Panthers, Warriors announce loaded football schedules for 2015
| 5:29 p.m. February 18, 2015
Both the Dr. Phillips Panthers and the West Orange Warriors announced their 2015 varsity football schedules last week, and fans of both teams can look forward to some exciting matchups this fall.
The theme for both schools, which had established themselves among the elite programs in the Central Florida region, is a tougher lineup in 2015 than in 2014.
The Panthers, who advanced to the Class 8A Region 2 Championship before falling to Manatee, 24-21, are set to play a particularly grueling and front-loaded slate. Dr. Phillips, which was a perfect 10-0 in the regular season in 2014, will open the season with three consecutive road games — all against playoff teams from a season ago.
The Panthers will take on the Wekiva Mustangs (formerly a 7A program but will play in Class 8A this fall), Lake Mary Rams (advanced to regional semifinals) and West Orange (advanced to regional semifinals), all on the road in what will undoubtedly be playoff-like atmospheres.
Dr. Phillips returns to the friendly confines of Bill Spoone Stadium after its clash with the Warriors — only to have the reigning state-champion Apopka Blue Darters awaiting it. Games against Mainland (state semifinalist in Class 6A) and the Panthers’ district-opener against Oak Ridge (playoff qualifier in 2014 in Class 7A) follow.
The good news is, after that, the remaining four games are all games Dr. Phillips should win handily.
For West Orange, the season opens with a “Battle of Winter Garden” of sorts, taking on nearby Class 2A foe Foundation Academy. The first of three home games to open the season, the Warriors then will face Winter Park and Dr. Phillips in the following weeks. West Orange last played the Wildcats in the Class 8A Regional 1 Quarterfinals in 2013, a loss, and has not played Dr. Phillips since 2010, also a loss.
The Warriors then will play a pair of road games against Trinity Christian (2014 Class 3A Champion) and Jones (playoff team in 2014 in Class 4A). West Orange continues a four-game road trip at district rival Apopka, its opener in district competition, and then takes on an up-and-coming program in the Lake Nona Lions.
An Oct. 30 matchup with the Wekiva Mustangs, new to Class 8A after formerly competing in Class 7A, may well be a playoff play-in contest, and, as has been the norm in recent years, the Warriors will close the season in the Shield Game against Ocoee; this time at home.
The West Orange Warriors and Dr. Phillips Panthers announced their 2015 varsity football schedules this past week, and there is no shortage of big-name opponents for either team. All games are tentatively set to kick off at 7:30 p.m.