Laker Nation: Back in Formation


AJ Abbott (9) and Taj Mustapha (3) celebrate after a successful drive against the Bloomfield Hills Blackhawks.

Ari Felhandler and Vaibhav Velagapudi

WEST BLOOMFIELD- Laker football, once ranked within the top 3 of the state, fell objectively short of their pre-season expectations. However, after two weeks of lackluster play and two subsequent heart wrenching losses, the squad finally put together a successful, plausible challenge against the rivaled Lake Orion Dragons, dismantling the foe 49-21 in an impressive team effort.


The first two weeks of the season saw West Bloomfield’s newly configured offensive attack struggle to score through the air, as quarterback Bryce Veasley was unable to connect on any passing touchdowns. Consequently, the team’s two highly-touted receivers, AJ Abbott and Taj Mustapha, were ineffective. Collectively, these Wisconsin commits only mustered a total of three receptions throughout the first two games.


West Bloomfield dropped the season opener against Walled Lake Western, 19-14, while playing in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University’s Adams Field. In a low scoring game in which the Lakers led for a majority of the time, late mistakes allowed the Warriors to climb back into the game and secure a win.


A similar storyline unfolded in Week 2 as the Lakers once again ceded a comfortable lead late in the game. An unprecedented comeback mounted late in the 4th quarter ultimately downed West Bloomfield. Bloomfield Hills scored the game-winning touchdown with only 4 seconds remaining in the game, securing a victory with a score of 28-24.


Despite these early obstacles, the Laker offense flipped the script in their Week 3 matchup. Veasley notched five passing touchdowns with an efficient twenty-three completions, as Abbott and Mustapha recorded four and one touchdowns, respectively. The defensive unit for the Lakers also upheld their season-long consistency as they held Lake Orion to only 3 scores, while enforcing several turnovers and recording many sacks in the process.


As the season progresses, West Bloomfield seems to have finally put the pieces together and appears poised to achieve the great expectations that ushered them into this season. However, currently sitting at 1-2, the Lakers face a tough competitor in this week’s matchup as the OAA Red leading Clarkston Wolves venture into the Swamp. After losing in last year’s matchup 42-21, the Lakers will certainly seek redemption in the rematch, hoping to reach .500 as the first half of the season comes to a close.