HAPPY TGIF! Mother Nature thought she had us this week, but we rise above! Nothing better than games on Friday, Saturday, AND Monday!
- FOCUS ON TODAY: So with games being played over the course of three days for week 3, that gives us the opportunity to concentrate on some games we otherwise wouldn’t have the energy to devote full-time. For your pleasure, we’ve got seven games that you should be paying attention this evening. Six of them can be found in our coverage area, and one of them can be found in the 904. We start with Tampa Catholic heading to Clearwater Central Catholic. The Marauders are trying to avoid an 0-3 start, which is something we haven’t seen in the MaxPreps Era aka 2004. We’ve got THREE really good games to our south in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. First, Braden River at Manatee will potentially produce an 0-3 start for the ‘Canes if they can’t get it right. The next game features a 2-0 Palmetto going into Sarasota to take on Riverview. The Tigers won an absolute slugfest against Manatee last week and fancy themselves (and rightfully so at this point) the #1 team in Manatee County not named IMG Academy. Down the street, you can find Berkeley Prep at Cardinal Mooney in which the Buccaneers look to solidify their #1 status in Class 3A Region 3, and with huge games looming with Tampa Catholic and Victory Christian on 9/27 and 10/4 respectively. If you’re looking to head north, we suggest Springstead at Nature Coast Tech. Last week, South Sumter gave NCT the business and with a vastly improved Springstead looking for all kinds of revenge for seasons’ past, this one could be one of the most contentious and competitive atmospheres in the entire 13 county coverage area of ours. Finally, if you need something close within the tri-county area of Pinellas/Pasco/Hillsborough, we highly recommend Jesuit at Clearwater. Every year Clearwater gets a little closer to getting things done they want to get it done, and with the Tigers coming to their house, this is the perfect litmus test for one of 6A-Region 3’s best teams.
- FEELING SHARKY: Guess what? Not only is Riverview 2-0 coming off their first win over Durant since 2007, but they’ve got a chance to really be the best story around this area, and that’s including what’s happening at Dunedin. The Sharks have started 2-3 plenty of times through the first five games since 2004, but the last time they started 3-0 was in 2006 when the finished the season 7-3. They HAVE NOT started a season 5-0 since MaxPreps started keeping their database, yet we see big things potentially. They’ve got a good chance to keep their streak going against Brandon this evening, and will then have Haines City and Strawberry Crest on the horizon before encountering Newsome in the district and then Leto the week following with a potential to 6-1 or 7-0. Remember, it’s our job to talk about this kind of stuff and let them worry about this week’s opponent, but a 7-3 season (or even better) for the Sharks is without question right there for the taking.
- THIS YEAR IS BECOMING THE STATISTICAL OUTLIER: If we could predict the future with great accuracy based on statistical or numerical trends, we’d be winning the lottery every other week. The problem is that in order to gain the average of something, you’ve got to take the very best AND the very worst. Some teams experience their very worst far too often, while some only experience it once in a blue moon. Take the curious case of two Pinellas County squads. Both CCC and East Lake stand at 0-2 and with games on their dockets that will provide a test that could see them end up 0-3 if they don’t right the ship. The last time CCC started their season 0-3 was 2005 in which they lost to Jesuit and Tampa Catholic. It’s also a season they ended up playing 13 games however and they still finished the season 10-3. East Lake’s last 0-2 start in 2017 is based on forfeits ex-post-facto, so technically the last time they started 0-2 ON THE FIELD was 2009, and yet they still finished 7-3 in the regular season. The point? While these teams may still find themselves in the postseason when it’s all said and done, their qualifications may look a little wonky. Taking into account that CCC still has a very good Sebring team on the road, with Clearwater, Jesuit, Cardinal Mooney, and the #1 team in 4A Davie University School immediately following, this could just be one of those years as well. East Lake’s road sees them favored in 4-5 of their remaining 8 games, but only on paper. Plenty of season to play out, but be prepared for a *slight* changing of the guard in Pinellas this season. Will it be a one-year “blip?” is probably the better inquiry.
- WE’VE BEEN KNOWING THIS: It doesn’t matter if your team punts a lot when the punter is perhaps one of the most gifted athletes on the roster. Checkout the recognition for former Wiregrass Ranch baller Chris Faddoul and the work he’s been doing up in Tallahassee for the Rattlers. If you’re a soccer player with the kind of skills that Chris displayed on the pitch and have the leg he’s got, then what are you waiting for? You may have just opened up another way to earn yourself a scholarship. Figure it out like Chris did! Read more HERE: http://www.famuathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=25300&ATCLID=211810662
- WE’VE BEEN KNOWING THIS, PART DEAUX: It’s not that we are surprised that 40% of these teams have had losing seasons within the last decade, it’s the fact that these players have managed to get themselves into position in spite of their bad management on the collegiate level. It’s also a good thing that NFL Front Offices can spot the difference between elite talent as it translates to the next level versus those that couldn’t spot a cow at a dairy farm on campus. Check out where “the big 3” come into the equation below. Oh yeah, and don’t ask any questions about the Alabama OL/RB’s SPECIFICALLY that can’t even get to their second contract because they’re broken before they graduate. That might hurt some feelings. Definitely don’t ask about that.