Football falls 1-2 after Winter Park loss

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photo by Sharon Sheridan

Running back Senior Ethan Lopez is running the ball. Hagerty lost 44-3 to winter park on Friday Oct. 2

Going into the game on Friday night against Winter Park, the football team was 1-1 on their season. The first game was an upsetting 42-3 loss to Timber Creek, followed up with a 14-3 win over Lake Howell. During the game against Winter Park, the team wanted to stick to a certain strategy. running back Ethan Lopez feels that the simplicity of the plan was necessary.

“The angle of attack against Winter Park was to just hold the ball, score, get the ball back and try to hold it for as long as possible,” Lopez said. 

Winter Park won 44-3, with Winter Park in the second half, costing Hagerty the game. Despite the blowout against Winter Park, quarterback Anthony Benzija felt confident in the team’s performance

 “I felt that we did a good job throughout the whole game,” Benzija said. “Winter Park had a lot of speed on their team and they started to burn us towards the end of the game.” 

Even though the team lost by a lot, they played well in the first half.

 “I know the score doesn’t indicate that, but they were up 18 at halftime, and we stuck to our gameplan” head coach Steven Mikles said.

The highlight of the season so far was against Lake Howell “We played as a whole and our communication was really good that game” wide receiver/corner Jermey Fredrick said. 

Benijza had a 114.6 QB rating that game.

Going into the start of the season, players were ready to be back, as they were especially looking forward to practice with new coaches.

Usually the spring season is a mini season to keep the players in shape. The mini season consists of four weeks of praciting, ending with one game. 

Even without the official spring season, the team was able to stay in shape and still keep their skills sharp over the summer with conditioning practices, and personal training activities. The players feel that they are gelling together, and everyone is starting to work as a team better after each practice. 

Even before COVID, within this past year the program had experienced many changes. They gained three new coaches, and had to adjust to their new coaching styles. 

“Our new coaches really mean business and they teach and show us more drills and plays during practice,” Lopez said. 

In addition, they also have had to adjust to the new protocols that football now has to follow. These include the cancellation of game-day pep rallies. Practices are run differently, too, along with games. 

“I miss all the pep rallies and other gameday activities throughout the school day before game time,” Fredrick said. “I also miss looking over at the stands and seeing how packed they were with family and friends ready to support us.” 

The team has adjusted to these new rules, but only one win so far could make the players discouraged. However I think the team has stayed positive. 

“I think that we played pretty well considering that the kids really don’t know what to expect from me, and I don’t know what to expect from them,” Mikles said. 

 There are still more games left to play, and the team is confident that they will be able to create a win streak. “We played two very difficult teams in the first three games,” Milkes said. “But with these next three games, these teams are more on our level, so we expect some good things.” 

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