LIGHTNING SPEED. In the game against Timber Creek, junior Marvin Bracy sprints toward a first down. “We’ve done a good job. At the end of games, we just aren’t coming out with wins. I do feel we can do a lot better,” Bracy said. Bracy has already received scholarship offers from Florida State University, University of Miami and University of Georgia among others. Photo/JUSTIN KANE


This season, the varsity football team shares a connection with college football giants like the University of Florida, University of Oklahoma and University of Texas.  Each must replace prolific senior quarterbacks, like Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford, with newer faces. Sophomore Ocoee transfer Sanford Meeks is charged with replacing one of the winningest quarterbacks in school history, Samuel Hutsell.

“There’s a little bit of pressure that comes with it because he’s one of the best quarterbacks in Central Florida history. I have to try to live up to what’s here,” Meeks said.

The team is also trying to live up to expectations. Varsity football has made the playoffs the past 10 years in a row.

“My goal is to get into the playoffs. We’re an improving team; we’ll get better as the year goes on. People have to be patient,” coach Phil Ziglar said.

The team started the season with three losses for the first time since the 1987 season. They lost a close game to Olympia (27-38), who is ranked fourth in the Orlando Sentinel’s varsity rankings. The second loss to Timber Creek (13-21) came at the hands of eight turnovers, a result of inexperience according to senior offensive lineman Max Lang. Another loss came to Winter Park (17-31) in the Bright House Sports Network’s Game of the Week. The team rebounded, however, against Gateway (42-0). Sophomore Aaron Turman ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the shutout.

“I think for as young as we are, we’ve done very well. Confidence is the key because we’ve got the talent,” Lang said. Lang has committed to play at the University of South Florida next year.

Coaches and players agree that inexperience is the team’s greatest weakness. Of the 22 starters on the team, 17 are underclassmen.

Despite their youth, the duo of junior Marvin Bracy and sophomore runningback Aaron Turman has shone in the first two games. Bracy has returned a punt and kickoff for touchdowns already this season; Turman is averaging more than 100 yards per game rushing.

“I’m bigger and faster than most other kids. My vision of the field is my strength,” Turman said.

Despite a slow start, Ziglar remains optimistic about the rest of the season.

“To be I honest, I look forward to every game. With each game, we get better…” Ziglar said.

By admin

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