Football hopes to be spring kings


photo by Jacob Arthur

Quarterback Matt Lipari avoids a defender in the Black and Blue Scrimmage game on Friday, May 13. The blue team went on to win 17-7. “We now feel prepared for Oviedo,” Lipari said.

In September, linebacker Asa Baker recorded nine tackles and a defensive player of the game award for Oviedo in their 28-21 win against Hagerty. Tomorrow, May 19, Baker, who transferred last month, suits up with Hagerty looking to defeat his old teammates in the spring game against Oviedo.

“I felt like Hagerty would give me the best opportunity to help further my football career for college,” Baker said. “It’s going to feel a little weird wearing blue and black instead of orange, but it should be fun playing against Oviedo in spring and in fall.”

Although spring football may just seem like a time to evaluate players’ skill sets and serve as a preview for the fall regular season, the varsity football team seriously wants to win, as they hope for more than just a district championship title again.

Head coach Phil Ziglar will enter his fourth season with the team, and even though the district championship victory was his immediate goal since he was hired in 2013, he looks to build on it in order to make the team’s accomplishments a tradition.

“A lot of people doubted that we would be able to win a district championship last season,” Ziglar said. “[However], we surprised them and won’t accept anything else other than to get better this season.”

Last season, the team lost in the Class 7A regional quarterfinals to Bartram Trail, 28-21, but quarterback Matt Lipari, one of the most experienced on the team despite never playing quarterback before, has high expectations this season.

“I definitely want us to go farther in the playoffs than last year’s team,” Lipari said. “I’m confident in where the team is at, and we’re ready to play.”

Despite most of the team being inexperienced on varsity this season, the team will not be inexperienced at winning, as the junior varsity team last season finished at 8-0.

“As one of the leaders of the junior varsity team last season, I feel fully capable to compete with this new and better competition,” running back Oliver Hart, who will replace Curtis Duren, said. “I know I’ll be filling a great senior’s shoes, but I’m used to the offense and have been making great progress.”

This will be offensive coordinator Charles Nassar’s second season with the team implementing his signature single-wing offense. Last season, the team rushed for almost 4,000 yards despite only throwing the ball 65 times. With Lipari being the one to now lead the offense, he will replace Tristan Tucker, who scored 12 touchdowns and was voted the District 7A player of the year last season.

“I know I haven’t played quarterback, but I’m willing to do anything to help us win,” Lipari said. “I’m accepting the role that I’m at now and just want to set a good example for the team this season.”

The spring game against Oviedo will be the first in the 11 year rivalry, which builds excitement for some players.

“I don’t think they have any chance of beating us,” cornerback Jace Freeny said. “I believe we have stronger team chemistry and more talent this season, but I’m not predicting a score, just a win.”

However, for others, including Ziglar, it is just another game.

“I know it’s a rivalry, but I don’t look at it as a rivalry until we’re in the regular season,” Ziglar said. “We’re just going to go out there and play the best we can and see what happens.”

The spring game will be at 7 p.m. at Oviedo and tickets are six dollars.

To get the score and stats of the Oviedo spring game follow us on Twitter @Hagertyjourn and check out the story on