It has been one of those years when nothing seems to go right for Lakeside boys soccer.
Injuries have plagued the Panthers (3-7-5) so much that coach Dave Morgan decided to have a fun practice to take the players' minds off the season.
So the Panthers went to Stevens Creek Elementary to play dodgeball. Senior Ben Huston separated his shoulder while throwing a ball.
"I mean, what kind of luck is that," said Morgan. "It has been a year that has tested all of us. You never want to go through this as a team."
Lakeside, which has won nine of the past 14 region titles and has been to four final fours in the past decade, is in severe danger of missing the playoffs all together. If the Panthers lose Wednesday to Greenbrier, they will have to rely on a number of teams to get them in the playoffs. A win over the Wolfpack would probably ensure Lakeside a playoff spot.
"We don't want to have to rely on other teams," said sophomore Will Dunaway, who has missed all but six games with a foot injury and is one of the Panthers' star players. "This has been the most frustrating year I've ever been a part of."
After losing nearly a dozen seniors from last year's team, which lost in the state quarterfinals to Dalton, Lakeside has been without six key players for much of the season.
"It is hard to look those kids in the eye after the game and tell them we are progressing," Morgan said.
"We have the talent and they know that, but the results aren't showing on the scoreboard or in the record books."
Of the Panthers' seven losses, six have come to ranked teams: Evans, Kell, Salem, Aiken, North Augusta and Lassiter.
"We've played a lot of good teams this year," Dunaway said. "We just have to turn this thing around. It isn't too late."
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