Bruce Lakso, Lackawanna head football coach, has been named the Buffalo Bills High School Coach of the Week after leading the Steelers past Depew 12-6 in the first round of the Class B playoffs last weekend.
"We've been flying under the radar all season long," Lakso said. "The kids follow all the media and saw that Depew was predicted to win and they took it personally."
Lakso says that his players put in extra work the week before playing the top-seeded Wildcats.
"The kids put a lot of extra time and effort into last week's practices," Lakso said. "We had a double-session where the kids all came back and practiced. We watched film on Wednesday until 9:30 at night. The kids worked their tails off and it certainly showed in the game."
Depew had entered the game as the 2nd-ranked Class B team in New York State.
"We preached all week that we would have to be almost perfect," Lakso said, "We played a pretty great football game. Depew was a much bigger team but our kids were up for the challenge."
Lackawanna won the defensive slugfest when quarterback Christian Smith hit wide receiver Shayne Daley with a 39-yard touchdown pass with 2:04 left in the fourth quarter. Smith hit Daley at the 29-yard line and the senior wide receiver outraced the defenders to the end zone. Daley also intercepted a pair of passes on defense.
"Shayne played an outstanding game," Lakso said. "He's a classic overachiever. It was a great effort by him all night."
Lackawanna will now play at Pioneer in the Class B semifinals this weekend. Lackawanna beat the Panthers 26-18 to give them their only loss of the season three weeks ago.
"Our kids know we'll have to beat Pioneer a second time," Lakso said. "It's tough to beat anyone a second time in the same season so we won't have any letdown whatsoever."
Lakso was a two-year starter at guard and linebacker for Lackawanna High School before graduating in 1971. He earned his teaching degree from Buffalo State College and later earned his Master's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He is now a Reading Specialist at Lackawanna.
He started coaching football in the late 1970s, coaching in the Lackawanna Little Loop for 13 years before being hired as the head JV coach at Lackawanna in 1991.
Lakso got the head varsity job in 2001 and has led the Steelers to three Section 6 Class B titles.
This is the 14th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week program. Each week during the 11-week high school football season, a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills selects a head football coach as the High School Football Coach of the Week.
The honorees will receive an official certificate from the commissioner of the NFL, plus a Bills Coach of the Week cap and a $1,000 donation to the school's football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will be shown on the Buffalo Bills official website (www.buffalobills.com). At the end of the season, one of the weekly award winners will be named the High School Football Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school's football program.
2010 Coach of the Week Winners:
Week 1 – Rich Harris (Kenmore West Blue Devils)
Week 2 – Tom Goddard (Clarence Red Devils)
Week 3 – Ed Wilson (McKinley Macks)
Week 4 – Brandon Harris (Canisius Crusaders)
Week 5 – Dennis Gilbert (St. Joe's Marauders)
Week 6 – Jay Sirianni (Southwestern Trojans)
Week 7 – Pat Slater (Randolph Cardinals)
Week 8 - Bruce Slater (Lackawanna Steelers)