The fall football season is upon us, and although it is still in the heat of August, area high school teams are working diligently toward their goal of challenging for a spot in the post-season.
The Seminole Ridge High School varsity squad is one of those optimistic about returning to post-season play.
The Hawks have not won a district championship since 2012, but second-year head coach James Parson is confident that the Hawks have what it takes to get there, despite being in perhaps the toughest district in the county this year, District 9-8A.
“It is going to be tough, and there will be some battles,” he said. “We only have 17 seniors, and all will play a critical part.”
The Hawks sit right in the middle of the challenging District 9-8A, with defending champion Wellington High School, along with Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Central and Jupiter high schools.
The Hawks easily defeated South Fork High School in their spring game, and Parson believes on occasion a decisive victory could influence a lull in the team’s hunger, but discipline is something the Hawks pride themselves on. Parson believes in what the team is showing on the field so far. “Our weight room attendance this summer was great,” he explained.
On the offensive line, the Hawks are focused on dominating the trenches, as they historically have done over the years, with a ground-and-pound way to move the ball. Senior 6-footer and 280-pound Dustin Drake will snap the ball at center. Nicholas Screciu and Maxwell Zimmerman are both seniors, over 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, and will be the driving force on the Hawks line.
Seminole Ridge will also look to continue its up-tempo approach on offense. Junior Kaleb Costain will direct the offense at the quarterback position. Although a junior varsity starter last season, he has shown great confidence and success in camp and will manage a balanced attack for the offense.
Jeremiah Brown will play both sides of the ball, but look for the senior to play everywhere around the ball on the offense. “This is my senior year, and I just want to help my team out this year,” he said. “On defense, I have been working on breaking on the ball, and offense, I have been working on running routes.”
Senior Justin Allie will also play a key role in the Hawks’ success this season. Allie is recorded as being the fastest Hawk on the squad, so look for him to be the primary target when the Hawks launch the ball in the air. “I’ve been working out and keeping my head in the playbook,” Allie said. “I’m just out here doing my thing, trying to help my team.”
Dylan Mohl is another two-way senior to keep an eye on this season. The middle linebacker/fullback was an impact player last season, and he has already carried that momentum into the fall. He may be mild-mannered off the field, but the 6-foot, 200-pound senior has a high intensity level on the field. He has strength and speed, and probably will be a thorn to opposing teams on either side of the ball.
Sophomore Corey Polk was the surprise performer last year as a true freshman. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder will add to the Hawks’ ground game, and you can wager he will make big plays again this fall.
Defensively, the Hawks will have senior Jonathan Fioramonti at the outside linebacker spot and senior Tristan Howell in the secondary to complement an experienced defensive unit.
As the Hawks face the challenges ahead, they are not looking past their preseason game Friday, Aug. 18 against Port St. Lucie. Game time is 7 p.m. Plan on Seminole Ridge threatening this season for a shot at the district title. Their first regular-season game is Friday, Aug. 25 at Santaluces High School at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Seminole Ridge head coach James Parson directs players during a practice session.