Burke: Lake Braddock Football to Host Westfield

Burke: Lake Braddock Football to Host Westfield

Q&A: Burins RB Atkins commits to Vanderbilt.

Lake Braddock running back Lamont Atkins recently committed to play football at Vanderbilt University.

Lake Braddock running back Lamont Atkins recently committed to play football at Vanderbilt University. Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.

The No. 2-seed Lake Braddock football team secured a trip to the 6A North region semifinals, beating No. 7 Battlefield 13-10 on Nov. 20 in Burke.

Two days later, Bruins running back Lamont Atkins made a decision about his football and academic future.

Atkins, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior, committed to Vanderbilt University on Sunday. Atkins has been a primary option in the Lake Braddock offense and figures to be a key contributor when Lake Braddock hosts No. 3 Westfield in the 6A North region semifinals at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28.

It’s the third straight season the two teams have met in the region semifinals, with Westfield winning each of the last two years.

Atkins recently participated in a Q&A with The Connection, discussing his commitment to Vanderbilt, Lake Braddock’s upcoming matchup with Westfield and his Thanksgiving plans.

Q: You committed to Vanderbilt on Sunday, correct?

Atkins: Yes. I visited for the game Saturday and stayed to meet all the coaches and tour the facilities and campus Sunday. At the end of the day, I committed to the coaching staff.

Q: What made Vanderbilt the right choice for you?

Atkins: I knew Vanderbilt was the right choice for me before I even visited for the weekend. They are the No. 15 National University in the nation and [head] coach [Derek] Mason makes academics a top priority for the players. I also enjoyed the personalities of all the coaches. They care for their athletes as they would their own kids. They hold you accountable to being a Vanderbilt man and encourage you to be limitless. I also couldn’t pass up an opportunity to compete in the SEC.

Q: For what position did Vanderbilt recruit you?

Atkins: I was recruited to play running back.

Q: Lake Braddock pulled out a 13-10 win over Battlefield last week in the quarterfinals. How do you feel your team played?

Atkins: Battlefield was a great team and played well on both sides of the ball. I was proud of my entire team because everyone fought hard for four quarters and pulled out a close victory.

Q: Now you face a Westfield program that has beaten Lake Braddock in the region semifinals each of the last two years. What will it take to beat the Bulldogs?

Atkins: Westfield is a great team and they may have the best defense in the state. We have to execute our game plan and play error-free football to beat them.

Q: You guys will practice on Thanksgiving, correct? What time? How long?

Atkins: Yes, we will practice from 8:30 to 11:30.

Q: What are your plans for Thanksgiving day?

Atkins: After practice, a few of the parents will prepare a real nice brunch for us. It’s a privilege to be practicing and having a meal with your team on Thanksgiving because it means your state championship dreams are still there.

Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Atkins: I like the fried turkey and my mom’s sweet potato pie.

Q: With the football season still going, will you have to make sure you don't eat too much?

Atkins: Don’t worry, we have practice at 8:30 Friday morning and I’m sure we will run it off.

Q: Do you or your family participate in any sports­related Thanksgiving traditions?

Atkins: We do not. My mom is the varsity team mom and leads most of the preparation for the team brunch. My dad and little brother will be helping her out too, along with a lot of the other families. After practice and the brunch, we’re all tired so we normally just hang out around the house and watch movies.