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The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) allowed teams to start non-contact practices

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

PHOTOS BY: DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR. / HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY LLC. ANDREAS BUTLER DEEP FOCUS NEWS Prep football camp begins The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) allowed teams to start non-contact practices on Monday, with contact practices beginning Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Across the state, there is excitement and optimism, including here locally, as high school football teams begin preparations for the upcoming 2022 season.

On Tuesday morning at Mainland, Head Coach Travis Roland had his Buccaneers squad ready to go.

"It's a great atmosphere. We're glad to be here. It's a great vibe right now. Football takes the longest to come back around, and it goes fast. Ten weeks roll by fast. You must get to doing what you must to get in the playoffs," said Roland.

Players are also excited to get back to work, as well as, about the possibilities of the upcoming season.

Rising senior offensive and defensive lineman Malcolm Curry said, "It's grind mode right now. We're getting ready for the season. This time is important to get focused and prepared to be successful this season."

These two weeks of practice before the start of the season are essential preparation for teams as they address their needs and access their rosters.

"This is really a good time to work on your team and make sure your scheme is tight. You don't have to prepare for an opponent yet. It's really fine-tuning the fundamentals of the game right now," said Roland.

Also, this season there are new classifications and divisions. There are the Metropolitan, Suburban, and Rural Divisions. The Metro and Suburban Division have Classes 1A-4A based on school population. The Rural Division has one class.

The Metro division includes schools in large metropolitan areas such as Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Seminole county, and more. Volusia and Flagler teams no longer have to play them to win a state title, but it remains to be seen how it will play out.

"For us, it only changed two teams. Orlando Jones and Tampa Jesuit would be the only ones in our classification. The first three rounds stay the same. We would only have seen Jones and Jesuit in the Semi-Finals or Finals," said Roland.

Pre-season jamborees and kick off classics begin on Aug. 17. The regular season starts the week of Aug. 26. Mainland plays at Matanzas in the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 19 then they host cross county rival DeLand at Daytona Stadium on Aug. 26.

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