Lake Dallas Football Springing Forward

Lake Dallas Football Springing Forward

By Steve Gamel

As the calendar turns to summer, Lake Dallas football coach Michael Young is more eager than ever for the 2017 season to get underway.

Young said he was pleased with his team’s spring workouts last month, insisting that the Falcons got better on both sides of the ball and now have young players who, after being thrown into the fire last year, are hungry to take a step forward as the program looks to return to the playoffs.

“We will be a lot better, that’s for sure,” said Young, whose team barely missed the playoffs last year in District 14-5A. “I see this group being in the same position as the 2015 season with Dagan (Haehn) and Keegan (Brewer). That team played through a rough season the year before and then came back and were a couple of overtimes shy of going to a state title game.

“We had 12 sophomores and two freshman that saw playing time last year. That’s going to help.”

The jury is still out on exactly how close the Falcons are to repeating on that magical 2015 season, but this spring was a great start. Young said the Falcons addressed their most significant need, which was getting bigger on the defensive line. Last year, Lake Dallas could not hold up against much bigger offensive lines, which led to opponents being able to run the ball at will.

As part of that revitalized defensive front, Zalen Long moves from left guard to defensive tackle.

“We definitely got bigger, which is great because we were outsized,” Young said. “Having Zalen there helps a ton, which should help us stop the run. Last year, we just didn’t have that ability.”

Last year wasn’t a total loss, however.

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 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 total touchdowns.

With Frederickson lost to graduation, there is a position battle that needs to be settled between Depperschmidt and Sanders. Young said he is enamored with both quarterbacks and likely won’t make a decision on naming a starter until they get into scrimmage action in August.

“Either way, both those guys are talented and we will need both of them to have a good season,” Young said. “It’s a good problem to have. They are both great throwers, but they’re real pounders in the run game, too. They can both step in as the starter at any time.

“We had several games get away from us late last year, which tells me we were right in all those games. We have a chance to be better in a very tough district – a lot better.”

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