Football: Tampa Bay Area Buzz — Sept. 1, 2023

From the big games to the hidden gems, the Tampa Bay area buzz bring you the best from the football action in the region.

Double Dare Bowl set for tonight

Tonight, Bishop McLaughlin coach Bob Dare will try to maintain his team’s perfect start to the season. On the other sideline, Keswick Christian David Dare will try to prevent that from happening. 

It is one of the few times, if any, that a father and son have faced each other as football head coaches in the Tampa Bay area.

The game has become a headline event with the schools dubbing it the Double Dare Bowl.  

It is a much different dynamic for the family, who bonded through the sport by being on the same team. 

After all, David has spent most of his life playing or coaching for his father. 

This year, David took on a new role. He was hired as head coach at Keswick Christian. 

The job came with plenty of pressure. David replaced Phil Hayford, who retired as Pinellas County’s all-time winningest coach. 

Now, he faces another private school icon in the area – his father. 

Bob has coached for 33 years, compiling 197 wins at Northside Christian, Cambridge Christian and Bishop McLaughin. He is the all-time winningest at Northside Christian and Cambridge Christian. 

In 2015, Bob guided the Lancers to the Class 2A state championship game, the program’s only appearance. 

That was a memorable moment for the Dares. 

Tonight’s matchup will be, too. 

Getting noticed

After rushing for more than 300 yards and scoring four touchdowns on the ground in a win over defending Class 4S state finalist Venice, Girard Pringle is starting to gain notoriety as a high-profile college prospect. 

The Armwood running back picked up offers this week from Cincinnati, Liberty and Louisville. The three-star prospect now has more than 10 offers. That list will keep growing considering Pringle is a junior. 

Newton brothers collide in college opener

Football is the Newton family business. 

Five Newton brothers – Jervon, Jerquan, Jerjaun, Jer’Zhan and Jershaun – have all played at Clearwater Central Catholic. Four of them even started on defense for the Marauders in 2016. 

They each went off to college, mostly playing for different teams but never against each other. 

Until now.

On Saturday, Jer’Zhan, a defensive tackle at Illinois, faces his brother Jerjaun, a receiver at Toledo, in the opening game of the season for both teams. 

The matchup is turning into a family affair with a large contingent of Newtons planning to attend. 

Jer’Zhan is considered one of the best interior linemen in college football. He is a first-team AP preseason selection and is on the watchlist of nearly every award. 

Jerjaun is a dynamic receiver who made it on the watchlist of the Biletnikoff award. 

This week, the two have spent plenty of time talking about the meeting – and the potential family bragging rights.

Successful debuts

Five area coaches won their debut with their current programs last week. Here is the list.

Coach, schoolOpponent, result
Terrence Hicks, Plant CityNewsome 20-18
Rob Kazmier, Nature CoastPoinciana 35-14
Jay Fulmer, SunlakeWesley Chapel 17-6
Brian Palone, Cambridge ChristianIMG Blue 31-9
Mike Williams, RobinsonSpoto 32-7

Armwood to honor 2003 state champion team

Armwood is holding a reunion for the 2003 team that won the school’s first state title during Saturday’s home opener against Bloomingdale. The players in attendance will be recognized at the end of the first quarter and there will be a gathering at the Glory Days in Brandon following the game.