There is no doubt that it was a tough year for Lakeridge. The Pacers went (1-8) after graduating all everything QB Eric Dungey, who is now starting as a freshman at Syracuse. The record is somewhat deceiving as the TRL could very well be the most talented conference, top to bottom, the state has seen.
That said as the school made a great hire over the off season, with the addition of head coach Elvis Akpla. The record breaking D1 wide receiver (Montana St) and local standout will have a successful coaching career. Akpla added the region’s top QB coach prior to the season in Alex Brink. Another bright spot for the Pacers.
Coming back next year will be one of the state’s top sophomore’s in Nick Hoddevik (5-11 175 RB/LB). Nick earned 2nd team all league honors, after rushing for 5.3 yards per touch (616 yards) and 4 TD’s on 117 carries. A very noteworthy accomplishment in such a dynamic conference.
As a freshman Hoddevik helped the Lakeridge 4 X 100 relay team win the TRL. His (11.34) 100 meter time as a 9th grader puts his potential into perspective. Nick was dominant at the freshman level last season, rushing for 2,076 yards and averaging 10.6 yards per carry.
Nick separates himself with his speed and overall toughness. Referencing some of his attributes Akpla says, “He’s patient, tough, quick (has jukes), and is just fast…All of his runs end with him landing forward.”
Expect a lot of work to be put in over the off season as the TRL isn’t going to get any easier. Hoddevik will be ranked one of the top 2018’s in Oregon when the Battle Prep rankings are released. If the Pacers were playing in the GVC (Greater Valley Conference) with the Salem schools they would be a 2nd or 3rd place playoff team. Unfortunately that’s not reality, and Hoddevik will need to step up and do his thing the next couple of seasons. We will bring you updates as they happen.