BROOKSVILLE- The first-year adult amateur football team Hernando County Hawks have seen its fair share of turbulence throughout the program’s inaugural campaign.
This past Saturday at Tom Fisher Stadium was looking up to be a chance at redemption for the Hawks as they were coming off a 62-14 shellacking at the hands of the Bay Area Reapers of St. Petersburg. The Hawks will have to wait another week to try and add another win to their season.
Hernando County wasn’t able to overcome the weather conditions or the visiting Florida Jaguars of St. Petersburg as the latter rolled to a 30-6 victory. With the loss, the Hawks drop to 2-6 on the season, and their seemingly already slim playoff odds continue to dwindle as the first season nears its close.
Now with just two games left in the 2023 campaign, the Hawks will have to keep more of an eye on the future than anything else after the latest setback. Hernando County has two games left remaining on the Elite American Football League (EAFL) regular schedule.
The Hawks will take on rival Southside Bulldogs, the only team they’ve defeated on the field in 2023, and they will conclude the campaign with a late addition home game versus the Lakeland Jokers. The Jokers are still very much in the playoff hunt in the EAFL, but the Hawks could prove to play a major role as a spoiler team.
Austin Webster, who is also the team owner, took over as the team’s head coach after a 20-0 loss to the Jaguars back after the March 11 matchup from previous lead man Eric Riggins. Since then, though the team was able to win two games, it still has Hernando County on the outside looking in. Webster formerly was a quarterback for the team before taking on the new role of head coach.
Hernando County features many players that played at high schools within the county, including Jordan Wright (Springstead), Brian Haygood Jr. (Nature Coast), Jacob Valentino (Hernando), Deshawn Smith (Nature Coast), Dante Young (Weeki Wachee). The Hawks have a promising core of players as they begin to take a peek into the future of the organization under the guidance of Webster and General Manager Paul Vermeulen.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.