Ryan Pickett is coming home tonight. The Zephyrhills alumnus and current Green Bay Packers defensive tackle will be honored by his former high school when his No. 79 jersey is retired at tonight's Zephyrhills Homecoming game.
"Ryan is really excited," said his mother, Mae Pickett. "I just got off the phone with him in fact. He doesn't know how big it's going to be. The community is really involved."
Nature Coast's 41-14 win over South Sumter last week certainly grabbed a lot of local attention. But in the Class 3A state poll voted on by select Florida sportswriters across the state, the Sharks remained on the outside looking in. While South Sumter dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in 2A, Nature Coast (6-0) went from receiving one vote to grabbing a few more. Think Nature Coast coach Jamie Joyner is using that as motivation?
"You want to be ranked," Joyner said. "You want the recognition, and that comes with winning. Obviously, the teams in there are traditional powers. Keep winning and people will take notice.
"Going 10-0 is something these kids are talking about and focusing on. There's 10 3A teams in the state that are undefeated. Nature Coast is one of them."
Pasco coach Tom McHugh said star lineman Mylon Brown (leg injury) could be cleared to return to the field a week from Monday when he plans to visit a doctor. The Pirates senior, who is being recruited by a handful of Division I programs, has been sidelined since a 34-20 win over Sebring on Sept. 12.
Brown used crutches as suggested by his doctor to help with his recovery and works out with weights to maintain his upper-body strength. Brown has been a constant on the sidelines, wearing his Pasco jersey and trying to keep teammates motivated.
Brown's return could coincide with a Class 3A, District 8 title showdown against Gulf on Nov. 7.
Numbers of the day
22-12 Hudson's record against Gulf in the football series. The Cobras have won nine of the past 10 meetings.
20 Points accounted for by Hudson quarterback Rob Mahler (two TD runs, one TD pass, one two-point conversion) in the Cobras' 20-18 win over Gulf in 2000. Mahler is now Hudson's offensive coordinator
On the Web: football frenzy at highschool.tampabay.com
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