Riverview Sharks head coach, Michael Thornton hoped for the best as his team welcomed the Palm Harbor University Hurricanes (PHU) for the regular season’s final conference bout last month in front of the school’s homecoming crowd.
“The Hurricanes are a great team with a lot of talent, but if our running game is good we have a chance to walk away with a win tonight,” Thornton said just moments before the game began.
In the first drive of the game, the Hurricanes drove the ball nearly 50 yards, ending the drive with a 1-yard touchdown.
But the Sharks answered back strong and things looked pretty good for Thornton as his boys led 14-7 in the first half thanks to PHU failed chances for a couple of TDs.
The Hurricanes, however, returned with renewed strength in the second, outscoring the Sharks by 28 points.
Not enough to turn the game around, Riverview managed to score one more time ending the season with a 59-21 loss and a 1-5 district record.
The win was sweet for PHU, but short of playoff contention, thanks to a pair of wins by Manatee and Sarasota Riverview the same night.
While, it is safe to say that Riverview has plenty of room for improvement, Thornton, in his fifth season with the Sharks, said that he is pleased with the hard work and dedication of his players and coaches and is optimistic of the program’s future success.
“We have been building the program one step at a time and while we have shown some much needed improvement,” Thornton said. “I am watching for some more growth and maturity.” Thornton specifically noted the team’s struggle with turnovers, which added greatly to the season’s outcome.
“We are consistently struggling with turnovers that could have made a huge difference,” he said, adding, “Bu, I am happy with the season as it was better than last year.”
Riverview fans enjoyed the talents of freshmen (LB) Dominic Gonnella, sophomore running back, Cam Lyles, juniors Tamel McCall (RB) and Eric Brown (QB) as well as seniors Zack Reddin, who is reportedly leading the county in tackles.
For more information about the Sharks 2016 fall season please visit www.maxpreps.com.