After losing back-to-back games against Sycamore and Mason in October, Lakota East appeared to have no shot at the postseason. However, the Thunderhawks bounced back with wins against Fairfield and Lakota West in the final weeks of the 2012 season and earned in its first postseason berth in school history.
The West win, which snapped a seven-game losing streak against its rival, and the extra points earned when Northmont, a team Lakota East defeated in Week 1, defeated Wayne in the final week of the season gave the Thunderhawks enough to sneak into the No. 7 seed in the OHSAA Region 4 postseason bracket.Once in, Lakota East defeated No. 2 seed Springboro in its regional quarterfinal matchup – giving the Thunderhawks their first playoff win before losing to Moeller, the eventual state champs.
On offense, East is set to return many playmakers including senior quarterback Eric Eichler, senior athlete Bobby Brown, senior athlete Nate Mays and senior offensive tackle Jarrett LaRubbio. Brown is being recruited by MAC schools, while LaRubbio is committed to Kentucky.
East, however, won’t have 2012 leading rusher Will Mahone (Notre Dame College), who rushed for 1,065 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, or running back Chamoda Palmore (Georgetown College), who had 548 rushing yards on only 70 carries.
Defensively, the Thunderhawks will need players to emerge as they will be without 2012 leaders safety Rob Harpring, linebacker Keith Brady (Columbia), defensive lineman J.T. Turner and linebacker Jake Chestnut (Notre Dame College) – among others – all lost due to graduation.
Hoping to have another successful season, East will open the season at home against Western Hills Aug. 30. After playing at Lancaster Sept. 6, East will host Northmont and Colerain in back-to-back weeks – Sept. 13 and Sept. 20.
After that, East will play at Princeton Sept. 27, vs. Oak Hills Oct. 4, at Middletown Oct. 11, vs. Hamilton Oct. 18, at Sycamore Oct. 25 and vs. Lakota West Nov. 1.
One of the highlights for East fans will be the home game against Hamilton, which will be televised on a Thursday night on WSTR-TV (Channel 64).
Here is a look at the 2013 schedule (2012 record):
Aug. 30 – vs. Western Hills (5-5 overall, 3-3 in Cin. Metro Athletic Conf.)
Sept. 6 – at Lancaster (3-7 overall, 2-5 in Ohio Capital Conf.)
Sept. 13 – at Northmont (7-3 overall, 4-1 in Greater Western Ohio Conf.)
Sept. 20 – vs. Colerain (12-1 overall, 7-0 in GMC)
Sept. 27 – at Princeton (1-9 overall, 1-6 in GMC)
Oct. 4 – vs. Oak Hills (5-5 overall, 3-4 in GMC)
Oct. 11 – at Middletown (4-6 overall, 3-4 in GMC)
Oct. 17 – vs. Hamilton (3-7 overall, 1-6 in GMC)
Oct. 25 – at Sycamore (9-2 overall, 6-1 in GMC)
Nov. 1 – vs. Lakota West (8-2 overall, 5-2 in GMC)
This past fall, the Thunderhawks complied a 8-4 overall record and 5-2 mark within the GMC.
(All 2013 Lakota East football games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.)