It’s a Thirsty-Thursday, and we’ve got the pigskin beverage of your choice.
- THE HUMAN CONNECTION: It’s human nature to seek out relationships (for better or worse) that make a lifelong impression. For those in the athletic realm, the relationships that are most important are the ones you have with your teammates and your coaches. One of the better follows on Twitter is the NCAA’s Research Center (@NCAAResearch) and this time around they provide a bit of a window into the souls of the players that responded to the survey of how much they stay in-contact beyond their high school days with the two entities mentioned. Don’t be fooled by the “low” percentages, take into account the sheer number of participants across all divisions and you’ll begin to realize that sports are STILL providing one of the most basic essentials for life, which is the feeling of belonging and friendship and even love in some cases. Here’s this week’s interesting graphic from the NCAA—>
2. LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Yeah, about that tease yesterday. It’s here. Football season is back, baby! Last week may have been played–well, whatever Mother Nature *allowed* us to play, but it didn’t count on the official tab for the season. Less than 36hrs from now, the 2019 edition of the high school football season will be wide-open like an F-18 Super Hornet throughout the Bay Area, and it ALL counts. Starting today and finishing with the five things tomorrow, we are going to try and breakdown what we think you need to be dialed into.
3. BOY THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY: We mean–that really got outta hand, FAST. No, were are not talking about something Ron Burgundy-Related, we are merely talking about how quickly the stakes have been risen, in the first week. There’s the 2-Ton Elephant in the room that’s Plant-Armwood, but quite frankly that’s the low-hanging fruit. The real ones will be watching the likes of Tampa Bay Tech-Chamberlain, a match-up that hasn’t taken place since 2012. They’ll be watching Plant City at Jesuit, a game that has not occurred in the MaxPreps Era, aka since 2004 at least. There’s also the local rivalries of East Bay-Lennard and Bloomingdale-Newsome that will be taking place as well. Strawberry Crest at Leto deserves our attention as well, and YES we mean that! And then there’s the battle for the Courtney Campbell with CCC at Berkeley Prep. There’s even the reigning SSAC Champs from Orlando Christian Prep heading to face region finalists Seffner Christian. Have you had enough, yet?
4. IF NOT–GO SOUTH: You won’t go wrong if you point the car south tomorrow night. This is basically a continuation of the first theme, which is hoo-buddy we’ve got heavyweights and haymakers all over the place. Working our way from top to bottom. You can hop on I-75 if you’re on the east side of the Bay or I-275 across the Sunshine Skyway and make your way to Palmetto, who is hosting Pinellas Park. From there, you could head right down the street and hit the Largo at Braden River game. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are these two teams we’ve only heard of in limited spaces called Lakeland and Manatee? Yeah, they’ll be getting after it in Bradenton. Also getting after it in Bradenton on the small-school side is a fantastic match-up between Admiral Farragut and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal. If you still want to turn your noses at this 5-star buffet we are serving, let’s try heading to Sarasota, what about Naples at Sarasota Riverview? Still not good enough? Well, there is this “last resort” taking place in Venice between the hometown Indians and some team with three little letters in it called IMG–as in the national version.
5. OR YOU COULD HEAD NORTH OR EAST: Or just take a long walk off a short pier if you’re still not convinced there’s nothing good to see throughout the area. This has officially transitioned into a “YOU” problem and not an “us” problem. Let’s see if we can give you EVEN MORE options, shall we? Starting out east and working our way back towards the coast, there’s Kathleen at Lake Wales. You could always head to east Pasco and checkout Zephyrhills at Wiregrass Ranch. It’s been reported that Z-Hills didn’t even find out their JR QB had left the school and enrolled at an e-school until the day of the Land O’Lakes game last week. Wiregrass will feature Rocco Becht at QB, just a sophomore, but with huge upside. You could head straight up the Veterans Expressway and don’t get off until you see the signs for Brooksville. That’s where East Lake will be taking on Nature Coast Tech in what could be a huge game. You can stay in the neighborhood essentially and head to Hernando High, where they’ll be taking on Lake Gibson. If you wanted to stay in Pinellas, well there’s Palm Bay Heritage coming to Clearwater to take on the Tornadoes. That one could break the scoreboard. So the ball is in your court, folks. The world is your oyster. We hope to see you out and about!
FINAL NOTE: If your team wasn’t mentioned in this bevy of games, don’t stress. We told you that your schedules were (from top to bottom) the best they’ve been in decades and we meant that. You will get your time soon enough. We absolutely promise that!!