Only a small portion of the Coral Shores High roster has any recollection of former coach Ed Holly, who is now leading the Westminster Christian program. But those who do are certainly informing the younger players about the importance of the matchup, according to now Hurricanes coach Alphonso Bryant, as the two teams meet today on the Warriors campus at 4 p.m.
“We’ve pretty much went through all of that and I think the kids are pretty much ready to play in this rivalry game,” said Alphonso Bryant, who was the defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes under Holly. “This game does not matter more than the other ones and we are going to treat it like any other game.”
Even though it is just one game, it is likely to be the first true test of the season for unbeaten Hurricanes (3-0), as well as the first time they will be leaving the county, and in order to claim a victory, Bryant stressed they need to eliminate the mistakes and execute.
“We need to pay attention to the details,” said Bryant, whose offense has collected 1,212 total yards this season. “When we look at the film, there are still a lot of things we see that we have yet to get down pat. It may look good, but I’m a perfectionist and I want to make sure everything is clicking for this game.”
Of those offensive yards, 1,044 have come via the ground attack led by sophomore running back Chris Cooper, who has 509 yards and eight touchdowns in three games this season. Hurricanes senior Lucas Dennis has 249 rushing yards to go along with five touchdowns, Osvaldo Vega has 157 yards and two scores in two games, while Dominick Monteagudo has 121 along with a pair of scores.
Being that Bryant is expecting his former colleague, who brings a 2-1 Warriors squad into the game, to key in on the Hurricanes’ run attack, Cora Shores has added wrinkles to the passing game — which opened the season with Brain Lesko tossing for 150 yards but since the junior signal-caller has only thrown for 18.
“I want to be able to throw the ball when we need to and, at the same time, continue to run the ball successfully,” said Bryant.
In Coral Shores’ last game, rain made it difficult to throw the ball as Lesko attempted six passes that were either dropped or fell incomplete, and this week the wet conditions have continued during practice, making it tough to prepare for playing at 4 p.m. — during which Bryant is expecting clear skies.
“I hope we do have good weather, I really do,” said Bryant. “We never really felt the sun this week, but in a way, it was also a blessing because we could get more done at practice to prepare for this game.”
The coach is also unsure if this is considered a conference game, due to the shortened season amid the coronavirus crisis, but whether it is or not, meeting up with the Hurricanes’ former mentor brings that much more anticipation to the game.
“How much weight these games carry, I’m not certain,” said Hughes. “I think everyone is just blessed to be able to get out and play.”