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Palm Coast Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 1 year ago

Across the field: Former Matanzas football player geared up for starting role with rival Bulldogs

Ryan Freeman didn't feel at home during his two years on the Pirates' football team. But on Friday, Aug. 25, he'll get a shot at his old school.
by: Ray Boone Sports Editor
FPC Quarterback Ryan Freeman throws a pass at practice. Photo by Ray Boone

When Ryan Freeman arrived at Matanzas High School for his freshman year in 2014, he envisioned playing on the Pirates’ football team for the next four years.

Freeman, whose passion for football was cultivated throughout middle school, always dreamed of being the starting quarterback.

“I remember holding a football and always picturing myself being successful,” said Freeman, who played on Matanzas’ junior varsity squad during his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

But for a variety of reasons — old news of which which I will not discuss — he decided he needed to cut ties with the program.

“It’s a long story,” Freeman said. “But I felt like it was just best for me to transfer.”

So, in Aug. 2016, he transferred to cross-town rival Flagler Palm Coast High School. Freeman played limited snaps as a backup signal caller last season. But for his senior year, the 17-year-old will finally get the starting nod he always wanted.

His first regular season game as a starter? Against his former team, the Matanzas Pirates, on Friday, Aug. 25 at FPC.

“It’s going to be weird,” said Freeman, who still has friends at his old school. “I’m going to be a little bit anxious, but I know that we’re ready. It’s going to be crazy.”

Although the Bulldogs traditionally have had the upper hand against Matanzas, the Pirates have turned the tables the past two years. In 2015, Matanzas beat FPC 14-7 to spark six straight wins to start the season, and in 2016, the Pirates took down the Bulldogs 14-8.

Freeman said he expects things to go differently this time around.

“I’m expecting to dominate from the start,” he said. “I think we’re loaded right now. FPC had a history of beating Matanzas, but that changed the past couple of years. We want to change that right now. We're going to change the culture.”

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