Football Team Has High Hopes Following Dissapointing 2020 Season

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Junior Micah Mays raises the ball to the heavens.

Charlie Spungin, Copy Editor

The varsity football team looks to bounce back from their 2-4 COVID-19-shortened season last year. Their quest should be helped by their captains this year: seniors Gabe Griffith, Mason Thomason, Danny Gonzalez, Sean Rooney, and junior Micah Mays.

Throughout the summer, the team has been getting into shape and now stands ready for the season to begin. Since early June, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there have been weight lifting sessions, conditioning drills, and 7-on-7 games. 

Steady conditioning has been key for the team, according to junior Brady Quinn, noting that the team shouldn’t be as fatigued when the fourth quarter hits.

“The conditioning sessions have helped everyone, as the team will be stronger and not be as tired when in a close game in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Players have found the summer workouts helpful not only on the field, but also off of it.

“I feel like our workouts bring the team together, build chemistry throughout everyday, get to know each other more, and learn our strengths and weaknesses,” Micah Mays said. “Overall, I feel the workouts have increased our mindset to focus on what’s ahead and not to break down when times get tough.”

There were no off-season workouts last season because of the pandemic, and having them this season has been a clear positive for the team.

“We had an off-season this year. Last season we had no off-season, which really hurt us,” Quinn said.

The Bucs return to play without a number of its key members. Two of the program’s graduated seniors will be playing collegiate football this fall. Andrew Weisz is headed to Yale University, and Joey Schmidt will be playing for Keiser University. 

Despite the losses, expectations are as high as ever for the Bucs. Mays feels that the young players on the team have “grown since last year and have reached a more mature mindset.”

“Compete in every game, show how Benjamin has changed since last year and how the team has grown, go undefeated, win a state [championship], and stay healthy,” Mays said about his goals for the team in the upcoming season. 

Staying healthy is key, as injuries can derail a season. In Mays’ freshman season, he was injured and played only three games. The shortened season last year resulted in his playing only six; so, he’s looking forward to finally getting to play a full season.

Two years ago, the Bucs went 8-4 and reached the second round of states, so getting back to that level, and even beyond it, is a clear objective for the team this season. With the youth of the team improving and a full, real off-season, the upside is clearly there for the team to be great this season, reach states and go even further than they did two years prior.

The pre-season kicks off Aug. 19 in a matchup against Dade Christian. The regular season begins 8 days later on Aug. 27 against John Carroll. Whereas there were merely four regular-season games scheduled last year, there are 10 scheduled this season.