Football: Falcons Turn Page to Next Season
Lake Dallas went from being one of the top teams in the state last year to missing the playoffs in 2016 with an incredibly young team that simply couldn’t stay healthy in key spots. It was hardly the finish anyone expected, but head coach Michael Young is looking on the bright side.
That bright side suggests the Falcons could again be a dominant team next year.
“This may be a bump in the road right now and I know these kids are disappointed, but we’re set up pretty good for next year,” Young said. “A season like this will help us, and considering all the youth and injuries, I’m happy with where we are at.”
Lake Dallas finished 5-5 to snap a two-year playoff streak, but the season included a win over a heavily-favored Prosper team in the season finale. The Falcons weren’t eliminated from playoff contention until Week 9.
That’s not a bad finish considering all they were up against before the season began. Lake Dallas returned seven starters from last year’s run to the Class 5A state semifinals, but were still very young in several spots. And the one position Young thought he didn’t have to worry about at all – quarterback – ended up being the most injury-riddled position on the field.
Spencer Frederickson, Ryan Depperschmidt and Drew Sanders all saw significant time at the position. Frederickson came in as the team’s starter, but broke a bone in his foot in late September. Young turned to Depperschmidt, a sophomore, who threw for five touchdowns in the very next game. Depperschmidt eventually got hurt, too, paving the way for Sanders to start.
All three combined for 2,100 passing yards, another 691 on the ground and 35
And to make things interesting, quarterback wasn’t the only injury-riddled position. Defensive lineman Jacob Biggerstaff and running back Ky’lee Smith were lost for a chunk of the season.
“We had said before the season that we felt like we had great depth at quarterback, and it helped us. Most teams would have a very hard time overcoming injuries at quarterback, but we didn’t. All three guys got great experience, and we didn’t let the injuries change our season.”
Lake Dallas finished 4-3 in district play, and were competitive in each game. In the season finale against Prosper, Lake Dallas outscored its opponent 21-3 in the second half for the win.
“For them to play and beat Prosper like that, it was a sign of good things to come,” Young said. “We still need to find some depth at defensive line and on the offensive line, but we’ve got almost everyone else back. You can get motivated by a really good season, like what we had last year. But sometimes having the season we had where we missed the playoffs can be just as motivating. These kids are going to come back ready to play.”
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