I had interviewed Coach Marino and asked him questions concerning of the first game. This is how it happened.
With the first couple of questions being basic, I asked.
“When is the first game?”
Marino’s response- “This Friday, August 27th. Southeast. Home.”
The Second question again starting off basic, yet crucial.
“Where is the first game?”
Marino’s response- “Harlee Stadium here at Palmetto High. Home field advantage against the Seminoles.”
The third question is where it starts to pick up.
“Describe the rivalry against Southeast?”
Marino’s response- “It’s been a long standing rivalry, and Southeast pretty much dominated the rivalry through the ’70’s and 80’s and 90’s, but it was the most recent we’ve had the better advantage, better luck with the rivalry, we’ve won the last 7 games (past seasons). We are excited, it was always a tough one though, even though we won the last 7 times (still past tense/seasons), it’s been a challenge. The Southeast kids have a lot of pride, they have a lot of tradition, we are building our tradition over these last 10 years, they have a long, longer…tradition, they always come in with real confidence, and we expect that to be the same this Friday as well.”
The next question I asked was- “What is your confidence level with the first game, especially playing against rivalry?”
Marino’s response- “This past week we played against Newsome, it was a good test for us because whenever you play against yourself all through the pre-season you never know whos ahead of who, how good are we as a team, the defense was getting the best of the offense throughout pre-season so you wonder is our defense really that good or are they just average and then the offense isn’t very good and so those are the things that you really need to figure out against an unlike opponent, and we did that. Our offense played really well, they took the opening drive against Newsome 14 plays and scored. That gave us a little bit of a measuring stick that maybe our offense isn’t that bad and maybe our defense is pretty good. So now we just another challenge, another test this week.”
The next question I asked- “Describe playing Southeast last season.”
Marino’s response- “It was at their place. It was a great game. We didn’t really pull away from them until late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, it was a very close, tight game, hard fought battle, which is what your always going to get with the Southeast-Palmetto rivalry. But we feel again with our conditioning level, and the kids we have and how hard they’ve worked, we feel that in the fourth quarter that’s always going to be an advantage for us and we hope that plays out again this year.”
The following question- “What makes the team “different” this year (big or small.)?”
Marino’s answer- “Schematically we’re pretty much the same team defensively and offensively, we’ve infused a lot more younger guys into the starting lineup, inexperienced guys. We only have 3 senior battle-tested returning starters, so that means you got a lot of underclassmen that are being pushed into the starting position and we are expecting them to play at a higher level, but like I said it’s a process, it’s them getting better everyday we continuing to work hard and being able to rise to the challenges each and every week, that’s what we are looking forward to seeing is how quickly are our young sophomores can play at that high level.”
And now the last and final question that I’m sure everyone wants to know is-
“Are there any restrictions with attendance?”
Marino’s answer- “Nope, we’re full go with 100% capacity which is desperately needed this year, and coming off with limited compacity last year financially we took a hit as a athletic program in general. We’re just thankful that the district and the state of Florida is allowing us to have full capacity at the games so that we can continue to recoup some of the losses financially we had last year and get back into black. We are grateful, it’s great for the kids and the atmosphere as well, not just financially as an advantage but in terms of home field advantage having a full compacity stadium with the crowd excited and that definitely builds well for our kids.”
That was the interview, can’t wait to see you at the games.