Piersawl gives Cavs a late-season spark

Published 7:39 pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lakeland senior wide receiver/defensive back Michael Piersawl provided some of the rare spark that Lakeland experienced during its regional semifinal game against Lake Taylor last week. He received 310 votes to become the Suffolk News-Herald’s Player of the Week.

Piersawl’s 31-yard touchdown reception after successfully confusing the King’s Fork defense the week before helped the Cavaliers make school history in advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time at the AAA level.

Lakeland football’s Michael Piersawl came on strong for the Cavaliers down the stretch, says head coach Glenwood Ferebee. His defensive and offensive performances against Lake Taylor accompanied by 310 votes earned him the Suffolk News-Herald’s Player of the Week honor. | Melissa Glover photo

Once they got there and began playing Lake Taylor, many things seemed to go wrong for the Cavaliers. Lakeland fumbled on the first play from the scrimmage, setting the Titans up for an easy touchdown.


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“Mostly in that game, I was just trying to find things that would swing some momentum our way,” Piersawl said. “Because the first possession we had, you know we had that fumble, and I was like, I didn’t want to go out like this.”

He stopped a Titans drive with an interception about three and a half minutes later in the game, helping to shift that momentum. He also contributed some of the few receptions that Lakeland was able to manage on offense.

“We missed a lot of throws to everybody, but as far as him and his one-on-one matchup, he was beating the guy pretty much most of the night,” Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee said. “We just had a hard time getting him the ball.”

“He was out there playing with an ‘I-don’t-want-to-lose’ attitude, and that’s all we can ask for.”

While Piersawl was relatively quiet early in the season, Ferebee noted a change as the year wore on.

“He was real big for us down the stretch,” he said. “Mike’s confidence came on in the middle of the season.”

Piersawl has been playing football as long as he can recall.

“Seriously, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t play football,” he said. “It was like a constant thing, like every single year. I certainly don’t remember a time where I didn’t play Pop Warner. I was always into football, from birth.”

He has since branched out to other sports as well, including basketball and track on both the indoor and outdoor teams.

“Last year was my first year running, and I qualified for states in the 100-meter dash,” he said of his outdoor season.

Still, football remains not only the sport in which he feels he performs the best, but it is also his favorite.

“All this other stuff just came along with my abilities as I got older with people seeing them and stuff, but football is really where it all started,” he said.

What drives him on the field is a desire to meet expectations and a hunger to win, he said.

“My motivation is the fact that I know a lot of people expect a lot from me, and I can’t let them down, and I’m a competitor,” he said. “Losing is not an option, so I must do anything to win.”

Though he does not know what his collegiate future holds, he has two aspirations in place.

“I would like to play (football) for a (Division 1) college,” he said. “I want to major in engineering.”

For now, he begins his final year with the Lakeland basketball and indoor track teams this winter.