by Will Bahler
Wide Receivers Coach
Another exciting year of Dreadnaught Football is upon us here at Bryant Stadium, and the stadium continues to house the best fans in all of Florida. The fans have become accustomed to witnessing big plays in the passing game and this year should be no different. This is a deep group of receivers and offers a nice break by grade level. The group is led by 5 seniors, but also contains 2 juniors, 3 sophomores, and 2 freshmen. This group takes pride in being known as “Playmakers” and I should expect them to be just that this year for the Dreadnaughts.
This year’s receiving corps is led by senior #2 Xavier Spann, a starter at the “X” position and the leading returning receiver. Xavier is the fastest receiver in the stable and will be expected to make the big plays for the Dreadnaught offense this year. Starting at the “Z” position is senior #9 Damon Black, a true testament of hard work paying off. Damon saw action last year as a junior but has developed into a great complement to Spann. Damon brings great height to the position and should be expected to provide many first downs this year. Senior #8 Jake Foster, a starter at wide receiver last year for the Naughts, has made the transition to the defense this year at safety but will also see time at receiver as he is an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands. Starting at the “Y” position, or tight end, is #41 Trent Pearson. Trent has mostly made his impact in the running game creating holes for the backs but will look to make some contributions in the passing game this year as well. The final senior is #18 Taylor Daugherty, who provides depth at both the “X” and “Z” positions. Taylor is a hard-worker and should be ready to step in for the Naughts this year when necessary. Taking over for Foster at the starting “A” position is freshman #14 James Robinson, who at 6’3 is anything but a typical freshman. James has caught on well this summer with the offense and will be a fun one to watch for the next four years.
Junior #11 Garrett Conner can also be considered a starter once he returns to full health from a chest injury. Garrett provides good size and speed in addition to being able to play all three wide receiver positions. Junior #84 Mike Randolph has a good understanding of the offense and has a good feel for getting open. Sophomores #36 Tariq Young, #86 Oppheus Williams, and #87 Shaun Gill are new to varsity this year but will be expected to take on a larger role next year, especially Young who can also return kicks. Freshman #19 G’Kari West brings good size and playmaking ability and should compete for a starting spot next year.
We would like to send out a personal thanks to all players past and present, fellow coaches, and the fans of Dreadnaught football for making Lakeland High School and Dreadnaught Football truly Nulli Secundus!