The Armwood Hawks, on the field for the first time following FHSAA action this summer that stripped the team of its 2011 state title, got off to a good start with a two-quarter, 35-0 preseason win at home against Gibbs, at the Lyle Flagg Field in Seffner.
Because of rain-soaked fields, two games were played at the Lyle Flagg field that night. Preceding the Armwood-Gibbs matchup, Tampa Bay Tech defeated Jefferson 27-7, also in a two-quarter game.
Coverage of the Armwood-Gibbs game is available at Tampa Bay Times online.
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What's next for the Hawks?
The big game is Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Hawks face the Brandon High School Eagles on their home turf at the Lyle Flagg Field in Seffner.
Need we say more?
Armwood is the Greater Brandon area's perennial powerhouse -- but not immune to following the rules. The Florida High School Athletic Association in June held the program 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 Brandon Eagles on Aug. 24, under first-year head coach Dean Eychner, got off to a good start with a 20-6 preseason win at the home field of the Blake High School Yellow Jackets.
How the Armwood-Brandon drama plays out on the field Sept. 1 remains to be seen. Underlying the game as well is the well-known fact that these two schools have been crosstown rivals forever.
Armwood, named for Blanche Armwood, a longtime Tampa resident, educator and activist, opened in 1984 to relieve the severe overcrowding at the town's then-only high school, Brandon, which was on double sessions and threatening to go to three if relief was not in place.
This year marks the first year at Brandon for Eychner, who came to the Eagles from Hillsborough High School, where for 16 years he was an assistant coach to Earl Garcia. Eychner said at the time that he have lived in Brandon since 1990 and that "this community means something to me."
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As for the rest of the season's, here's what's in play for the Hawks and Armwood head coach Sean Callahan, with the schedule noted below.Date Opponent Field Time Sept. 1 Brandon
Armwood 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7
Armwood7:30 p.m. Sept. 14
Tampa Bay Tech
7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 Leto
7:30 p.m. Sept. 28
Armwood 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5
7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 Strawberry Crest
7:30 p.m. Oct. 19
Hillsborough 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26
7:30 p.m. Nov. 2