BY ANDREAS BUTLER
School started on Monday in Volusia County, which also brings us to the high school football season.
Local teams will compete in Kickoff Classic exhibitions on Aug. 24 and commence the regular season with games starting Aug. 31.
There are 15 schools in the county that have football programs. There are also two teams in Flagler County (Flagler Palm Coast and Matanzas), which makes it 17 teams in our area.
Excitement is in the air as teams that have been practicing for the past two weeks now get to step out on the field.
“I think everyone is excited. I think we all want to escape this week of practice without injury,” said Marc Beach, Seabreeze’s head coach.
Inclement weather also has affected practices over the last week. On Monday and Tuesday, there was heavy rains and lightning in the area.
“I think we all feel like we are behind. Heavy rain and lightning has shortened practices,” commented Beach.
There is still plenty of optimism of how good the competition will be this season.
“It’s hard to say. I know a lot of teams feel like we are have gotten better but there are also a lot of teams that are good but have a lot of young players, so its hard to say,” cautioned Beach.
Some top players
Quinton Powell, LB, Mainland: A dominant defensive force and definite playmaker. Could be areas high recruit come February.
Cameron Hadley, WR, Mainland: Great athlete who can do it all. Would be breaking records if stayed at Calvary.
Charles Nelson, DB/RB, Seabreeze: A star and true playmaker on both sides of the ball.
Trevaughn Rodriguez, RB, Seabreeze: One of the area’s best backs returns from a spring injury.
JoJo Kemp, RB, DeLand: Another talented and highly touted running back.
Colteen Robinson, QB, DeLand: Kind of flying under the radar but a very capable athlete.
Marcus Dixon, RB, Warner: A power runner and workhorse who will set the school’s all-time rushing record possibly on his first carry of the season.
Chris Jones, RB, Atlantic: Just a straight-up athlete with great speed.
James Clark, WR, New Smyrna: Speedster makes plays and also takes kickoffs and punts back for scores.
Dacota Dixon, QB, New Smyrna: Another capable playmaker who may also be flying under the radar to a certain extent.
Mike Colubiale, WR, Spruce Creek: Just a solid all-around individual and playmaker.
Alex Bell, QB, Atlantic: Had a great spring; could also have a spectacular season flying under the radar.
Mainland: Class 6A state semifinalists have some shoes to fill but mainly just reloads every year.
Seabreeze: Missed playoffs last year, but is a talented team with some very good juniors who were starters as freshman two years ago.
DeLand: Made it to second round of playoffs last season; another talented team that just reloads each season.
Atlantic: The Sharks are coming off an 8-3 season and expected to be better.
Warner: Small school powerhouse still has talent and is coming off a state semifinal run.
Spruce Creek: The Hawks should be much improved and could shock some people this year. They are still riding emotional high from beating Mainland in spring game.
Could be sneak-ins
New Smyrna: Another young and talented team that is more experienced this year. They still have to play Seabreeze and Mainland in district play to make post season.
Flagler Palm Coast: Flagler team is more experienced and very confident right now.
Matanzas: The other Flagler school feels that it is as talented as ever.
Trinity: The Eagles always compete for playoff spot.
Note: Halifax Academy went 6-4 in a 6-on-6 league last season. The Knights return a lot of players and will play in a 7-on-7 league this season.
Kickoff Classic schedule
The games begin at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
Mainland at Lake Brantley
Seabreeze at St. Augustine
Spruce Creek at Lake Mary
DeLand at Sanford Seminole
New Smyrna at Merritt Island
University at Ocoee
Warner at Jacksonville Holy Trinity Episcopal
St. Augustine St. Joseph at Taylor
Flagler Palm Coast at Deltona
Trinity at Wildwood
Prep Sports Seven Football Preseason
1. Seabreeze, 2. DeLand, 3. Mainland, 4. Warner, 5. Atlantic, 6. New Smyrna, 7. Spruce Creek.