By Gary Curreri
Entering the 2017 season, Deerfield Beach High girls flag football coach Cam Thomas had high hopes and expectations for his squad.
The Bucks were coming off an 8-5 season and first round District 11-2A playoff defeat to Coral Springs. The team graduated 12 players from that team, including five key starters.
“We have gone through a little bit of a rebuilding year,” said Thomas, whose team is 2-5 this year and has two difficult match-ups coming up – this week against Coral Glades and the Douglas after spring break next week. “We can still make the (District) playoffs as the fourth seed if we win those two games.”
Thomas, who had taken his team to Orlando to play the likes of Dr. Phillips and Port Orange Spruce Creek in two of the past three years, said a lack of funds prevented him from making the trip this year. He said every matchup this season was one they looked forward to.
“We didn’t want to overlook anybody,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the team has received solid play from returners Taylor Brown (Sr., RB/rusher/CB), Lyndaziah Roberts (Jr., athlete), Eryuan Nesbitt (Sr., LB/TE) and promising newcomers such as Shavon Andrews (Sr., QB/LB), Jasna Mason (Sr., WR/CB), Kim Lawson (Soph., CB/RB), Rebecca Nakad (Soph., athlete) and Camellia Robinson (Soph., rusher).
“Lyndaziah has had a great season,” Thomas said. “She has eight interceptions this year and has 300 yards receiving and one touchdown. She’s been a varsity player since her freshman year.”
The Bucks have been slowed by inconsistent quarterback play, according to Thomas. He said that Nakad has stepped in and done well since making a change recently with their signal callers.
“It wasn’t what we thought it was going to be this year, especially on the varsity level,” Thomas said. “Rebecca has done well at quarterback since she stepped in. It is a learning experience for her since she is a soccer player. She is trying to take control of the quarterback situation right now.”
“If we are going to beat Coral Glades and Douglas, Rebecca is going to have to play mistake-free football,” Thomas said. “She doesn’t have to play a great game. She just has to eliminate the minor mistakes. The top four of seven make it to the playoffs.”
Thomas said the biggest obstacle to overcome was the graduation of the 12 seniors from a year ago.
“That was a huge hit because five or six were from our basketball team from last year,” Thomas said. “Just having those types of athletes, it is hard to replace them.
“That is the success that South Broward is having right now because of their athletes came from their girls basketball team. There is a lot of learning that is going on with us this year. I think this is a rebuilding year for us; and next year, with the JV and the girls we have returning, we will have a good season.”