Foundation Academy faces crosstown rival Friday

The Lions are 5-3, as are The First Academy Royals. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Lions are excited to face their crosstown rival to battle for a ticket to the postseason.
The Lions are excited to face their crosstown rival to battle for a ticket to the postseason.
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It’s one of the biggest rivalries in all of West Orange.

Every year, both Foundation Academy and The First Academy have this game circled on their respective schedules. And this year, with both teams sitting at 5-3, this district tilt comes with some extra incentive — a spot in the playoffs.

The Lions and the Royals will meet for the final district game of the season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Foundation.

“Every year, that game is a huge game,” Foundation Academy head football coach Andre Walker said. “That’s like the biggest rival of all schools toward us. It doesn’t matter the sport, it doesn’t matter the time of year. We always try to beat them, and they always try to beat us. For the most part of my better years of being here, we’ve shared a lot of those losses as a football team and most recently, the games have been very tight.

“But, we are definitely looking to play them; we are excited about it,” he said. “And like last year, this year is a district game, so it’s more on the line — more that’s at stake. We know that’s the game that if either of us win, that’s our ticket into the playoffs. All of the games though, we take equally as serious, (but) we know at that moment, that that’s going to be the most important game of the year for us. Being that both teams have shared losses with another district opponent in Orlando Christian Prep, we know that that’s vital. So we definitely want to take advantage of the home field advantage.” 

The way the Lions have taken onto the football field every week falls under their current motto: “Together.”

“We’ve done that very well,” Walker said. “The first two games — we thought we were the best thing since sliced bread — and then we go through a three-game slump. We could have easily folded, but I think the motto of staying together, togetherness, held strong and it kept our team afloat. We stayed together through it all, knowing that all three of those losses could have been flipped and we just did what we were capable of doing.” 

“We’ve learned that if one person on the field, or all players on the field, don’t do their job, then something is going to go wrong,” defensive tackle and offensive guard Drew Fluornoy said. “But if we do it together, then we are going to be fine.” 

Currently, Foundation has a 5-3 overall season record and is 0-1 in Class 1M, District 2. This year, the team has relied a lot on senior leadership — which has proven successful on the gridiron. 

“We are very youthful, but they are at the top,” Walker said. “We have some solid leaders, so the strength at the top with our leaders helps that we are young, because the younger guys get to look up to those guys and they are moving as they move.” 

Communication also has been critical to Foundation’s success.

“We harp on it all day in practice,” Walker said. “At our lowest points, we lacked communication. But, we got better and better throughout. In the three-game losing stretch, we learned a lot about ourselves. … And we learned that if we don’t communicate, we usually don’t perform well.” 



Andrea Mujica

Staff writer Andrea Mujica covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. When she’s not on the sidelines, you can find Andrea coaching rowers at the Orlando Area Rowing Society in Windermere.

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