A dynasty has lived in our midst for the past seven years but has been overshadowed by the athletic success of Quince Orchard and Northwest high schools. But now this sleeping giant, the Lakelands Park Middle School (LPMS) Falcons, can no longer go unnoticed.
In seven years under Coach James Reed, this LPMS boys’ basketball team has dropped just three games. Of those three losses, two of them were by two points and both of those games were decided in the last 30 seconds. An accomplishment of this magnitude and at this level is extremely difficult, and Coach Reed attributes this success to a number of different things.
Coach Reed brings an impressive resume to the sideline. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC. Of the five seasons he was on the staff at Dunbar, the Dunbar team was ranked in the USA Today Top 25 for three of them, finishing as high as #5 in the nation in 1993.
Alongside Coach Reed is his faithful assistant, Akiel Russell, whom Reed describes as “invaluable” and “my right-hand man.”
Reed also praises the talent and work ethic of his players. “It is really a testament to our student-athletes here at Lakelands. To be as successful as we have been over the past seven years requires a consistent pool of talent,” he said.
“Those who are, and have been, on the team take great pride in carrying on the standard their predecessors set.”
That list of predecessors is quite impressive. LPMS basketball alumni include Noah Adnan, John Bikim, Niko Brown, Daniel Dorsey, Garrett Eyrich, Jack Faraone, Nahiem Howell, and Alex Parisotto from the Quince Orchard basketball program; CJ Amsellem, Omari Salvi from the Bullis High School basketball program; and James Lang, Nick Zehnle, Stephen Lang from the Poolesville High School basketball program.
The program at Lakelands is ever growing, in large part due to the unbelievable success. Coach Reed has witnessed a newfound “sense of community in the school along with the perception that we have created something special here, something the student body wants to be a part of.”
The Falcons consistently have upwards of 60 to 70 boys trying out for the team. For the past several years, students will ask if they can be managers immediately after the season ends, almost a year before the next season begins.
Coach Reed commented that the alumni aspect of the program is one of his favorite parts of coaching. He loves having former LPMS players come back and visit, some of whom are currently playing in college. Reed recalled watching LPMS alums playing for the state championship last year. Daniel Dorsey, John Bikim and Niko Brown came to see him after reaching the state final and told him about the semi-final and final game.
The program will continue to reach new heights with Coach Reed at the helm, just now they may have an even bigger target on their backs. But that’s nothing the Falcons of Lakelands Park Middle School can’t handle.