Windermere Prep happy to have played a complete game in Week Two -- Observer Preps
The Lakers were unable to play a Kickoff Classic or Week One game due to weather and a cancellation.
| 12:30 p.m. September 5, 2017
WINDERMERE When the whistle blew and play stopped, and it wasn’t for a penalty or a water break, Jacob Doss feared correctly that it had happened again — the Windermere Prep football team was in a weather delay and in jeopardy of not playing for a third straight week.
“The kids all just hung their heads,” Doss recalled. “We went back into the locker room and you could just see it in their eyes — they were ready to go. Our coaches were hurting too.”
The Lakers were up 13-0 against Jacksonville’s Harvest Community School in the first quarter Sept. 1 when play was halted and officials cleared the field and stands. It was a similar situation to Windermere Prep’s Kickoff Classic against Trinity Prep when, after three plays from scrimmage, a storm rolled through and — because the Lakers’ home field does not have lights — the game was eventually canceled.
Then, Windermere Prep’s Week One game at St. Stephen’s was also cancelled.
Not having played a full quarter, much less an entire game, when most other teams had played two games had myriad implications — and not just on Doss’s team, but also for opponents.
“You’re almost embarrassed because you’re giving teams film from your spring game because we don’t have any film,” Doss said.
One last kicker was that, to that point, the defense had played just two plays from scrimmage. The three plays against Trinity Prep had come on offense and against Harvest the Lakers had forced two turnovers on two plays and the other plays from scrimmage had come on offense.
“It’s unbelievable that (another delay) happened at that time because it had been the first time our defense was on the field,” Doss said. “Our defense was just itching to play.”
Fortunately, this sad story had a happy ending.
Though a second wave of storms would create problems for teams playing games that started at 7 p.m. Sept. 1, the Lakers were able to get back out on the field against Harvest Community. The two teams agreed to a running clock to make sure that the game was completed in its entirety, and Windermere Prep (1-0) was ultimately victorious 33-14.
“It was really fast but we got some plays in finally — we got a chance to go back out, which was awesome,” Doss said.
The Lakers are set to face CFCA (1-1) in a road game this week, and Doss said that getting a game in was crucial ahead of a divisional matchup against a rival.
Historically, the veteran coach says he and his staff make the largest amount of adjustments schematically after the team has played its first full game, and while that occasion has come a little later than usual, they are happy that it at least has come.
“We needed to get that game in,” Doss said. “We needed to tackle and to get the kids to see why we do certain drills (in practice).”