New school, new football team, new players.
Truthfully, coach Chris Taylor couldn’t have expected to win any of the five varsity games on his schedule.
And yet, it only took Fivay four weeks to pick up its first varsity win, a 25-21 triumph over Hudson last week.
For the Cobras, it was a devastating loss. The new school, which is playing a mixed schedule of junior varsity and varsity games, moves into the neighborhood, starts splitting the players from your former feeder middle schools, then takes you out.
Oh, yeah, and this: your junior varsity quarterback from last season, Tyler Degen, throws for more than 200 yards in the win.
“Because half the kids here are coming from Hudson, I think that win meant a lot to those individuals,” Taylor said. “As a staff, it was just more of excitement about getting that first win out of the way. Getting over that hump.”
That hump is usually more like a mountain. Here’s a look at how other programs fared in their first year:
RIVER RIDGE, 1991: Without the benefit of a JV season, Scott Schmitz and the Royal Knights went 0-10, getting outscored 466-54. They won their season opener the next year against Zephyrhills.
MITCHELL, 2001: Schmitz again, but this time the Mustangs did a season of JV before jumping in with the big boys. After an 0-3 start, the Mustangs beat Gulf.
SPRINGSTEAD, 1978: The Eagles won their first game, 7-0 over South Sumter, then dropped their next nine.
RIDGEWOOD, 1984: The Rams won their second game against now-defunct Temple Heights and were 4-3 at one point. Somehow, the Rams won three games in which they scored nine, seven and six points.
LAND O’LAKES, 1975: An 0-3 start was followed by a 7-6 win over Crystal River. Then six more losses.
WESLEY CHAPEL, 1999: The Wildcats dropped their first seven, though later the season-opening loss to Zephyrhills was reversed due to an ineligible Bulldog player.
CENTRAL, 1989: The Bears were on a crusade in Year 1, beating St. Petersburg Catholic in their debut and Clearwater Central Catholic two weeks later.
NATURE COAST, 2004: After a JV campaign, the Sharks came out and won their first varsity game, beating Shorecrest 35-21. They then lost the next six, but finished 3-7.
WIREGRASS RANCH and SUNLAKE, 2007: The Bulls had a JV season, then needed eight games to get win No. 1 — 40-20 over fellow rookie Sunlake, naturally. The Seahawks had to wait until next season’s opener to get that first win, beating River Ridge.
ANCLOTE, 2009: The Sharks played a full varsity slate out of the gate, but went 0-10. They got their first win this season, beating River Ridge 41-33 on Sept. 17.