Lovett faces a number of questions entering the 2022 season as it gets ready to tackle the challenges of replacing a large number of starters and moving up a couple of classifications from AA to AAAA.
With only two starters coming back on offense and five on defense from last year’s team that went 8-4 and advanced to the second round of the Class AA state playoffs, rebuilding their lineup is the main priority for the Lions.
“We’ve got holes to fill pretty much everywhere,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “We’re fortunate to have our kicker and punter coming back. But we’ve got to identify some guys, grow them up pretty fast in order to get out and start competing against the schedule that we’ve got.”
With most of their players participating in other sports through the rest of the school year, Muschamp this is the first opportunity for him to fit all the new pieces into place.
“The great thing about Lovett is that about 80% of our guys are multisport athletes,” Muschamp said. “So they are involved in at least one more sport and a handful of them are doing three sports throughout the year, so the only time that we really get them all together at the same time is right now. So we’re still finding out about some of these guys and trying to see where they fit. Our job is to get the best 11 on the field that we can and right now, we’re in the process of trying to identify who those guys are and give us the best chance to have success on a Thursday afternoon in a JV game or a Friday night in a varsity game.”
Added to that task is Lovett’s move up from Class AA to AAAA which will be the highest classification the Lions will have ever competed in in school history.
“It is what it is,” Muschamp said. “We’ll play wherever they tell us to go play, Our kids have got a great attitude and they’re going to step up and compete whoever it is we’re lining up across from. I’m very excited about the challenges that this presents for us, but it’s just one of those things that we’ve got to go and handle.”
Junior quarterback Preston Lusink and senior offensive lineman Grant Ewing are the lone returning starters on offense, while senior linebackers Anderson Beavor and Jack Bryant, senior defensive backs Chris Fielden and Hamilton Stewart, junior defensive lineman Christian Bell and sophomore kicker/punter Conner Deviney are also playing key roles.