MILLBURY — The Lake Flyers football team hasn’t been on top of the NBC since 2015, and after making the
playoffs in 2018, missed them last season. This year however, with the league seemingly more open than
it ever has been, the Flyers are determined to compete for an NBC championship once again.
They will do that behind their senior quarterback Tyler Saffron, an athlete at quarterback that the
Flyers haven’t seen in quite some time.
“Tyler is definitely one of our most explosive players and somebody that the kids look up to. He’s
definitely a leader and kids definitely follow the direction that he’s going. So to take those reigns
and being it his second year in the offense at quarterback, being able to have him slow the game down,
make the reads that he needs to have, and really just kind of be the field general out there on
offense,” head coach Josh Andrews said.
In his junior season Saffron combined for over 1,000 passing and rushing yards rushing for 464 and
passing for 624. This all under an offense that was primarily run under the wing-t offense, an offense
that focused on giving the ball to running back Scott Mackiewicz.
With Mackiewicz graduated, Andrews and the Flyers might look to other ways to move the ball beyond the
run-heavy offense that they have sported the last several seasons.
“Our identity is always going to be a physical football team but what that might morph into by week one,
we might not go towards the Wing-T, we are looking at some other variations of that. Saffron is a
versatile kid, he can throw it, he can run it and with the backs that we have I am fully comfortable
with them running between the tackles and perfectly happy when they are in space,” Andrews said.
Those running backs are going to be Jaxon Delventhal and Garrett Brown, two players that are a smaller,
scat-back type of runner.
This is not going to be the type of player the Flyers are normally used to in the backfield, and it will
only lead to the offense being more open in 2020. But the coaching staff is confident in these two backs
to still be able to carry the load.
“We just want to be known as a physical football team. We’ll definitely have more of a versatile offense
and so we are not going to sit in that Wing-T as much. But it is definitely one of those things where
they need to know when to put their head down and when to make a move and I’m confident in both of those
kids to do that,” Andrews said.
On defense the Flyers return just five starters, but they are excited about the leaders that they will
have back on the field. Saffron while being a great quarterback is an all-league safety as well. Pair
him with returners Toran Schroyer and Delventhal and you have secondary that will be tough to throw on.
In the middle the Flyers will go with Zach Lobardo as their middle linebacker and players like Matt Perry
and Cam Huffman, a player standing at over 6-foot-4 and someone who wasn’t even on the team last year,
will also get looks at linebacker as well.
Huffman is a product of players “recruiting the hallways” something that Andrews feels that the Flyers
and their coaching staff have done a great job of in the recent years.
“One of the things that the coaching staff and I did a great job of as well as the kids is really
recruiting our hallways and finding kids that if they should be playing football, that they are on the
field. Not only that but the other coaches in the school are really pushing for multisport athletes,”
On the defensive line it will be Connor Moore and Jessie Ash on the ends, with a “stable” of tackles at
the staff’s disposal.
The defense however, much like the offense is glued together by Saffron a player that is able to be a
leader on that side of the ball as well.
“He’s definitely that back there and he roams. He’s definitely able, he has the ability and is definitely
a ball hawk that flies to the ball. One of the attributes that he has is we have two outside linebackers
that are relatively new as far as Friday night experience and he gets them where they need to go and
really gets everyone in the proper positions,” Andrews said.
With some of the experienced leaders coming back on both sides of the ball, the Flyers are excited for
potentially another successful season. But despite the signs that the NBC might be more open for the
taking than ever, the Flyers aren’t getting ahead of themselves.
“The biggest thing for us is you can’t win 10 games before you win one. So one of the things that we are
really focusing on is just that one step at a time really looking at the game that is in front of us as
opposed to getting ahead of ourselves,” Andrews said.