Team, All-OC Second Team.
• Wyatt Stamper – Was a Class 3 All-District 9 First-Team pick and All-OC Honorable Mention.
Sevon said that junior Max Thoenen looked good in scrimmages with Lebanon and Crocker, and will be an anchor point in the back with the loss of several starting defenders.
Joining Thoenen, a Class 3 All-District Second-Team selection, are:
• Ian Kirby-Gibson, senior, goalkeeper – Class 3 District 9 Defensive Player of the Year. “Very aggressive and comes off his line well.”
• Austin Clay, senior, midfielder – “Great on the ball and communicates effectively.”
• Grant Thompson, junior, midfielder – “Sees the field extremely well and is a great facilitator.”
• David Grzegorezyk, junior, forward – “Good finisher and moves off the ball well.”
Sevon has a solid group of sophomores, including forward Gunner Schuster, midfielder Carson Holmquist and midfielder Jace Nichols, who he thinks will make an impact this season.
“We have a strong, great group of sophomore boys,” Sevon said. “They are going to be playing some big-time minutes this year on varsity and are going to hopefully adjust quickly to the speed and physicality of play. They are all hard workers and getting better seeing the field and their touch on the ball every training session.”
The Lakers have been preparing for a regular season, even with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The summer has been full of training sessions every week and a couple of scrimmages with local schools, as well as our team camp where we got a lot done and I really got to know the players more and understand where they all fit the best on the field,” Sevon said. “We are preparing to play a full season schedule and hope that we get the chance to do so.”
Camdenton is scheduled to open the 2020 season at home against Marshfield on Sept. 1, and Sevon is ready to go.
“I am very excited to get the season under way and getting to coach these players every day,” Sevon said. “We are still a young team with a small number of seniors. There will still be a learning curve with our inexperience, but I hope that we can be competitive in every game that we play.”