Clint Bowen elevates defense with his collegiate coaching experience


Kenna McNally

Head football coach Clint Bowen speaks to his team at the beginning of a road game Oct. 1.

By Jack Ritter, Reporter

A brand new defensive lineup and refreshed coaching staff have contributed to a great season for the Lawrence High School defense so far.

Returning defensive coaches Jeff Lyster (Co-Def Coordinator and Linebackers Coach), Dexter Hayes (Corners Coach) and Blake Mudd (Co-Def. Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach) are joined by newcomer Bryce Torneden (Safeties Coach) and despite being the Quarterbacks coach Clint Bowen has contributed a great deal of coaching on the defensive side of the ball because of his experience being a defensive coach at North Texas, Kansas and Western Kentucky.

Returning defensive leaders are seniors Evan Bannister (LB), Keyan Crawford (S) and Malique Morris-Ramierez (DE) who each played a lot of snaps during last year’s undefeated regular-season run.

Senior Zeric Avery (CB), junior Kenton Simmons (OLB) and sophomore Kem Allen (DT) have also stepped up from last year and have contributed greatly to the defense.

Joining the mix are senior Avion Nelson (S) and Piper High School transfer junior Lance Bassett (DE). Both are new to LHS football for different reasons, but they’ve both had amazing seasons for the Lions so far.

The Lion’s defense has been incredible this season. They haven’t allowed more than two touchdowns in five of their 7 outings, and in four of those five they haven’t allowed more than 10 points. This level of skill and excellence is how the defense knows they’ll play this Friday.

“The key [to winning] this week is doing our job and staying focused,” Allen said. “We need to be mentally locked in, especially during practice. If we do that, we can just do our thing.”

Bannister provided some further explanation on “our thing.”

“We have to start strong,” he said. “They’re going to play better because they’re playing us. That’s just how the rivalry works. We’re just gonna play the football we know how to.”

On the other hand, Simmons is facing on 2 major assignments more than anyone else.

“We need to stop Jet and Dash. If we do that, we’ll be good. The safeties and corners will definitely hold it down.”

All 3 agreed that fans being back for the first time in 2 years was massive, but Bannister once again summed up thoughts nicely

“It’s really exciting walking out and seeing all the fans. I missed it last year, and I know the feel and the energy of the crowd is gonna be awesome.”