PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– With the roller coaster of the year for all sports teams, the North Bay Haven football team has come up with a plan to ensure its seniors get to play as many games as possible.
On Friday, the Buccaneers will play their last regular season game against the Bozeman Bucks. They will play the Rutherford Rams in the first round of the FHSAA Class 4A Playoffs, and they of course hope to advance to the quarterfinals after that.
However, if they lose to the Rams they plan to take on the Franklin County Seahawks who they played in a preseason classic so they can play 11 total game, which is the number allowed by the FHSAA.
North Bay Haven head coach Andy Siegal said he wants the 16 seniors on his team to be able to either get more film for college coaches to see or have one last game they can look back on years from now.
“They have had a senior year, but it’s been condensed and every week it’s egg shelled, so I just think with all that stuff they deserve to have some kind of celebratory deal at the end of the season, so if it’s not gonna be a playoff game then let’s go do a bowl game,” Siegal said.
The Buccaneers scheduled the potential bowl game with Franklin County because they have stayed in close contact since the preseason game when North Bay Haven senior Ricky Simpson suffered a season-ending injury. The Seahawks have continued to check in on Simpson and now the Buccaneers are doing the same as two Franklin County players lost their father in a motorcycle accident last week.
“They’re a caring community, we’re a caring community their coach is a really good guy, I’m trying to be a really good guy so we just thought it would be a good deal we’re both just looking for some games to fill in,” Siegal said.
The bowl game would also give North Bay Haven a chance to use their home field for the first time. The Buccaneers had hoped to play a home game on the field this season, however they haven’t been able to play a varsity game there yet.
“We keep trying and you know it’s always just some little snag snafu so we’re going to hope that bowl game we’re going to play it on a Saturday afternoon… so we’ll put some scaffolding up for a press box we’ll call it a day we’ll have a great game it will be a great environment and we’ll go,” Siegal.
This will ensure the team gets to play in the maximum number of games allowed by the FHSAA this season.