Defying a doctor’s order to go on bed rest following an appendectomy, Boyd Anderson football coach Wayne Blair hobbled to the top of the Nova bleachers with the help of his players to watch the Cobras play University School last Friday night.
What Blair witnessed was a Cobras team expected to challenge for the Class 7A state title still searching for its own prescription after a 50-0 loss to the Suns kept Boyd Anderson (0-5) in the District 14-7A cellar and searching for its first victory of the season.
“The captain of the ship can’t be in the bed when everything else is going on,” Blair said. “Being in the stands gave me a new perception. You get to hear things and get to see things. It has been a rough schedule, but I don’t use excuses. My thing is to find solutions and answers.”
The reigning Class 3A state champion Suns provided more than enough film study for Blair as quarterback Sean White threw for 437 yards and six touchdowns.
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Five of his completions went to Chris Taylor, who finished with 190 yards and two touchdowns.
If the inability of the perennial state contender Cobras to win a game is not concerning enough, then similar lopsided losses to Homestead (35-18), Cypress Bay (27-0), Flanagan (28-15) and Cardinal Gibbons (30-0) should be.
Exactly what led to the Cobras’ free fall since last season’s unlikely run to the Class 7A state quarterfinals and 9-3 record under the then-first-year coach Blair is anybody’s guess.
With six returning starters on each side of the ball and a slew of promising underclassmen, the Cobras were poised to challenge for the 7A crown.
From costly penalties and turnovers to miscommunication on the offensive line, the Cobras have inflicted as much damage on its chances of winning as opponents.
Despite the uncharacteristic poor start, however, quarterback Nathaniel Watson believes the Cobras have an opportunity to turn their season around if players start to play for each other.
“The big drop-off is that last year’s team was more a brotherhood,” Watson said. “This year’s team has a lot of pride taking over. One can’t take coaching from another. All it takes is a first win to make it a new season. This will show we can all do something together and being 5-5 in the season anything can happen.”
The Cobras’ “new season” starts with its upcoming three-game stretch against district foes Northeast (1-3) on Friday, Blanche Ely (0-4) and Fort Lauderdale (3-1), of which the first two are at home.
Winning two of those games would earn an unlikely return to the playoffs and render an embarrassing first half of the season a distant memory.
“We can start our season from here,” Blair said. “I asked the guys if they want their legacy to be the team that laid an egg or do they want to be known as the guys who turned that thing around. I feel like the light switch is going on. It’s just a matter of the guys unifying and having their heads on straight.”