The Lake Mills football team is looking for a comeback 2020 following a hopeful 2019 that wasn’t meant to be.
Last fall, the Bulldogs were in the second year of their new offense and had the athletes to compete. Coming off a conference track championship, Lake Mills knew they could run in the open field. Though, Lake Mills couldn’t fight off the injury bug, which plagued them from start to finish last season. The Bulldogs finished the season 4-5 and 1-3 in Class 1A District 3.
Now, in the third year running option football, Lake Mills coach Bill Byrnes says expectations are they’ll execute at a high level.
It was tough preparing for this season with the global pandemic. Byrnes wasn’t able to hold out-of-season workouts until July.
The Bulldogs will return most of their go-to offensive player makers from last season. Casey Hanson and Carson Eaton rushed for over 850 yards, quarterback Bennett Berger will return to lead the offense, and guys like Dalton Thorson and Brady Hanson, who stepped up to fill in injury gaps last season, will bring back experience.
As the legendary Bear Bryant once said, “defense wins championships,” the defensive will be looked at in a big way this season. The leader of that defense is returning all-state linebacker Caleb Bacon. Bacon recorded 92 total tackles last season, which was 28th in all classes. He recorded 21.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks.
Lake Mills will start the season against county rival Forest City. The Indians and Bulldogs haven’t played in football since September 4th, 2009. Forest City won that matchup 21-20; they’ve won the last three meetings.
Using information available, the first recorded meeting took place in 1951, with Forest City winning 13-7. Forest City leads the series 12-3-1, with Lake Mills winning in 1968, 1972, and 1989.
Lake Mills and Forest City are familiar with the ‘big game’ feel. Just this last school year, the volleyball and baseball conference championships were decided between the schools. In boys basketball, Lake Mills needed to beat Forest City to win at least a share of the title. With the track season not happening this season, the last conference track championship came down to Lake Mills and Forest City.
The Bulldogs and Indians will open the season on August 28th in Lake Mills. The game will be live on KIOW and the KIOW video stream.