Athletic Director Daryl Besant said Wednesday that Lake Shore has received verbal commitments from more than 25 student-athletes in the district to play varsity football this season.
Considering last month the Eagles only had 15 commitments, Besant has even more reason to feel optimistic about the program's chances of beginning its 67th season of play Aug. 15 -- the official first day of practice for all programs in the state -- than he did June 7 when the numbers issue first came to light.
"Our goal is to forge ahead, take our chances and hopefully on the first day in August everyone we intend on being there is there,” Besant said.
The state requires a team to dress a minimum of 16 players for games. But considering the physical nature of the sports -- players get dinged up/injured -- a roster of 22 or more players is more ideal.
Since word leaked a month ago that Lake Shore was dealing with low numbers after losing 19 players to graduation, Besant, coach Drew Takacs and other officials have gone on the offensive to find district youths willing to come out for the team -- including meeting with parents and spreading the word on social media, Besant said. Besant received 26 to 27 verbal commitments.
“I’m confident that 20-21 of them will be there," he said. "We’re hoping for the full load of 26-27 kids."