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Athlete of the Week Lake leads Tea Area to state title

Austin Lake’s growth as a QB helped his Titans win another state football championship
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 11:27 PM CST
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TEA, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Running the football is the Tea Titans trademark, and it’s something senior quarterback Austin Lake can certainly do.

“Really enjoy running the ball. And I worked on some speed training this summer and I was ready to get out there and play like a running back quarterback,” Tea Area Senior QB Austin Lake says.

Yet as he took over under center for the defending champion Titans in 2019, Lake wanted to air it out.

“I know that they prep our lineman to really push guys and ground and pound. So they love running the ball but we definitely could be more of a pass and run team. I mean, I worked with Clayberg a lot and we did extra work with receivers actually after some practices and stuff,” Lake says.

Austin’s first year was a trial by fire, and the Titans quest for consecutive titles was ended by Canton in the semifinals.

“I learned a lot offensively about reading coverages and reading defenses, audibling and stuff. And losing that game really made me feel like you’ve got to cherish every game and go in to every game like it’s your last,” Austin says.

And Lake played that way, rushing for more than 800 yards and eight touchdowns while showing big improvement in the passing game. He threw for more than 1100 yards, cutting his interceptions from five down to two, and throwing for 11 touchdowns after just three the year before.

“Great leader. I mean, he makes calls at the line, checks. It’s like having another coach on the field,” Tea Area Head Coach Craig Clayberg says.

Austin saved his best for last against Canton in the 11-A title game, racking up 258 total yards and four touchdowns to lead Tea to victory, winning Joe Robbie MVP honors....

“It was pretty crazy! I had a lot of nervous excitement coming in to it but, you know, as we got warming up I felt comfortable, and the nerves started to go away and I knew that we were going to take care of business.” Lake says....and showing that championship substance is the foundation for whatever style he plays.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.>

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