It’s Football Friday Eve-Eve. In other words, we are officially headed towards the weekend, folks. Time to get after it!
1. A Texas-sized conundrum: We start today’s 5 with a visit to Austin, Texas home of the state’s UIL (our FHSAA) by way of Houston. Demond Demas, a WR at North Forest High School on the northeast side of the country’s 4th-largest city in America transferred to Tomball High School out on the northwest edge of the metro during the summer. Nothing to see here, right? Except we are talking about arguably the state’s #1 player at the position and a Texas A&M verbal commit. The school he left, tucked inside Beltway 8 and the 610 loop, is not exactly in the greatest part of town and Demas clearly stated that he was leaving for safety and family reasons. Not once was athletics mentioned in the process–or so it seems. It became apparent on Monday that his transfer was going to be denied, and with that decision, he also stated he was not going back to North Forest, at all. So it appears now that one of the nation’s best players has essentially decided to sit his final season out and with apparently really good reason. Here’s the Houston Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon on his thoughts on the matter. See if you can draw any parallel’s with the comings and goings here in the Sunshine State. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/texas-sports-nation/jerome-solomon/article/Solomon-Demond-Demas-ruling-a-bad-call-by-UIL-14364356.php
2. Big Drama In A Little Town: Some of you may have seen this story out of Perry, but many of you may have not. Whatever the case may be, we are going to try our best to bring you up to speed. The story centers itself around Taylor County High School and their (now former) Head Coach, Maurice Belser. We’d like to bring you a synopsis of this, but quite honestly? We don’t even know where to start. We know there are always two sides to a story and that somewhere between the first-hand accounts and accusations of the players and Belser himself and the untruth, lies the actual truth. Everything from Belser’s history at previous schools to the fact he is a disciple of Gene Stallings (whom he played for Alabama–which doesn’t exactly fly into today’s world without crashing and burning) is relevant. The details he gives about his experiences are just as believable as what the kids and parents have to say at this point, but unless we are there every day as witnesses, how do WE know what’s going on? Well, don’t try and think too hard about it. There’s plenty of ways to connect the disconnect of old school meeting new school nowadays. There are things that could be set in motion across the state that looks similar to this situation if folks think it’s a good idea to stage a coup de tat. There are also some interesting details coming out that the coach was in fact setting their program in the right direction for what’s it’s worth. You decide. Here is the best compilation of the events as we can share them courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat and ABC27’s WTXL out of the state capitol. The initial report (with updates): https://www.wtxl.com/sports/high-school-sports/belser-resigns-from-head-coach-position-at-taylor-co and here is the coach speaking out: https://www.tallahassee.com/story/sports/preps/2019/08/19/maurice-belser-speaks-up-resignation-his-side-taylor-county-football-drama/2049328001/and here is another assistant coach’s point of view that may provide some even better perspective: https://www.wtxl.com/sports/high-school-sports/taylor-county-coaches-belser-laid-the-foundation-to-work
3. Look! There’s a Unicorn!: This article comes courtesy of some of the hardest working folks in this state over at the Orlando Sentinel and most specifically, J.C. Carnahan. It seems as though the more things change in this state–you guessed it–the more they stay the same but in a good way. It discusses and highlights some of the Orlando Metro coaches that have decided to make things work come hell or high water. It also got us to thinking, who fits this description in the 13 county area that we watch on a weekly basis? Well, this one is a chance for you to interact with us and give us who YOU THINK meets that criteria. Post up! But first–read this: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/highschool/football/os-sp-hs-coaches-tenure-20190820-bv2xm4pdyrh2pcobwu445pneii-story.html
4. A Peck of Pickled Pinkos: Wait–what? Just go with it. Joe Pinkos IS our Peter Piper because his “spreads” constantly have us tongue-tied, and that’s not a bad thing at all. You know it’s football season (for real for real) when our weekly unveiling of those juicy spreads get pushed out into the world to see. Here’s the week 1 forecast and see if you can spot some of our local games that are truly up in the air right now. https://floridahsfootball.com/2019/08/19/joe-pinkos-joe-pinkos-week-1-statewide-game-forecast/
5. Don’t Mind Us, We’re Just Teasing: We made quick mention yesterday about some week one match-ups that have us salivating like a Golden Retriever at supper time, but in tomorrow’s edition of the 5, be prepared for *why* we think you should be just as excited as we are for this season, and *who* made the cut for some of the best games throughout the region. We also just-might-possibly-maybe give you the top 5 or 6 teams with a good look at insane seasons plus some squads that you really do need to wake-up and stop sleeping on. Maybe. But only if you eat all your vegetables and do your homework before bed. See y’all tomorrow!