CLEWISTON – Clewiston should field a hungry team this year after a 5-5 record in 2015 and a season without a trip to the regional playoffs.
LaBelle had a rough time last year as they lost at home in week one 42-6. The Cowboys struggled on offense in Okeechobee last Friday as they fell to the Brahmans 41-7.
The two teams meet this Friday at Cane Field in the regular season opener for both teams. Clewiston, coached by Pete Walker, has 19 seniors on the roster this year. Key players include Charles Felton, Armone Thomas, Winston Gilkes, Ja’Markis Weston, Trayquan Williams and Juan Norton. Menta Jones and Zachary Seale are players who scored touchdowns for the Tigers last year. The Tigers also lost their starter QB, Davis Witt, to graduation.
Senior members of the football team include Jah-reece Murphy, Jhalin Humphries, Juan Norton, Devon Jackson, Keshan Davis, Anthony Walker, Dura Hunter, Zachary Seale, Delroy Greenland, Justin Brown, Wilford Mcleod, Jason Hannam, Konnor Hyslope, Ethan Ridgdill, Isaiah Holligan, Deontay Seale Jadam Thompson.
The Tigers again play in the tough district, 4A-7 that includes state ranked archi-rival Glades Central and also University of Fort Lauderdale, who qualified for the playoffs last year. LaBelle, coached by Chris Siner, rebounded from a slow start last year to win five games and finish at .500. QB Tyler Burton completed just (3-10) passes against Okeechobee and has to play better for the Cowboys to compete. Tray Williams sat out most of the first half but still had 90 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown to lead the Cowboy offense. He rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. TE Michael Rothenhoefer has the size, 6’6″, to produce some yardage in the passing game for LaBelle.
LaBelle lost key lineman Matt Price to an injury last week. They do boast a solid kicker in Jonathan Morales. The Clewiston junior varsity team plays at Okeechobee High on Thursday night at 6 p.m.
The varsity contest begins at 7 p.m. on Friday. There is an admission charged.