The Lakeland football season is up and running for 2019, and one of the things that is making this year different is the leadership of the seniors.
The four senior captains for the Thunderbirds are Michael Ouimette, Devan Tessmer, Brady Olson and Dwight Miesbauer.
With lots of returning players on the field, there is a great atmosphere among the team which is higher than in years past.
“This season what feels a lot different is the team atmosphere,” Tessmer said. “Since last season we knew the one thing that needed to change was how together we were as a team, not just on the field, but outside the team and in school.”
But everyone has their own leadership styles. In the case of Olson, he is willing to provide exactly what the team needs him to provide.
“I feel that I bring a calm form of leadership in the sense that I’m levelheaded and I’m willing to help out anyone who needs it,” Olson said. “If someone doesn’t know what’s going on I’m willing to give a hand. At the same time I’m excited when I need to be and ready to get the team pumped up.”
There are many individual and team goals for the team this year. One of the goals in general is to get back on top and be conference champions, something which hasn’t been done in awhile.
“My goal for the season, I think for most of the team, is to be conference champions, but also to play our best every game and just be a team throughout all of it,” Miesbauer said.
Whenever a team is formed, everyone must be on board and have each other’s backs. That is exactly the case for this Lakeland football team.
“What makes this team special is everybody is so connected,” Ouimette said. “We all have such a great atmosphere, we’re always picking each other up, we all have so much energy, we’re so coachable, willing to do whatever it takes.”
Not only does having each other’s backs help the team culture, but it also helps in winning games and being successful as a whole.
“We gotta be able to pick each other up when we’re down and keep each other level when we’re on our highs,” Tessmer said.
Having a passion for the game is something else which will make this team successful this year. It’s passion for both the game and their teammates at all times.
“We got to play with love in our hearts for our fellow teammates and always stay a team,” Olson said.
Effort is something that can’t be coached. These captains and seniors show a great deal of effort in practice and camps and that translates on the football field.
“Play our best and go 100% in everything we do on the field,” Miesbauer said.
These players play for their teammates, their school and their families. But one thing which can’t be emphasized enough is playing for their community.
Community is important as it can bring people together. This football team has the power to bring people together, especially in the fact that it’s a smaller town.
“Know that you’re not playing for yourself and you’re playing for the people around you and you represent the community and not just you,” Ouimette said.
The Lakeland football team will rely, not just on these captains, but their seniors in general to provide an electric and winning atmosphere, growing as both players and students of the game.
Coach Dan Barutha has molded his team exactly how he wants it and has taken these players to aid him in getting to be conference champions.
And when the dust settles, these players will always have memories that will last a lifetime, thanks to the senior leadership of the 2019 football team.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or sports