Sunlake High School Head Coach Bill Browning (holding football) brought Assistant Coaches Matt Smith (left), Nick Carroll (second from right) and Jimmy Bragg (right) with him to One Buc Place to accept his award
With an upset of previously undefeated Gulf High last Friday, the Sunlake High School Seahawks notched the biggest win in their program's brief history, and in the process helped their head coach take home an impressive honor…The school will receive $1,000 to apply to their football program
As a new school in 2007, Sunlake High School was given the challenge of putting together a varsity football program that could compete in Class 3A, District 7 play. The first two seasons were predictably difficult for the Sunlake Seahawks, but the pieces are starting to come together in 2009 under Head Coach Bill Browning.
On Friday, September 25, Sunlake upset the Gulf High School Buccaneers 35-14, earning their first victory since the team's 19-10 win over River Ridge High School in September of 2008. The Seahawks overcame previously unbeaten Gulf by scoring five touchdowns and limiting the Buccaneers to only two scores. After accumulating only 38 yards of total offense in the first half, the Seahawks took control of the game in the second half thanks to sophomore running back Rashaud Daniels, who ran for 173 yards and four scores en route to the team's first-ever district win.
As a result, Coach Browning was named the Buccaneers High School Coach of the Week for Week Four of the 2009 season. Coach Browning, along with Assistant Coaches Jimmy Bragg, Matt Smith and Nick Carroll visited One Buccaneer Place Wednesday morning for a tour of the team's training facility and an opportunity to watch the Buccaneers practice. Following the team's morning session, Head Coach Raheem Morris greeted the group and congratulated the Seahawks for their impressive start to the 2009 season.
Along with a signed certificate, Buccaneers hat and personalized football presented by Coach Morris, Browning received $1,000 towards the Seahawks' football program. During the visit, Carroll expressed his feelings about Browning's honor.
"We're very pleased to get the award," Carroll said, "Bill deserved it. It's been a long time coming for us to get a win, and a thousand dollars can get us new equipment. We can get jerseys, footballs, and other things we need for the program."
Browning made sure to share the credit for the Seahawks' success.
"It's a fabulous experience and I'm very happy that I got to invite three of my assistant coaches with me, because they are very deserving also," Browning said after the visit. "We're a new program with a lot of needs. We're still trying to develop the program and the money will definitely come in handy."
The Buccaneers will honor 10 high school coaches from West Central and Central Florida during this year's prep football season. A Coach of the Year, who receives an additional $1,000 for his football program, will be selected from the ten weekly winners at the end of the season. The Buccaneers and National Football League's Coach of the Week program aids in the development of youth football, which has a positive influence on young athletes and the communities in which they live.