3 players to watch at Catholic Father Lopez in high school football
DAYTONA BEACH – Father Lopez’s descent into Class 2A could complicate plans for a playoff return.
As the Florida High School Athletic Association returns to its pre-pandemic format, in which six schools of small classification by region qualify based on RPI rankings, the Green Wave will have an extremely low margin of error. They are grouped with, among others, the Private Schools Powers Foundation, Orlando Christian Prep, Victory Christian and Zephyrhills Christian.
Second-year head coach Daniel Fish believes his team is better equipped to take a chance. Injuries, especially those of quarterback Andrew Acebal and wide receiver Isaiah Shirley, have taken their toll.
“It was bad luck last year, I hope it doesn’t happen again,” Fish said. “If a bad situation occurs, we have depth in every position.”
Blending youth and experience, the Green Wave knows their fate could very well be decided in the final two games – head-to-head confrontations with regional rivals Orangewood Christian and Holy Trinity Episcopal.
Accumulating a few wins from the start – starting with Friday’s home opener against Interlachen – wouldn’t be the worst idea either.
Here are three players who are expected to become difference makers for Father Lopez this fall.
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1. Absolute Adam
Much like a Green Wave high school football magnet over the years, Utter is entering his senior season with nine career interceptions – four times for touchdowns.
He’ll have a chance to add to those totals this fall as he moves from cornerback to safety.
More than anything, Utter attributes the study of cinema to his talent for finding football.
“Knowing who I’m playing, knowing what’s the cover and wanting it more than the receiver,” he said.
Utter gained some visibility over the summer, mainly in a camp organized at the old college in Fish, in the state of Valdosta. He has several NCAA Division II schools that watch his leadership, including Wingate (NC).
2. Corey Hill
Two freshmen are expected to have an immediate impact on the Green Wave – running back Jackson Oldham and cornerback / slot receiver Hill.
Both players certainly had their moments in Friday’s pre-season win over Faith Christian.
“I really think the team have embraced these two from the very beginning, and they know how valuable they are and how much they can help this year and into the future,” said Fish. “But it also prompted a lot of guys who expected to be in the mix to start and compete right away, like ‘Wow, man. It’s a humbling experience to see these two young cats being stronger, being faster and deeper. graphics. ‘ It definitely started a fire under a lot of other guys who are about to play a lot for us. “
Oldham will take senior Antwan Scott out of workaholic duty, allowing the talented linebacker to stay fresh and hunt down quarterbacks. At just 14 years old, the 5-foot-8, 190-pounder is considered the strongest kid on the team, pound for pound, and a likely contender for spring weightlifting.
Hill, on the other hand, adds speed to the much-needed group. He plans to see around 80-85% of defensive snaps on cornerback and an additional 75% on offense as a slot receiver and option out of the backfield, Fish said.
3. Aiden Bourque
The senior quarterback has made positive progress over the summer and could be the Green Wave’s most essential player.
Bourque came under the spotlight in Week 2 last fall as Acebal suffered a season-ending leg injury. He completed 61.8% of his passes for 953 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“He’s the clear starter,” Fish said. “What I’m proud of him recently is taking on the leadership role. He really took it on and he’s comfortable in his position.
“He’s doing pretty well, hits the right hits at the right time, and has become more of a student of the game.”
Bourque will be building on a new supportive wide receiver cast this fall. Father Lopez has graduated five of his top six receivers for the 2020 season.