Lake Wales Highlanders Open State Title Campaign Against Auburndale Friday
Football Squad Capped an Undefeated Season With a 55-7 Dismantling of Bartow Yellowjackets
Last updated 11/17/2022 at 3:40pm
The undefeated and top-seeded Lake Wales High School Highlanders football team has drawn a rematch with the eight-seeded Auburndale Bloodhounds in the first round of the Regional playoffs, state football officials have announced. Due to their seed they will host at least through the Regional games.
The Highlanders are 10-0 on the season, and have outscored their opponents 429 to 41 in games that were rarely in doubt after the the first quarter. The Highlanders defeated Auburndale by a 41-0 score the previous Friday night..
Highlander Senior Quarterback Trent Grotjan has been a dynamic force all year, and has used a broad field of receivers in his dangerous passing game after losing a pair of favorite targets to graduation after last year's successful campaign. Grotjan has racked up 1,320 yards and completed 19 touchdown passes while averaging 146.7 yards per game. He completed nine passes in eleven attempts against Bartow.
The Highlanders have been hungry for serious competition all season, and are looking forward to tough games. Asked during Friday night's match against Bartow how they thought the game was going, several players responded simply "boring."
Coaching staff is focused on honing the team and gaining experience for younger players, who have more frequent opportunities to get into the game after the scores became lopsided. All 55 Highlander points in the Bartow game were scored in the first half, and the second was played with many Sophomores, and few starters.
It may not be long before the local team finds the challenges they seem to crave as they may eventually come up against 9-1 Pasco, which has outscored their opponents by 326-121. To reach a state title they may also have to get past 9-0 Pine Forest, which is ranked number two in the class, and has racked up a 345-55 point differential.