Entering the season with the highest expectations in school history, the varsity football team looked to come out strong in the Hillsborough Preseason Kickoff Classic at Newsome. After a tough first half and a large 24-7 deficit with little help on either side of the ball, the team kicked off the second half with sophomore Jake Carroll returning the opening kick, 84 yards for a Warrior touchdown. That helped give momentum and pace the passing game in the third quarter, as the offense combined to score 26 second half points thanks to two Kendall Pearcey touchdowns.

After a missed two-point conversion with 26 seconds to go, Head Coach Floyd Graham opted not to attempt an onside kick and the game ended with Newsome kneeling the ball down to run out the clock and end the game. The Sickles Gryphons will make their first appearance at Steinbrenner Warriors Stadium on Friday night for the regular season opener beginning at 7:30pm.

News and notes:
Junior Jessica Weatherman became the first female kicker in school history to attempt and successfully complete a point after touchdown in the first half. It was her only attempt of the night.

Head Coach Floyd Graham made his first appearance back at Newsome since opening the school in 2003. He spent three seasons at the helm of the Wolves compiling a record of 9-19.

The team is a preseason favorite of the St. Petersburg Times to win the newly formed Class 7A District 7 where they will meet Chamberlain, Freedom, Gaither, Wiregrass Ranch and Tampa Bay Tech over the course of the season.

Jeff Odom

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