As the blowout losses mounted – 43-0 to King’s Academy, 51-0 to Mitchell, 63-0 to Pasco – Gulf’s morale hasn’t dipped. The Buccaneers haven’t given up.
“Quite the opposite,” second-year coach Tom Carter said.
Carter hasn’t seen a decrease in his team’s effort, despite an 0-3 start. He attributed core leaders and consistent players like QB Chris Klyap, lineman Dustin Bush, WR/LB Travis Thomas and RB/LB Genaro Ramirez for keeping the team upbeat.
Although the Bucs remain Tampa Bay’s only team without a point, their competition has been tough. King’s Academy is a strong south Florida program, while Pasco and Mitchell are playoff favorites in Pasco County.
The lessons learned from those defeats – and eliminating drive-killing penalties and mental mistakes - should help the Bucs when they face Ridgewood (0-4) and former Gulf coach Jay Fulmer in Friday’s Class 5A, District 6 game.
“I just think it’s their competitive nature,” Carter said. “It’s a good bunch of kids. They come to practice every week and do the very best they can. Just week after week, they know they’re gonna get their chance.”