By Tamas Mondovics
As an east wind was driving the evening storm clouds away from the Joe E. Newsome High School football stadium, players and fans hoped that their 2013-2014 season football kickoff classic scheduled for Friday, August 23, will go on as planned.
Unfortunately, the clouds got only darker and by game time, it was clear that the anticipated event lost its fight to the weather.
Newsome High School staff, students, faculty and, of course, the Wolves varsity football program, looked forward to hosting the Spoto Spartans for the traditional, yearly preseason game, but thanks to the lightning and the rain, Coach Hiscock and his players had to wait one more week before debuting this year’s Class 8A District 6 line up.
Ranked at No. 23 by the Tampa Bay Times, the Wolves will face Riverview, Bloomingdale, Alonso, Wharton and the Times’ No.1 ranked team, Plant, which sported a 10-2 record last year, with a new aspiration for a state title, led by the Panthers quarterback Colby Brown.
The Wolves will have a chance to get their act together before facing the Panthers in a late season game scheduled for Friday, October 18, at Plant.
Newsome will be looking to juniors, Bruce Anderson, (SS) and quarterback Spencer Preston, along with senior DB, Ramsey Bennett, to take the lead supported by the many talented athletes on the Wolves full roster.
Spared by the evening storms, Newsome’s nearby rival, Bloomingdale ended up winning it’s kickoff classic bout against Freedom, 30-14, giving program head coach John Booth and his boys another boost of confidence to seek a winning season.
The Bulls’ win stressed the presence of an ever-growing program within the county, which sported its strength during the last, spring football jamboree, tying the Brandon Eagles at 13.
As for all high school football fans, the mentioning of this season’s rivalry between Plant City and Durant is only appropriate.
While, the Raiders have been building a talented team, promising to reach post season, the Cougars are counting on a repeat of last year’s 11-1 success, with John Hendricks at the helm in place of Jamarlon Hamilton, along with running back Chris Atkins and QB Trey VanDeGrift.
Durant also won its preseason game against Oak Ridge of Orlando, 42-27.
During a recent summer practice, Gottman spoke highly of his players’ dedication to the program, as well as their determination to live up to last year’s success.
“We have a tough season ahead of us, a need to gain experience and the necessity to stay healthy,” Gottman said, but added that as always he is expecting the program to reach the playoffs.
Plant City and Durant will meet on Friday, September, 20.
For more information about the 2013-2014 high school football season, please visit www.maxpreps.com.