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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jul. 2, 2014 4 years ago

Countdown to kickoff: Ocoee football schedule analysis

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by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

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With just 56 days remaining until the 2014 high school football regular season begins, we couldn’t stand the wait any longer and felt the need to get the ball rolling on our gridiron coverage.

Starting with last week’s edition, we are taking a look at each team from within our coverage area and its schedule for the 2014 season. Dr. Phillips kicked off our schedule breakdowns a week ago, with Ocoee’s slate for the upcoming season taking center stage this week.

Room for improvement

The Knights went just 3-7 in 2013 and will look to improve upon that mark this fall.

Ocoee’s schedule features a mixed bag of opponents, half of whom had losing records a season ago. Combined, the winning percentage for the Knights’ 2014 foes was .514. What this should create is an environment where Ocoee feels it can have a winning record and contend in its district — but also where the Knights now they cannot take many games for granted.

Out of district tests

When the athletic staff at Ocoee put together this year’s schedule it sure didn’t hold back from scheduling a tough slate out of district. The Knights’ non-district competition this year includes (with 2013 record in parentheses): Colonial (2-8), University (8-3), Winter Park (9-3) and West Orange (9-2). All but Colonial made the playoffs in 2013 and, if you exclude the Grenadiers, the winning percentage for the group is .765.

With three of those four out of district games coming early in the season, it should serve as a worthy primer for Ocoee before diving into a busy in-district schedule.

Super six

It spans seven schools, three counties and driving distances of more than 40 miles — Class 7A, District 4 is no joke.

The sprawling and crowded district means the Knights will have a whopping six district games that will determine their postseason fate. The district schedule is split between three home and three away games, with the location alternating from home to away starting with the Lake Howell game on September 19.

In perhaps the most important stretch of the season, Ocoee will play Oak Ridge, Winter Springs and Wekiva in consecutive weeks — the Pioneers and Bears being the two teams that made the playoffs from 7A-4 a season ago and the Mustangs being the team that just missed out on the postseason.

Ocoee Football — 2014 Varsity Schedule

8/22 — @ Dr. Phillips (pre-season), 7:30 p.m.

8/29 — @ Colonial, 7:30 p.m.

9/5 — @ University, 7:30 p.m.

9/12 — vs. Winter Park, 7:30 p.m.

9/19 — vs. Lake Howell (district), 7:30 p.m.

9/26 — Bye week

10/3 — @ East River (district), 7:30 p.m.

10/10 — vs. Oak Ridge (district), 7:30 p.m.

10/17 — @ Winter Springs (district), 7:30 p.m.

10/23 — vs. Wekiva (district), 7:30 p.m.

10/31 — @ East Ridge (district), 7:30 p.m.

11/7 — vs. West Orange, 7:30 p.m.

Next week’s schedule breakdown: Olympia

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