Alum starts first season as coach

IMG_8773The Pahokee Blue Devils were on the field by 7 a.m. last week to start the grueling task of preseason practice.

The 18-player team is under the direction of first-season head coach and former Blue Devil himself, Alphonso Smith. As a player, Smith led the Blue Devils to the state championships in 2004 and spent four seasons in the NFL playing for the Denver Bronco and the Detroit Lions.

More than a decade after leading his team to states, the Pahokee alum says it feels good to be back home.

“It feels great having the chance to come back home and have a positive impact on kids who are just like me,” said Smith as the team finished its morning practice on Friday, Aug. 7.

“We have a talented group of seniors who have played a lot of games,” he said. Though the team has a lot of young players on its roster, Smith said where there is a sophomore player there is an experienced senior player to complement him.

The Blue Devils play their first game on Aug. 21 away at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach. Though Smith said the team has a ways to go, he is hopeful his players will rise to the occasion.

“I feel good about the game. Atlantic is a tough team but I’m confident in our team and our coaching staff,” he said.

Schedule
Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.
Opponent – Atlantic (Delray Beach)
Location – Atlantic High School

Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Opponent – Seminole Ridge (Loxahatchee)
Location – Pahokee High School

Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Opponent – Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach)
Location – Cardinal Newman High School

Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. *District Game
Opponent – Crescent City (Crescent City)
Location – Pahokee High School

Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Opponent – Clewiston (Clewiston)
Location – Pahokee High School

Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. *District Game
Opponent – Wildwood (Wildwood)
Location – Wildwood High School

Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.
Opponent – Village Academy (Delray Beach)
Location – Pahokee High School

Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. *District Game
Opponent – Frostproof (Frostproof)
Location – Frostproof High School

Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. *District Game
Opponent – Fort Meade (Fort Meade)
Location – Pahokee High School

Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. *District Game
Opponent – Taylor (Pierson)
Location – Taylor High School

Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Opponent – Glades Central
Location – Glades Central High School

Staff writer Melissa Beltz can be reached at 863-983-9148 or mbeltz@newszap.com.

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