Lowell pursues another state championship

Don't look now but the Lowell Red Arrows have suddenly emerged as a serious threat to win another state Division 2 championship. And the play of running back-linebacker Sean Myers is among the key reasons.

The 5-foot-7, 165-pound Myers, who has played defensive back in the past, has filled in at linebacker this year to compensate for injuries on the team.

"I like it a lot," he said. "I've felt the need to fill various spots."

Lowell was 13-1 and state champions last year. The graduation of Mark Catlin, who set a state record for total yardage in the Division 2 state title win last year against Brother Rice, presented a huge hole for Lowell. The Red Arrows finished the regular season at 8-1 with the only loss to Division 3 power East Grand Rapids.

That's the same regular-season scenario as a year ago. And the Red Arrows hope to establish the same scenario in the playoffs with a 5-0 run, which claimed the state title last year.

Defense, Myers said, is what has brought his team this far. In the first two weeks of the playoffs, Lowell has defeated two formidable opponents in Portage Northern 32-0 and East Lansing 27-14. Friday night, they play home against Hudsonville, 8-2.

"Defense has been our strength," Myers said, adding that six weeks through the season, "we were just starting to get better. As the year goes on, we're learning our assignments better."

As a running back for the Arrows, "I've been doing all right. Our offensive line is great. It's been getting better as the season has gone on."

Myers has been an effective leader for the Red Arrows.

"I want to be a better leader," he said. "I'm better experienced. I want to keep everyone focused on defense and make sure we keep them going and have a great team effort."

Even though the regular-season wasn't a 9-0 success story, Myers likes his team's chances of winning three more games to finish the playoffs at 5-0 and Division 2 champions for another year.

"We've been getting ready for a playoff run," he said. "Everyone has been stepping up. We'll make a great run in the playoffs. We've been getting stronger in the weight room."

When the season ends, Myers will start considering a college career, probably on the Division 3 level. Right now, his top priority is leading the defending champions to another state title. But it's never easy to repeat, Myers admits.

"Everyone gears up to play us," he said. "This is not last year. We're a new team. We have to be concerned about this year. Last year is last year."

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