COTTONDALE, Fla. (WMBB) – The Cottondale football team is aiming to bounce back from a 2020 season that resembled a nightmare.
COVID-19 was an issue for every high school team, but none worse than the Hornets, as their coach, Chris Obert, was hospitalized during the season and they were only able to play five games.
“We’re really excited to get to play a full season this year because our seniors last year didn’t get to play a full season,” senior defensive back Jude Haser said. “So, I think for us this year we’re kind of playing for them too, making up for all their lost time.”
The Hornets picked up just one victory with their incredibly small roster that never truly was able to play at full strength. This year, they’re hoping to stay healthy so that can change.
“Last season we lost a lot of the games out of the five we played,” senior running back Damian St. Fleur said. “So, this season we look forward to winning way more, you know just having more fun with it. Last year wasn’t much fun always having people out.”
Even with a depleted roster, Cottondale lost by just one possession multiple times last year. the 2020 team averaged 26.5 points per game, a number they think they will top this season.
“I think our offense is really going to be our powerhouse, Haser said. “Our running back, Damian St. Fleur, he’s going to run the ball hard, Jaimian Willis is our quarterback, he’s developing his run game and his passing game.”
The Hornets have already had glimpses of bad fortune early on, as multiple starters are out for week one with injury, but Coach Obert believes his crew will hold strong and come together for a good year.
“What we’re trying to preach, we’ve had some rough luck right here early, just got to keep on keepin’ on, pushing through, and then hopefully we’ll get better because our goal is to try to make the playoffs,” Obert said. “So, if we can do that, hopefully, we’ll continue to improve and get better every week and then when the time comes, hopefully, we’ll peak at the right time.”
The Hornets will open their season at home with a big cross-county matchup against Sneads Thursday, August 26.