John Fiorenza, Staff Editor – The Lecanto High School (LHS) varsity football team has a scheduled bye week (a week without a scheduled game) following back-to-back losses. September 16, 2016, the LHS football team lost to Hernando High School on their home field, 33-7. A week before that, the team was defeated by Williston High School by a score of 22-13 at home as well. These two losses came after a promising first game with a 20-0 victory against Umatilla High School.
Players feel the losses occurred for the same reasons. Junior quarterback Rudolph Holton III believes the reason for the losses are not physical issues.
“To win we’re going to have to work as a team and do our jobs and execute,” said Holton. “Once we go out and play like we can by executing our plays and working together, we’ll be fine.”
Some players also see energy as a reason for the two losses.
“Our intensity along with our togetherness need to change,” senior cornerback Peyton Viau said. “We just need to come out with a savage mentality and trust our process.”
As the LHS team has time on their side before the next game, the team is taking advantage of it and trying to fix the path they are on.
“This bye week came in at a really good time,” senior halfback Anthony Hernandez said. “We’re about to start the long run of our season [having another 6 games not including playoffs], so this week has given us the opportunity to rest up and carefully work on what we need to so that we can come out and win.”
Following the bye week, the team will be taking on Central High School at home for the Homecoming game. The Homecoming game tends to bring more fans to the stands than ever, and players see this as a big commodity to have.
“I know everybody is ready to go out and put it to them,” said senior linebacker Kyler Daniels. “Everybody’s really excited, and it will be a lot of fun.”
Senior defensive tackle Domenique Speech also sees the Homecoming excitement as a benefit.
“This game is always a big one,” said Speech. “There’s going to be an insane amount of hype and energy, and I think that school spirit will help us come out with a win.”
The Panthers face off against Central September 30, 2016, at 7 p.m. at home.