FORSYTH COUTNY, Ga. — Lambert hoped to turn things around in 2018 following a 3-7 finish the year before, but last season was more of the same with the Longhorns compiling a 3-7 mark.
With an experienced group of seniors that includes a third-year starter at quarterback, head coach Louis Daniel likes what he sees heading into the 2019 season. With the exception of some minor issues on special teams, there are no areas of the team that stick out as a weak spot, he said.
The 2019 Longhorns will be led by Peyton Rich at quarterback. The senior took over at quarterback as a sophomore and retained the position as a junior. He enters the 2019 season after passing for over 1,700 yards last season with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Senior center Daniel Park and receiver/defensive back Anthony Newtown also provide deep experience as third-year starters.
At running back, Daniel plans to go with Chase Bombard, a transfer from California. On defense, Drew Surio returns at linebacker after a strong offseason, according to Daniel.
“We’ve got a good group,” Daniel said. “We’re having a lot of fun.”
Perhaps more important than the squad’s returning talent is the team’s chemistry, Daniel said.
“They have a good energy about them, and they really enjoy being together,” Daniel said. “They really enjoy playing the game. They’ve got a real positive vibe.”
Lambert is aiming to use its talent and chemistry to get the program back to its prior prominence. The Longhorns have missed out on the playoffs for two straight years for the first time in the program’s limited history last year and went 0-5 in Region 5-AAAAAAA.
While defending state champs Milton will likely be the favorites for the 2019 region crown, Daniel said he like how Lambert stacks up with its Forsyth County foes.
“Football has gotten better in this county every single year,” he said. “We’re all pretty similar. I don’t know if one of us really stands out above the other ones. As far as region play goes, it’s going to be extremely competitive.”
Lambert’s tough non-region schedule should provide the team with a good measuring stick entering region play. The Longhorns start the season on the road against Wheeler and Chattahoochee before facing Gainesville, Peachtree Ridge and Lanier. Lambert went 3-2 in non-region play last year.