The Armwood Hawks did more than show they were, as this year's spirit T-shirt declared, "still here." It took three games into the playoff season to quiet the Hawks.
The Hawks on Nov. 30 lost in the third round of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) playoffs. Victorious in the Nov. 30 season-ending game were the Gainesville Hurricanes, with a score of 42-10.
En route to the playoffs the Hawks this year beat Brandon, Tampa Bay Tech, Leto, Jefferson, Sickles, Strawberry Crest and King. In post-season play, the Hawks beat Largo (10-6) and Hillsborough (9-7).
Armwood's four losses this season were to American Heritage (28-36), Hillsborough (0-3), Plant (19-20) and, in the playoffs, Gainesville.
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This season, players and fans have taken to wearing black T-Shirts with white letters that read: "We're Still Here." It's in reference to the ruling that this year stripped Armwood of last year's state title, the same title it worked hard to regain this year.
The Florida High School Athletic Association in June held Armwood football accountable for using ineligible players and then stripped the team of its 2011 Class 6A state championship. The Hawks' 2010 state runner-up status was negated as well.
According to a Forbes sports & leisure report, the school had to "send back the trophies associated with those appearances" and the FHSAA "also fine the school $12,743, and made it forfeit 26 wins."
The Hillsborough County School Board on Sept. 11 officially adopted a new policy affecting student-athletes who transfer to new schools. (See, Armwood Sanctions Lead to New Hillsborough Student-Athlete Policy.)
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ARMWOOD HAWKS 2012 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE / SCORES
Win (20-16) Oct. 12 Strawberry Crest S. Crest
Win (35-18) Oct. 18 Hillsborough Hillsborough Loss (0-3) Oct. 26 Plant Plant Loss (19-20) Nov. 2 King Armwood Win (19-8) FHSAA Playoffs
Nov. 16 Largo Largo Win (10-6) Nov. 23 Hillsborough Hillsborough Win (9-7)
Nov. 30 Gainesville Gainesville Loss (10-42)