By Tamas Mondovics
Bell Creek Academy (BCA) tuition-free public charter school, located at 13221 Boyette Rd. in Riverview has been enjoying the spotlight thanks to the recent success of its various academic and athletic programs.
The school opened its doors four years ago and has just graduated its first class of seniors, the majority of whom are ready to attend area universities this fall.
BCA has also made great strides athletically, including the Panthers football program, which is now gearing up for its second year under the direction of program head coach Jason Smith.
The Panthers were also pleased to announce the decision to join the Sunshine State Athletic Conference (SSAC) facing a number of talented teams in the two-division conference.
Smith emphasized that the program is in its building stages, and is gearing up for the new season, but in the wake of a 2-7, 2016-2017 record the players are ever more committed, dedicated and ready to learn.
“We have learned a lot last year and have plenty to work on, but we are building the program and have every confidence in our success,” Smith said, adding that while the team is learning the basics and fundamentals, the players make the process exemplary. “This is the best group athletically I have seen, coupled with no behavioral issues. These kids are respectful and teachable. I am proud of them and thankful for a chance to coach them.”
With a current roster of 30 plus players, and since the program does not receive funding from the school, the Panthers are relying on and are seeking local support and sponsors to cover the costs associated with each game.
The Panthers are also appreciative and thankful for the FishHawk Sports Complex for allowing the team to play its home games, the first of which is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, against First Academy (Leesburg).
For the 2017-2018 season, BCA is scheduled to play seven regular season games as well as the playoffs with Canterbury (Fort Myers), St. Edward’s (Vero Beach) and Keswick Christian (St. Petersburg) on its district game lineup.
With two new assistant coaches on the roster, the Panthers are focused on developing a winning mindset, under the motto; Embrace the Target.
Visit www.bellcreekacademy.com. Sponsors are encouraged to contact Smith directly at 777-5828 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.