BY ANDREAS BUTLER
As the community recovers from Hurricane Irma, local prep teams are lending a helping hand.
On Saturday, the Mainland High School boys’ basketball team cleaned up at the Windsor Apartments, located at 524 S. Beach St.
“I just felt that we needed to do something and when the opportunity came for us to help we jumped on it. I think that it was great for our kids. Our motto is ‘Boys to Men,’ said Joe Giddens, Mainland’s head basketball coach. “It was a great way to show our players how to give back and to serve others instead of receiving. Life is bigger than basketball.”
Put smile on faces
The Windsor Apartments are low-income housing units owned by the Daytona Beach Housing Authority.
The team picked up debris outside of the building and cleaned the lobby.
“It was great for us to have that experience. We got to help others and put a smile on their faces,” said senior guard Tony Robinson.
Halifax cleans up too
Halifax Academy in Daytona Beach also did a cleanup with its football and boys basketball teams on Sept. 14.
“We wanted to get the kids together. After the hurricane, this was a way to show our kids humility and despite whatever they are going through there are others going through something worse, said Halifax Academy’s Athletics Director Shamus Dougherty.
“It’s also good for them to learn to help others and that there is more to life other than sports and school,’’ added Dougherty, who also is the head coach for the boys’ football and basketball teams.
Halifax split its players up two different locations.
One group cleaned up a flooded house and took down wet drywall on Shockney Drive in Ormond Beach.
The other group cleaned debris at houses on Vera Street in Daytona.
“It felt good for us. It was a team-bonding experience. It was also good for us to help someone else. We all have been helped at one time or another. The community has even helped our team with donations at times,” said Khyree Isaac, Halifax’s senior wide receiver and defensive back.
High school football is back after Hurricane Irma knocked out games for two consecutive weeks.
On Monday, many teams hit the practice field after long layoffs.
“We have been doing workouts and watching film at the school in recent days. During the extra time off, coaches are trying to regroup and refocus. We are also trying to get the kids refocused,” stated Dougherty.
Not much practice
Some teams played makeup games leading them to playing two games during the week.
“It’s definitely different as far as our weekly rhythm and routine. We had two days of practice for Matanzas,’’ said Seabreeze High Head Coach Mark Coke.
“Kids have the day off today so coaches can meet then two days and go play again.
Obviously, fatigue and being fresh is a concern. But it is what is. We just have to make the best of it,” Coke said on Tuesday.
Seabreeze fell to Matanzas (Palm Coast) 41-0 on Monday and will host Titusville Astronaut on Sept. 22.
New Smyrna Beach hosted Deltona on Wednesday, after the Daytona Times’ deadline. The game was originally moved from Sept. 15 due to the storm.
On Tuesday night, Spruce Creek (Port Orange) defeated Jacksonville Sandalwood 33-13, DeLand fell to Jacksonville Mandarin 21-3 and Pine Ridge (Deltona) topped Atlantic (Port Orange) 56-22.
The games were originally slated for Sept. 15. They were mainly made up because they were district games. A new playoff format is critical to the teams’ post-season chances.
All teams are scheduled to play on Friday although New Smyrna moved its home game with Atlantic to Saturday.
This week’s top games
Mainland (1-1) at Orlando Dr. Phillips (2-0): The Buccaneers beat the Panthers last season, who went on to win the Class 8A state championship. Dr. Phillips is ranked second in Class 8A while Mainland is sixth in Class 6A. It’s a tall task for Mainland who gets to see how close they are to competing for a state title. The game is also being televised on Spectrum TV sports channel 1147.
Spruce Creek (2-0) at Haines City (1-2): The Hawks hit the road again and face a formidable opponent just after facing a tough district foe earlier in the week.
University (0-1) at Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley (0-1): This is a big district game for the University Titans who want to finally make it to the postseason.
Warner (1-0) at Lakeland Victory Christian (1-0): A big test for the Eagles as they face the No. 5 team in Class 2A. This would be a big win for Warner and it would give the school a lot of points in the region toward earning a playoff spot.
Palatka (1-3) Flagler Palm Coast (2-0): The Flagler Palm Coast Bulldogs have a chance to start the season at 3-0.
DeLand (0-2) at Pine Ridge (1-1): Both teams haven’t won a lot in recent years. This could be a competitive one and probably one of the better games.
Prep Sports Seven football rankings
1. Mainland (1-1), 2. Spruce Creek (2-0), 3. University (0-1), 4. Deltona (1-1), 5. Flagler Palm Coast (2-0), 6. Taylor (2-0), 7. Warner (1-0).