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Off-Campus ready to get year started

Dan Tapetillo, Ken Fowler and Thomas Stiles | Thursday, September 23, 2004

Relaxation is the key to a successful year.Such is the mantra of the newly formed Off-Campus team for the season.This Thursday, the Off-Campus team will face the dominant Welsh Family to open its season. Despite having troubles in building a team for its first game, Off-Campus coach Lauren Blum is optimistic about the upcoming season and the team’s goals.”Our main goal is to have a team, which is step one to a winning season,” Blum said. “We’re just going to take a relaxed approach.”With this approach, the team is utilizing unorthodox methods few would take in trying reach the stadium game at the end of the season. The Off-Campus team has had to build everything from scratch, from a suitable practice schedule to teaching the basic mechanics of football.”We’re learning to catch the ball and things of that nature,” Blum said. Regardless of the several obstacles the team faces, Blum is hoping key player Sarah Largent can lead the team this season.”She had trouble remembering the plays on offense so we placed her on defense. We want her to stand up and get in the way of the others,” Blum said. “She is the cornerstone of the whole team.”Since Largent serves as the leader for the Off-Campus team, a lot must be asked of her as the team faces the offensively-aggressive Welsh Family team.The Whirlwinds are coming off a 19-0 victory over Pangborn and showed their offensive strength late in the contest last Sunday. Welsh Family scored 13 points in the second half and looked unstoppable during the final minutes of the contest.Welsh Family quarterback Melissa Sands threw a touchdown pass to Lauren Hoeck from midfield with nine minutes left in the half and never lets its guard down for the remainder of the game. The Whirlwinds finished the game with an eight-yard pass to Lauren Prease to end the 19-0 shutout.The two teams square off on Riehle Fields at 7 p.m.Badin vs. HowardBadin looks to continue their quest to repeat as champions tonight at 8 p.m. when they take on Howard at Riehle West Field. The Ducks, on the other hand, will attempt to bounce back from the 26-0 thrashing that they suffered at the hands of Lyons last Sunday. This South Quad match-up promises to be a physical game, with both teams having something to prove.Badin must show that the offensive struggles were simply first-game jitters and the shaking off of a little rust. Howard has to prove that they cannot be taken lightly after just one bad game. Badin’s senior captain and quarterback Stephanie Heath will lead an offense that spent a lengthy amount of time this week in practice making some necessary adjustments.”We put in a couple new plays for the offense this week,” Heath said. “As far as defense, they did a really great job last week and I’m sure they will keep it up.”The Badin defense will look to maintain the type of dominance it showed in its shutting out of Lewis last Sunday. They intend to stop the running game early and force Howard to go to the air, where the secondary has shown it can hold its own.”Our secondary played really well last week, especially sophomore cornerback Katie Jackson and cornerback/linebacker Rita Morgan,” Heath said. “Sopho-more Colleen Mallahan also played great for the defensive line.”Heath will likely have the team ready and fired up to knock-off the defending champs when Howard faces Badin at 8 p.m.Lyons vs. PangbornComing off a dominating 26-0 win over Howard on Sunday, Lyons is not taking anything for granted in the team’s upcoming game against Pangborn.”Pangborn is a very talented and extremely well-coached team. It’s always a confidence booster to beat a good opponent,” Lyons captain Traci Kazmerski said.Co-head coach Neil Reece echoed Kazmerski’s sentiment. “Although they lost last week, we are well aware that Pangborn is a very talented team,” she said. Pangborn, however, is looking to right its ship. In Sunday’s season-opener, the Phoxes laid a goose egg, losing 19-0 to Welsh Family.Pangborn is determined to finally show some signs life on the offensive front by lighting up the scoreboard tonight, and preferably early in the game. Pangborn captain Katie Murray said that last week’s game was a “learning experience” for the offense and that the Phoxes will be ready come the first series against the Lyons.However, Murray knows that the Lyons will be looking for eight straight quarters of shutout football.Lyons co-coach Mike DeMartini has confidence that the Lyons defense will thwart any possible Pangborn offensive explosion. “We may use any number of defensive fronts to keep Pangborn guessing,” he said. If the Lyons defense executes as well as it did against Howard, the Pangborn defense will have to improve somewhat dramatically to keep the contest close. On Sunday, the Phoxes allowed two touchdowns, including one on a 40-yard pass. Pangborn can make no such mistakes this time, or the game poised to be a low-scoring thriller will quickly become a lopsided Lyons romp.Game time is 9 p.m. tonight at the Riehle West field.