The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
Lakewood is entering this season with a strong set of returners and a hungry mindset. After having a successful 25-5 season last year, the Lancers are looking to keep their energy up and continue competing.
“We return four of our five starters from last year,” Head coach Eric Oswell said. “They bring experience, energy and intensity to our style of play.”
Among those starters is Cristina Jones, who was the Moore League Player of the Year last season. She is joined by First-Team Moore League guards Nyemah King and Amy Rubio. Second-Team Moore League player Nyla Hankins is also adding to this strong returning roster. The Lancers also return seniors Natalia Apacible and Jazzmin Briggs, who are looking to boost the starting lineup.
“We will lean on that experience and desire to achieve personal and team goals we have yet to achieve,” Oswell said of these players and their impact.
The Lancers also gained some new players in the offseason.
Amber Rivera is a transfer from Millikan, playing guard with a good shot that can defend well. Freshman guard Isabella Ramsey is also joining the team as a high-energy player who works tirelessly to fulfill any role necessary. With a lot of new players, the Lancers are looking to build unity among their squad.
“I just want to get all my teammates involved, keep giving my love,” Jones said. “I have to get everybody on the team ready and united for all these games. We need to come up clutch against all of the teams to have a good season.”
It seems as though everyone on Lakewood’s team has this same winning-goal in mind. Oswell said everyone on his squad is ready to contribute when called upon.
“Overall, we are looking to compete for the Moore League Title and make a deep playoff run,” Oswell said. “We are building on the success we had last year.”
Despite having an impressive season record, the Lancers just came short in Moore League. After finishing second in league last year, Oswell is continuing to strive for improvement.
“In the wins and the losses you look for ways to improve,” Oswell said. “Sometimes it’s something you did and other times, teams and players just make great plays.”
With their minds on a title, Oswell said that it will all come down to focus and playing in the moment.
“It’s just a matter of staying focused and controlling what we can control,” Oswell said. “Rather than get down on yourself when someone makes a play, you have to stay in the moment and also make a great play.”