Twice-Told Tale

The Student News Site of Lake Highland Preparatory School

Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

Bullock Coaches Highlanders to a “Three-Peat”

Hayden Roberts
(Above) The football team reflects on the game against Orangewood Christian Academy. The post-game speech consists of the highs and lows of the game. It is important to remember on the game to help them know what they will work on in practice, and what to look for when watching a game or practice film next. Coach Bullock tells the xteam what he saw in the game, making sure to spotlight the plays of the game and impact players. Also during the speech, Coach Bullock makes sure to mentally prepare the team for the next game. Coach Bullock always ends every speech on a high note., to keep his players’ energy up.

When elite high school athletic programs come to mind, it is guaranteed that Lake Highland will be at the top of the list. Lake Highland Preparatory School is home to star athletes across various sports. One of the most successful programs recently has been the football program. The Lake Highland football program has been thriving, as they recently came off two undefeated seasons that later led to back-to-back state championships. Lake Highland went on to win against Mount Dora Christian Academy 14-13 in 2021, winning the program’s first-ever state championship following a perfect season that finished 11-0. In 2022, Lake Highland’s dominance continued to show with another perfect season, taking the Highlanders to the state championship to play against Mount Dora Christian Academy again. However, this time Lake Highland stomped the Bulldogs with a score of 44-6, the largest win in 4A football class history and another state title for Lake Highland. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Lake Highland’s football program has been dominating the 4A class across Florida. However, as with every great team, talented players graduate. “But what makes a great team one of the best, is the talent that replaces it,” said Simon Sinek.

High expectations and standards follow any team at Lake Highland, especially coming off two straight state titles. But how does this year’s team respond in practice and on the field? Head coach of football, Mr. Ben Bullock helped answer this question. 

One question on everyone’s mind was how has the team adapted this year? “I think they have adapted really well. They are a younger team that is focused on daily development, fundamentals, and trying to figure out who we are as a team. They have done a great job figuring that out. However, with every year comes different challenges and mindsets,” explained Coach Bullock. When asked about the mindset of this team, Coach Bullock was quick to say, “It’s different. Some guys have had to step into different roles that they didn’t expect a few months ago, and they have jumped in with both feet. Another thing that changes is motivation. Having won two state championships back-to-back it is almost like they have a target on their backs, but motivation is pushing them to success.” Coach Bullock also added, “To kind of prove that they can do some things that people think they can’t do, I think a lot of it is just sticking together and trying to be a better team than what they were last week, and giving themselves the best chance they can on Friday nights.”

 There are many goals for this team, but one that stood out more than others to Coach Bullock was, “Just trying to be the best version of us, figuring out who our best players are, and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s not about winning a certain amount of games, but instead about what gives us the best chance of winning on Friday nights.” Rumors are always speculating around conferences, whether it is a new team or a familiar one. But one thing Coach Bullock wanted other coaches to know was, “They are working very hard together, being the best they can for their teammates, and they are out practicing at six in the morning … they are ready to compete.” 

An anonymous conference rival’s coach said in regards to Lake Highland, “They can’t just show up and expect to win anymore.” This statement seemed like something that would inflame the team and the coach. However, when Coach Bullock heard this quote, he said, “The thing is, you can’t focus on the results. You’ve got to focus on the process. So we are always looking to be the best version of ourselves, and that is what gives us a chance to win on Friday nights. And after all the hard work and preparation, you’ve got to feel good about the game. That will give you the best chance of winning on Friday night.” When asked if he would share this quote with his team, he revealed to me, “I have been trying to use this mindset in the past. I think that is why in years past we were pretty good, and that we keep that kind of edge. We couldn’t just show up and win; we had to work every day to make sure we were ready for teams like that.” 

When asked about players who put in the work, Coach Bullock immediately mentioned Landon Towns, grade 11, saying, “He was an impact player last weekend. Landon and other returning starters have played a huge role on this team, helping the underclassmen.” Such players have been showing them what varsity football is like while guiding them to play at the best level they can, and helping them excel during that process. When asked to reflect on how the team stays humble, even with such praise, Coach Bullock said, “I think they are humble because people don’t expect that much out of them.”

Lake Highland’s football team is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with, whether it is in conference play or against teams from other conferences. Lake Highland will always show up and leave their all on the field. Putting their hard work from morning practices and training in the weight room to the best use possible, they make Friday nights, Highland nights. It is clear that wherever you see the red, white, and black of LHP, a state championship is not too far behind.

(Above) The Lake Highland special teams hustle to take down the Orangewood Christian Academy returner. The Lake Highland football team had just punted the ball away after three unsuccessful downs to move the chains. The special teams put their hard work in practice on the field with the speed of the defense. In practice, the team works on endurance, strength, stamina, and speed. The team was able to get the stop. (Hayden Roberts)
(Above) The Highland defense tackles the Orangewood runningback. The Orangewood quarterback hands the ball to the runningback to try to run through the Lake Highland defense. The Highlander defense, however, was prepared to get the stop from practicing defending the run in practice. Coach Bullock takes pride in his defense, he makes sure to prioritize the defense’s awareness of plays. (Hayden Roberts)
(Above) Before every game, the captains of each team head to the center of the field to shake hands, wish each other luck, and hopefully win the coin toss. The coin toss is an important part of each game. The Orangewood Christian captains got to pick which side of the coin they would choose. Lake Highland however won the toss and chose to defer. Choosing to defer is a common strategy used to get the ball at the start of the second half. (Hayden Roberts)
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Hayden Roberts
Hayden Roberts, Co-Editor
Hayden Roberts is a sports writer for Lake Highland Preparatory School's Upper School newspaper Twice-Told Tale. Hayden has been writing for the newspaper since January 2023. Roberts loves to cover and write about all different sports and hopes one day to study sports journalism. When not writing, Roberts enjoys playing volleyball.

Comments (0)

All Twice-Told Tale Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *