SARASOTA – State quarter-finalists in 2017, the Out-of-Door Academy returns nine starters on the defense, and seven on offense. The squad has 13 seniors, something that first year coach Chris Kempton says is a plus for a 2A school like ODA.
“We have a lot of expectations for that senior class to be leaders for us, they have played a lot of football for us in the last few years. The expectation level we have kind of set, we have raised the bar here.”
Expectations players are ready to meet.
“I mean we have had a great morale, this beginning of this season. Everybody’s feeling pretty great, we are all pretty confident and it’s gonna be a great year.
The Thunder have been working out all summer in the blistering Florida heat, but running back Jarred Flahive knows it well help them as the season wears on
“I think it really builds grit among the team it gives us a chip on the shoulder cause other teams might not be working three hours out in the dead heat every day and they might be inside, but I feel like since we are out here we are really embracing the grind if you would.”
Workouts have turned into practices, but the Thunder aren’t too concerned about anybody on their schedule
“Right now we are worried about ODA, our culture, bonding as a team and becoming a family.
That family, after all the offseason work, can’t wait to get under those Friday Night Lights
“We got a similar team coming back…same guys from spring… we all know what we are doing… we are ready to go.