larry block6 Life Lessons Learned From Hurricane Irma

We have long established that there is simply no other area in the country like South Florida when it comes to high school football. That is why this past week has been so tough on everyone.

For seven months out of the year, high school football players, coaches and fans look forward to August, September, October, November and December. It is their chance to do what they do best.

As Hurricane Irma, first threatened, and then affected all of this region, high school football was put on the backburner.

As many understand the fury of Mother Nature, they also know that missed football could mean scholarship offers – and as hundreds of thousands of homes have gone without power for as long as six days now – football has been on the minds of everyone.

But even though there are those who need this time to perhaps audition for a chance to get an education paid for – there are brothers such as Key West High School, who will most likely have to pass this senior season up as a team in the name of building the infrastructure back so people have lives – let alone playing football.

“What is going right now is real life,” football analyst Ricky Williams pointed out. “Most of these kids have no clue what it is to have completely nothing – and that includes our national pastime down here, football.”

Yes, real life has taken over. These young men who compete nationally year-round have had to deal with the reality that losing power is nothing compared to not having a structure to run that power to. They live down here knowing that we are indeed in the path of every storm that runs its way east through the Atlantic – or southwest out of the Gulf of Mexico.

As many athletes throughout Miami-Dade and Broward continue to experience what is going on, this past week has indeed been something that everyone will learn from.

The knowledge that while they will go on and eventually play the season, there are those who live in the Florida Keys, Naples and other very hard hit areas will not get that chance.


People in Las Vegas got a great look at Miami Central – when the Rockets upended national power Bishop Gorman last Friday night.

Well, here we are today – and this football that won that game – was just about to leave after 8 days! That’s right, the Rockets who arrived on Wednesday of last week and were scheduled to leave last Saturday morning, have been in Vegas all week.

Because the airlines were not flying into South Florida, the 3-0 nationally-rated Rockets and head coach Roland Smith were “forced” to stay right there in a place that most would dream of being. But with family and friends going through tough times, they were stuck in the middle of buffets and glitz.

Smith didn’t let time pass by. He kept the team busy, which included a trip to nearby University of Nevada (UNLV)nto watch the Rebels practice.

So even though football was not a priority back home, that visit resulted in one of the players, junior Tatum Bethune, being offered.

“Great campus and the coaches were tremendous,” Smith said. “This was something way out of our control. Everyone misses their families and want to get back, but this has been our option, and we have tried to make the most of it.”

The Rockets were our McDonald’s Team of the Week this past week.


The safety of the student-athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators impacted by Hurricane Irma remains our top concern. Due to the widespread and varying levels of impact from Hurricane Irma, the FHSAA has chosen not to uniformly cancel, postpone and/or prohibit play. The FHSAA plans to maintain the originally scheduled season dates in an effort to cause the least amount of impact on all other non-athletic activities. The decision to practice and/or play remains up to each individual school and/or school district. Provided facilities, roadways and conditions permit, each school is encouraged to resume play as soon as possible. In an effort to get teams conditioned appropriately and back on track with regularly scheduled games, practice will be permitted this Sunday (September 17th) only, with your school and/or school districts approval.

In the event games need to be rescheduled or postponed, schools are encouraged to work together to come up with a date that best suits all parties involved. If a game is rescheduled, please email all specific details to as soon as a decision has been made.

With regard to the FHSAA’s points system for Football, as originally planned, total points will be determined by dividing points earned by games played. If a school falls below the eight (8) game (minimum) requirement, the Executive Director may waive the minimum game requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can we practice?

a. Practice is a school and/or school district based decision. Provided your school and/or school district permits you to do so, practices are permitted.

2. Can we play this week?

a. This is a school and/or school district based decision. Provided your school and/or school district permits you to do so, and conditions are appropriate, returning to your regular schedule of games is permitted and encouraged.

3. Can we play this week’s game on Monday of next week?

a. This is a school and/or school district based decision. Provided your school and/or school district permits you to do so, and conditions are appropriate, you may play your game any day (except Sunday), that is suitable for all parties involved.

However, you are encouraged to play as soon as possible, provided facilities, roadways and conditions are appropriate.

4. Can we practice on Sunday?

a. Yes, provided your school and/or school district permits, practice will be permitted this Sunday (Sunday, September 17th) only.

5. What happens if I don’t play a minimum eight (8) games?

a. The Executive Director may waive the minimum game requirement on a case-by-case basis. This was part of the original policy for these specific types of situations.

6. Will playing fewer games than regularly scheduled hurt our playoff chances?

a. No. This is why there is a divisor. Total points will be det

Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!

south florida high school sports Life Lessons Learned From Hurricane Irma


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