Last season wasn’t anything special at Lawson, at least not in the opening few weeks.
The Cardinals lost twice in the first five weeks of the season before things clicked into place. Lawson’s roll didn’t stop until the Class 2 state title game, where it lost to Lamar.
“We got beat pretty bad in the middle of season, and that taught us a lesson. We thought we were pretty good before that point. After that they went to work,” Lawson coach Todd Dunn said. “Once we got through first couple games of district, they didn’t feel like anybody was better than them.”
Dunn said every one of Lawson’s deep playoff runs started in the same fashion, with a team that eventually came into its own.
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The Cardinals lost 16 to graduation. Seniors Andy Schmitz (OL), Creston Smigt (RB/LB), Connor Hill (DL) and Collin Gagnon (DB) return, as does junior Ndamien Fapp (WR/CB).
“We feel like we’ve got really good kids and we’re going to keep playing week-by-week. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a team that we can say will play for state,” Dunn said. “The goal is to be in the running for the conference and district titles, and if you can win those, you’ve got a chance.”
Last year’s club settled into that zone between confidence and cockiness, where it knew it was good and knew what it took to get to that level.
“They got a chip on their shoulder. I hope this group does the same thing. Everybody has something spurring them on,” Dunn said. “I hope this group is the same way. “I hope they’re saying ‘We’re not going to be the ones who will let it up.’”