Minutemen Prepare For Warriors With Target On Their Chest

  • 8/23/2016 7:48:36 PM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

Heading into the 2015 high school football season not many expected Lexington to be very competitive on Friday nights. The Minutemen had lost 18 consecutive games dating back to week 3 of the 2014 campaign and returned just three seniors from an inexperienced 0-10 squad. The mediocre forecast would prove to be a positive for the purple and gold, though, as they took opponents off guard during the early portion of the season. Lexington would win their first five games in route to a resurgent 6-4 season, so third-year head coach Taylor Gerhardt knows his team is in a much better place heading into the new year.

"We're in a different spot," says Gerhardt. "We're in a spot to where we expect good things. We expect big things out of us and that means we gotta approach things differently. It's easy to be the underdog, it's more difficult when you got a target on your chest and we feel like we got a target on our chest and we got to get comfortable with that."

Gerhardt's message has resonated with veteran players like senior captain Hunter Biddle, who played a big role in Lexington's surprise season last fall. "Coach has talked about it a lot and it's definitely set in with us that we're no longer underdogs," Biddle says. "Last year no one was really expecting much out of us so it was easy to just kind of fly under the radar last year and go week by week and just kind of surprise people, but this year a little more is expected out of us so as far as a mental standpoint in how we have to think about ourselves and how we uphold ourselves at practice and in games and everything has definitely changed."

One thing that hasn't changed for the Minutemen is their week one opponent. Lexington will travel just a few miles down the road to face cross-county rival Ontario for a fifth consecutive season to kickoff their campaign. "They're gonna be a tough team and we're looking forward to playing them," senior captain TJ Gerhardt says. "It's a good rivalry. I'd say it's close to number one for us."

When you're an athlete at Lexington, however, just about every game is a rivalry game to the opponent. Senior quarterback Logan Pfizenmayer says, "I feel like we have a bunch of number one rivals. I feel like everybody in the OCC's a rival, so, I don't know, (Ontario's) one of them."

Both Logan and TJ agree that opening the season against an area rival is an enjoyable experience. "I love it," says Gerhardt, "First game, just to get excited, I love it."

"I love playing Ontario first," Pfizenmayer says. "We know all these guys. We played youth sports against them and everything like that so it's always a good game."

Kickoff between Ontario and Lexington is slated for 7 p.m. at Copeland Field this Friday. The game will be broadcasted LIVE on the radio at 99.3 F.M. with highlights featured on WMFD's Scores and More. The game will also be replayed on WMFD on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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