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Lakers ready to test themselves for a full season after missing five games last year.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego senior running back Gabe Olvera is ready for a big year after leading the Lakers through their pandemic-shortened campaign last spring.The Lake Oswego football team is determined to get the most out of its 2021 season.

After losing three games to the pandemic-shortened spring season, then losing another two to an early COVID-19 outbreak, the Lakers aim to get every single game, play and memory out of 2021.

"We just hope to be competitive in a league that is the best in the state," said longtime Laker coach Steve Coury. "We will need to come ready to play each week to have a chance to compete in this league."

Offense

The Lakers' offense will be led by explosive senior running back Gabe Olvera (5-foot-9, 180 pounds), senior quarterback Jack Layne (6-2, 195) and a handful of other experienced returning starters.

"Gabe is a quiet leader and is one of the best athletes on the team. (He's) a dynamic running back and will flex out in the slot and be a big part of the passing game," Coury said, adding that Layne "has a firm grasp on the offense, has had much success in the offseason … (and) is a natural leader."

Other returning starters for the Lakers are senior tight end Dylan Layne (6-2, 210), senior center Austin Leykam (6-2, 265 and a three-year starter), senior wide receiver Will Hunt (6-0, 165), senior tight end Zach Jarrett (6-1, 205) and senior offensive lineman Gavin McGuire (6-1, 200).

"Austin (Leykam) is a leader for the offensive line and a quiet leader. … (He) has proven himself as a good reliable player," Coury said, adding that Dylan Layne "has good hands and a knack (for) getting open. He played slot receiver last year, but with his size and strength, he has transitioned to (tight end) and is mastering the position quickly."

All that leaves Coury hopeful about what his offense might be capable of this season.

"The key to success will be staying healthy this season. The offensive line has two returning starters, so building the cohesion will be crucial," he said. "(But) the team is blessed with playmakers who can all score when they get their hands on the ball."

Lake Oswego

Head coach: Steve Coury

2020-21 record: 3-1 in Three Rivers League play, 3-1 overall

2021 outlook: "(It's) just a great league with the title truly up in the air. It's going to be fun to watch." — Steve Coury

League contenders: West Linn, Tualatin, Lakeridge

Defense

The cupboard is hardly bare on defense, either, where the Lakers will be led by Dylan Layne at safety, Olvera at cornerback and McGuire at defensive end.

"Dylan is an impact player on both sides of the ball. He is a key member in the secondary who is a good tackler and pass defender," Coury said, adding that Olvera "is a shutdown corner, while McGuire "is a disrupter and a smart football player. He has a feel for the ball, (and) he is a high-motor guy who enjoys contact."

The key, Coury said, is blending the mix of returning starters and newcomers into a cohesive whole.

"We feel like we have good guys who just need game experience," he added.


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