15 Camps in 15 Days: Louisa

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

Anyone who's attended a Louisa County football game over the years can tell the Lions by their distinct offense, the single-wing.

It's an offense designed to confuse the opposition and Louisa has used it to great success, winning four Jefferson District titles (2004, 2005, 2006, 2010).

But this season, a slight change may be on the way as the Lions attempt to air it out more often than usual.

"I don't know if I have the capability to ever be 50-50 (play-calling) or majority pass but we will be throwing more than we did last year. There's no doubt about that," second-year head coach Jon Meeks said.

The reasoning? A vast improvement in the passing skills of senior quarterback Zack Jackson after a beneficial offseason of quarterback camps.

Jackson was a second-team All-Jefferson selection as a running back last season, engineering the single-wing. But his improved passing this offseason has his coach ready to dial up more big plays.

"Zack has definitely made huge improvements in his throwing ability. Right now he's throwing the ball better in my opinion than at any point last season," Meeks explained.

"You know we're trying to get that passing game up there to confuse the defense," Jackson added. "We have a lot of threats this year that can catch the ball so that's what we're really looking towards this year."

Expected to be on the receiving end of a lot of those passes will be junior Raheem Johnson, a second-team All-Jefferson pick in 2011.

Johnson, much like Jackson, has seen his stock rise in the offseason according to Meeks.

"He's made a lot of improvements this summer. He's worked harder than I've seen him work so my gut tells me that will translate over to the field."

Johnson credits his rapport with his quarterback for his success.

"He puts the ball where I want it and I just go up and get it," Johnson said. "So we have that trust. I trust him to put it up and he trusts me to go get it."

The Lions have won at least seven games four straight seasons but after not winning the District last season, and having to go on the road twice in the playoffs, the Lions are hungry for more in 2012.

"Right now we're looking towards Districts, winning a District banner. We want to make sure at the end of the season we can say we put everything out there, we truly did the best that we could," Jackson explained.

"That's where we want to be. The goal every year is to hang that Jefferson District banner," Meeks added. "Every kid asks do I want to win a state championship. Let's win the District. Our goal is to try and get a home playoff game and then we'll take care of it one game at a time from there."

Even though the Lions return just three starters on defense, Jackson is confident his team has what it takes to get back to the top of the JD.

"Every team expects to win the District but we definitely believe that we should. I'm not trying to sound cocky or anything but we have a determined team behind me right now and they're just a great group to work with and they're wonderful. I believe they're going to do whatever it takes to get that District banner and that's why I believe we really, truly, honestly believe we're going to get the District this year."

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