An exciting Friday night for local high school football teams in the Gainesville area.
Oak Hall vs. Master’s Academy
Oak Hall will be traveling to Vero Beach, Fla. to take on Master’s Academy tonight at 6 p.m. Oak Hall is 1-0 on the season, and Master’s Academy is 2-0.
Head Coach RJ Fuhr will have his hands full this season. Because of seven transfers and COVID, Oak Hall will be playing 8-on-8 football this season. There are only about 18 kids on the roster. Three are seniors and three are eighth-graders who will be playing “meaningful minutes.”
What is it like to play with just eight men? Coach Fuhr explains it and makes it seem simple.
As expected, Oak Hall dealt with some rust in their first game with a win against Lakeside Christian, 30-24. Fuhr said they need to get in better shape. This showed in the second half of their first game when about eight players went down with cramps. Lakeside Christian took advantage of this and fought back from 22 down to make it a six-point game in the fourth quarter. Yet, the Eagles were able to survive.
Buchholz vs. Oak Leaf
Buchholz will be hosting Oak Leaf tonight. Kickoff starts at 7 p.m.
Buchholz is coming off a 5-5 season, while Oak Leaf is coming off a 7-3 season. This will also be the season opener for both teams. Because of COVID, preparation has been limited. The obvious rust will be there because neither team was able to hold camps this offseason. A similar outcome to the Oak hall game is expected when it comes to getting back into the football mode.
Steve Russell interviewed Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore and asked him what the biggest areas of improvement are. His answer sums up the offseason pretty well.
Mark Whittemore also noted that Oak Leaf has a new Offensive Coordinator and expects more RPO’s. Still seen as a familiar foe, Buchholz has won the last four meetings against Oak Leaf.
Gainesville vs. Santa Fe
One of the other local high school football games has the Gainesville Purple Hurricanes heading to Santa Fe for their season opener Friday tonight at 7 p.m. Santa Fe is 0-1 on the season with a loss to Suwannee.
Santa Fe is coming off a 5-5 season, and Gainesville is coming off a 2-8 season.
The last two meetings between these schools have been lopsided. Gainesville has outscored Santa Fe by a combined total of 85-6. The Raiders hope to make it a more competitive matchup.