To call the players on Cambridge Christian's football team "versatile" would be an understatement; just ask any of the 20 players on their active roster.
But for Coach Bob Dare's Lancers, experience on both sides of the ball has paid off this season, igniting the team to a 4-1 start in 2010. With a quarterback that plays linebacker and linemen that dig in on both offense and defense, Dare's squad has developed unity few other teams possess. That camaraderie was on display last Friday, October 1, when Cambridge Christian exploded for 36 second half points against Calvary Christian to earn their fourth win in a row.
That victory also earned Dare the Tampa Bay Buccaneers High School Coach of the Week Award for Week Five.
"It's old-time football, its ironman football," said Dare of his team's style of play. "It's really what I enjoy coaching. I've never had more than 33-35 guys on a roster in my whole coaching career."
Trailing 7-6 at the half, senior quarterback Michael McDermott led the Lancers' charge by completing touchdown passes of 30, 41 and 54 yards. That impressive scoring barrage, coupled with a stout Lancer defense, earned Cambridge Christian a 42-14 win and allowed the team to match its win total from all of 2009.
On Thursday, Dare was invited to One Buccaneer Place along with seniors David Cayo and Michael Jimenez and sophomore Taylor Mitchell. The four received a tour of the facility and watched the Buccaneers practice before Head Coach Raheem Morris greeted the group and offered congratulations on the Lancers' impressive start to the season.
"It's a great honor," said Dare. "I've got a group of guys and coaches I work with that have really made it a pleasure to coach, and [being] recognized for what they're doing on the field means a lot."
Along with a signed certificate, Buccaneers hat and personalized football presented by Coach Morris, Dare received a $1,000 donation from the NFL Youth Football Fund to go towards the Lancers' football program.
"It was a lot different than I thought," said Coach Dare about his experience at One Buc. "I knew this facility was unbelievable, but to actually see it and see all that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are doing right for their program, it was a really cool experience."
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 10 weekly winners at the end of the season. The Buccaneers and the NFL'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.