MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
The worst week to have a bye?
The first one, says Pasco wide receiver Hakeeme Ishmar.
While the rest of the North Suncoast cranked things up last week, the Pirates had one more week to prepare for Friday’s season opener against Plantation American Heritage.
“Man, the first week is the worst week, because we are already so anxious to play, and then you have to wait a whole ’nother week,” said Ishmar, one of Pasco County’s top wide receiving prospects this season. “We just sat on the sideline last week saying, 'Man, if that was me out there, I’d be doing this or that …’”
To kill Friday night, Ishmar wanted to go watch potential region playoff opponent Jefferson, but he and teammate Jamall Carter settled for something closer.
“We went to Wesley Chapel, and that was a blowout so we left at halftime and went to Wiregrass Ranch, but it was the same there,” Ishmar said, which only added to the frustration of not playing.
“It’s like holding in your anger, and now we’re ready to unleash it,” he said. “Now it’s finally time we get to go out and give it our all. Everybody’s ready for this game.”
UNSTOPPABLE? On one play last week against Central, Ja’Juan Story shook off three tacklers as a fourth dove at him, landing with an armful of air as Story was already 5 more yards downfield.
On another, Story dragged a Central player into the end zone, and he could only pull down the Nature Coast star’s pants. It may have embarrassed Story, but it didn’t come close to stopping him from scoring.
And on another play, Story ran through three tacklers, then carried a fourth another 5 yards like a boat dragging a water skier .
Eventually, the tackler let go and Story completed another long touchdown run.
Yep, it’s official: Story should be just fine as a quarterback this season, even if he does most of his damage with his feet.
“He won’t be on the field this season with anyone like him,” said Nature Coast coach Mark Nash.
It’s going to take a team that can line up all-stars on each side, and one in the middle. While still early, it’s unclear if such a team is on the Sharks’ schedule.
GULF SPILL: Ken Hollar picked up his first win about eight hours after getting the head coaching job at Gulf, and if history is any indication, he could be looking at his second tonight. Gulf has won five straight against River Ridge, Friday’s opponent, and the Bucs have scored 43, 44, 42, 40 and 39 in those victories.