Flagler County football preview: Flagler Palm Coast and Matanzas
Principal Dusty Sims and Athletics Director Steve DeAugustino replaced ex-Bulldogs coach Tommy Moody with former Mainland defensive coordinator Travis Roland in December.
In the last two seasons under Moody, FPC won a total of seven games and missed the playoffs both seasons.
Roland, who was able to coach top-tier defensive talent while at Mainland, said he expects the Bulldogs' skill positions to be the team's top asset, especially in the secondary.
“Our skill kids are some of the best around,” he said. “Our skill kids at DB, wideout and running back, just all those positions that are considered skill spots are going to be our strengths.”
Roland also said the experience of his key players will be a big advantage.
“These kids that have been playing varsity for so long, they’ve got a ton of experience,” he said. “When there’s big games, their eyes won’t be big because they’ve been through it before.”
Coach's take: “I just want us to compete having the right mindset. Just making sure that we go out and work hard every day. That’s got to be our theme.”
08/18 @ Eastside Kick Off Classic, 7 p.m.
08/25 Matanzas, 7:30pm
09/01 @ New Smyrna Beach, 7 p.m.
09/07 @ Seabreeze, 7p.m.
09/15 St. Augustine, 7 p.m.
09/22 Palatka, 7 p.m.
09/29 @ Sandalwood, 7 p.m.
10/06 Deltona (Homecoming), 7 p.m.
10/13 @ Spruce Creek, 7 p.m.
10/20 DeLand, 7 p.m.
10/27 Mandarin (SENIOR NIGHT), 7 p.m.
Matanzas: 2016 record 7-3
Head coach Robert Ripley has changed the culture of the Pirates' football team ever since he took the helm in 2014.
Entering yet another season with a shot at the playoffs, Ripley said he expects the team's defense, which returns eight starters, to be its best unit. In addition, he added that the team was able to return starters along the offensive line and other areas of the offense.
However, Ripley said the Pirates will be breaking in a new quarterback and full-time tailback to start this season.
“I expect us to be pretty good on defense,” he said. “I expect us to compete, I expect us to be in every football game and find a way to win six, seven, eight games, and hopefully a couple more than that.”
Coach's take: “We’ve got a really good group of kids to lean on and a really good core of kids that we’re going to go out there and play with.”
08/18 @ Ed White, 7 p.m.
08/25 @ Flagler Palm Coast, 7 p.m.
09/8 @ Spruce Creek, 7 p.m.
09/15 Seabreeze, 7 p.m.
09/22 Treasure Coast, 7 p.m.
09/29 Nease, 7 p.m.
10/6 New Smyrna Beach, 7 p.m.
10/13 @ Mainland, 7 p.m.
10/20 Pine Ridge, 7 p.m.
10/27 @ Deltona, 7 p.m.
11/3 @ Pedro Menendez, 7 p.m.