2017 Venice Indians have one more record to break


VENICE – If we’re talking Venice school records, you have to start with this guy.

“Touchdowns in a season, touchdowns in a game, touchdowns in a career. Is that all of them? I think that’s all of them,” Venice Wide-Receiver Jaivon Heiligh said.

It’s actually not even close to all of them. But if we sat here and listed all the records Heiligh has, we’d be here all day. He’s beyond just the Indians record books at this point. Heiligh is 4 yards away from being the leading receiver in the country.

“I don’t really look at that. It’s nice to know and look at for fans and stuff, but I don’t really look at it,” Heiligh said.

That’s because this team is looking to accomplish much more. The 2017 Tribe is all over the offensive record books but names like Anthony Laikakos and Richie Marshall from the 2000 team that own the defensive side of school history.

“It’s pretty special because it kind of opens your eyes and sees what’s possible like what we can accomplish as a team and as a unit on defense,” Venice Linebacker Caleb Smith said.

If you ask North Port head coach Brian Hatler, who was an assistant on the 2000 state championship Venice team, all this boils down to is one word.

“That’s tradition and that’s what tradition’s all about and they have great tradition there,” Hatler said.

One could say hypothetical situations are for the birds. But it’s too fun not to think about. When asked who’s better, the 2000 Tribe or the 2017 Indians, Hatler didn’t hesitate.

“Right now as we’re speaking here today the nod would go to the 2000 team because they have the state championship. Based on the outcome of the game Saturday that discussion is probably going to be had quite often. I think there’s a very good likelihood that Venice is going to come away with the win,” Hatler said.

If there’s anything left to shatter, it’s the trophy case, because it’s about time that 2000 state championship trophy has some company.


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