Fresh off the exciting 42-17 win over Auburndale, the Bartow High School Yellow Jacket football team Friday will wrap up their early season road trips with a game at Lake Gibson. The matchup will kick off at 7 p.m.
Prior to this season, the recent Lake Gibson games served as a district contests, but no more. Lake Gibson is now a 6A team while Bartow is classified as 7A. That makes absolutely no difference when the kickoff occurs. Each team clearly wants to keep their momentum going in the young season.
While Bartow was winning big at Auburndale, Lake Gibson was winning big as well, beating George Jenkins 36-0. The balanced attack saw scoring from special teams and the offense added touchdowns on the ground and in the air. Lake Gibson put points on the board in every quarter. Their regular season opener followed a win in the Kickoff Classic against Lakeland, meaning Lake Gibson has dealt with two of Bartow’s future opponents.
Bartow head coach Jason Butler assessed what was ahead for the Yellow Jackets.
“Last week, our motto was ‘feast
or famine’ and that’s what we saw,” he said. “This week, it’s close to
the opposite of that. We’ll be
trying to instill in our teams the importance of sustained drives. We want to take the ball and drive it all the way down the field, using 14-15 plays in the process. On the defensive side, we have to stop the zone play and we have to stop the deep ball.”
Bartow has not been able to beat the Braves since 1999 when Bartow won 26-12 at Lake Gibson. The Jackets nearly defeated Lake Gibson last year as the visiting Braves ralllied for 26 points in the last half to secure a 33-29 win.
In the win against Auburndale, Bartow accounted for over 350 yards in total offense, won the turnover battle and defensively held the home team to less than 200 yards. This is plenty of inspiration to repeat a performance that can be considered a great effort with strong defensive pursuit and solid play on offense.
This year, fans will begin to notice the presence of stickers on the helmets of the Yellow Jackets and
the population could be growing every week. Offensive and defensive players are awarded individual
stickers for personal achievements while members of the team will receive awards for play and wins. The players who participated in the summer lifting and maintained
the required attendance are already wearing the “Iron Jacket” decal at
the back of the helmet. Team members receive their awards at practice following the Friday games in front of the entire squad.
There will also be recognition for an offensive and defensive player of the week. Week 1 honors went to quarterback Dimitri Leverett who threw for more than 200 yards in the Auburndale win. Phillip Schoch was selected as the defensive player of the week for his play from the linebacking position.
Once again, a good turnout of Bartow fans helped make the
difference in last week’s contest
and can be expected to be called upon again at Lake Gibson’s home. The excitement of Bartow High School football is building in 2013.