How varsity football competes with an adaptive style

By Rachael Schmidt

Originally published on October 24, 2014

Senior running back Johann Leffler carries the ball in the varsity football team’s practice on Sept. 17. Photo by Karina Huft

The Lowell varsity football team is bringing a spur-of-the-moment style of offense and defense to the field this season.

“We might throw a couple [plays] out there that people might not have seen before.”

Head coach Danny Chan is confident as ever about the Cardinals, seeing the team become a strong contender in the Academic Athletic Association.

Instead of sticking to preplanned formations throughout the game, the Cardinals’ offense, defense, and special teams will adapt to their opponents by predicting their movement on the field. The Cardinals will then devise a plan to score their next touchdown, based on their predictions.

On defense, the team’s mission is to stay vigilant and be prepared for anything. Whatever the opponents do, the Cardinals will make sure there is always someone blocking a player.

Head coach Danny Chan (blue shirt) gives advice to the Cardinals. Photo by Karina Huft

“Everyone has a specific job on defense,” sophomore running back Martell Coleman said, explaining his role on the team. “My job is to stop any plays coming towards the middle.”

“My job is to stop any plays coming towards the middle.”

Coleman also doubles as an offensive player who has to read and predict movements of the other teams’ fullbacks. “Wherever he goes, I go [to block him], because I’m a linebacker, and linebackers always follow the fullbacks,” said Coleman.

Once the other team fails to make the necessary advancement within the four downs, which is the allowed timeframe to move forward ten yards on the field, the offense’s mission is to overload — to outnumber the other team’s defense so the Cardinals can score.

The varsity football team works on its skills in practice. Photo by Karina Huft

“Their speed, relentlessness to pound the ball, and durability in playing the field are some of the many driving forces of the team.”

Chan is hoping the team’s strength of experienced players will act like mentors and bring the newer team members up to speed for the new style. “I would say our weakness is our inexperienced players,” said Chan. “But our strength is our running offense, with some key players being Zack Choy, Abdul Alaudi, and Antonio Hughes. Their speed, relentlessness to pound the ball, and durability in playing the field are some of the many driving forces of the team.”

The senior players also provide a strong sense of leadership to other members. “As a senior and a quarterback of the team, I’m looking to push my teammates to their limits so that we can achieve our goal of going to Turkey Day,” Hughes said, referring to the AAA’s football championship.

As the Lowell community gears up for another exciting season, Chan hopes supporters of the team will come out to see this new style in action. “We might throw a couple [plays] out there that people might not have seen before, so it’ll be a good, different experience,” said Chan.

Leffler is tackled by junior cornerback Andrew Huang in one of the team’s drills. Photo by Karina Huft