The Brandon Eagles, 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 on Aug. 24.
Coverage of the game is available at TBO.com.
- Were you at the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
What's next for the Eagles?
The big game is Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Eagles face the Armwood High School Hawks 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."
Armwood on Aug. 24 played a two-quarter game against Gibbs and scored a 35-0 victory. 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.
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."
- Related Coverage: and .
As for the rest of the season's, here's what's in play for coach Eychner and the Brandon High School Eagles, with the schedule noted below. For more information about the Eagles, and to sign up for a newsletter, visit the Brandon High School Fighting Eagles Web site.Date Opponent Field Time Sept. 1 Armwood Armwood 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 Freedom Brandon 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 Durant Brandon 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 Sickles Brandon 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 Newsome Newsome 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 Plant Plant 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 Riverview Brandon 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 Plant City Brandon 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 East Bay East Bay 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 Jefferson Jefferson 7:30 p.m.