NO. 4 MAINLAND BUCCANEERS
2016: 11-1, lost in the regional finals to Carol City
Head Coach: Scott Wilson
Key Returners: DT Kevon McCrary, WR D’Marcus Adams, WR Nathaniel Dell
The Scoop: Last season, Mainland High School was once again bested by a south Florida team in the playoffs after running the tables against local competition. The Buccaneers were undefeated in the regular season behind quarterback Denzel Houston, who signed to play college ball at FAU.
Per usual, the Bucs are reloading on the talent, with several athletes already committing for the 2018 class including Adams and Johnathan Huggins to FSU, Dell to FIU, and Adonis Boone to USF.
Quotable: “Down here we got it. Top notch, we just work. That’s how we’re good, we work every day. We work like there is no tomorrow, we work like we want to be somewhere, we work like we want to be on a state championship team.” - DT Kevon McCrary
8/18 @ Apopka
8/25 vs. Deland
9/1 vs. Bartram Trail
9/15 vs. Pine Ridge
9/22 @ Dr. Phillips
9/29 @ Deltona
10/6 @ Cocoa
10/13 vs. Matanzas
10/20 vs. New Smyrna Beach
Reload. Reload. Reload.
The Mainland Buccaneers stay in the state championship conversation year in and year out because of the constant stream of talent suiting up.
“Down here we got it,” joked junior defensive end Kevon McCrary, whose older brother Kevin also came through the program. “Top notch, we just work. That’s how we’re good, we work every day. We work like there is no tomorrow, we work like we want to be somewhere, we work like we want to be on a state championship team.”
This season, though, the Bucs will have to reload in the biggest way possible, replacing Mainland’s most prolific offensive threat, Denzel Houston, who graduated with a school record 124 total touchdowns to his name.
When asked what it is like having to replace a guy like Denzel? Senior wide receiver and FSU commit D’Marcus Adams shook his head.
“It’s a lot,” said Adams. “We have a quarterback, Jake Novello, who is stepping up and he is doing pretty good but replacing Denzel is pretty hard.”
Ocoee transfer Novello will have tough shoes to fill, but already proved his worth in the Bucs spring game, throwing for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns. If Novello can keep the stats up, and all other Bucs find their role, Mainland has a mind to once again be playing in the postseason.
“I see a lot in this team right here,” said Adams. “We have a lot of young guys and they’re stepping up and they have a lot of potential.”
23 consecutive postseason appearances are nice, but the ultimate goal for Mainland is always states.