LYNN HAVEN, FL (WJHG/WECP) Our ongoing tours of area high school football practice fields takes us to North Bay Haven now.
Head coach Andy Siegal is working to get his team set for the 2019 season. 54 players now in the pads for the Buccaneers, likely 34 of them to stay on the varsity.
At least in terms of the football season, this program hit as hard as anybody last season by the hurricane.
Their players scattered after the strorm, many of their homes damaged or destroyed. So administrators left with the tough decision of shutting the season down after five games.
So the question becomes, what if any, long term effects did the program suffer in the wake of all that?
"I don't know it affected as much as, our kids are kind of hungry to play football." coach Siegal tells us. "We had to search all over and find out where they all were and that kind of stuff, so we're back and they're playing. So I don't know that affected us, yeah they missed five games. I think it affected the seniors a little bit more, they didn't get to finish their season. You know that's five more opportunities to get better, that affects the young guys. We were a young football team last year, unfortunately we're a young football team again this year."
Week two allows the coaches to put their players in full pads, and full contact. Coach Siegal says given the numbers on his team, well at this point, it's one day of hitting, then a day of less contact, then back to hitting, and so on from there.
"You know trying not to bang them, (you want to) get the horses to the race." coach Siegal says. "Some of these guys want to bang heads and go full speed every single day. And then you've lost half your football team in the preseason. So this week we're just working on getting better. We're gonna introduce more special teams this week. And hit a little bit, like our seven on sevens, get a little bit more live. We'll do the team periods here twice, one on offense one on defense. See if we can tackle a little bit. See if we can keep everything up high, put them on the ground. You know save your tackling for when you get it."
The Buc's play at Walton on the 16th in their preseason classic, then face Rutherford to open the regular season on the 23rd at Tommy Oliver.
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