Olympic Heights Football Team Off to 2-0 Start; Looking to Build on Victories


Lions Head Coach Baz Alfred is looking to Jack Coulson (left) and Will Cunningham to provide senior leadership in the 2018 season.

The Olympic Heights football team is off to a 2-0 start after beating Boynton Beach 7-6 in what Head Coach Baz Alfred called a “sloppy” game in the season opener on Aug. 24, and then pounding cross-town rival Spanish River 42-7 on Aug. 30.

In the season and home-opener, Boynton Beach’s game-opening, 11-minute drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead. Fortunately for the Lions, the point after kick was missed.

For the rest of the half and into the third quarter, the Lions defense held tough, but the offense sputtered until junior running back Nick Palmenteri scored on a 2-yard run. The successful point after kick was good, giving the Lions the 7-6 lead, which was also the final score.

Six days later, the Lions got their offense on track against a weak Spanish River team, scoring all of their 42 points in the first half. Senior A.J. Wicihowski got the scoring started early by returning the opening kick-off 95-yards for a touchdown.

The Lions offense had their way against the Sharks defense the entire first half, seemingly scoring at will. Junior quarterback Connor Hone threw for four touchdown passes in the scoring spree.

The defense stymied the River offense for most of the game, with the second-team defense giving up the lone Sharks’ score in the third quarter. The Lions special teams unit even got in on the fun, with junior Christian Ippolito returning a blocked River punt for a touchdown.

With the 2018 season underway, expectations are riding high after the two opening wins and coming off a 5-4 record last year, a season that featured an upset win over state powerhouse Dwyer.

Alfred is very optimistic about this season saying the team has many strengths including “having veteran guys at key positions on the offensive line, William Cunningham, Edgar Cardenas, Riley Lawhon as the returning starters.”

Alfred is also looking to transfer quarterback Hone (who came from Somerset Academy – Canyons in January) and seniors Jack Coulson (wide receiver/free safety) and Bryan Antione (tight end/defensive end) to provide leadership both on and off the field. Coulson already has scholarship offers from Columbia, Cornell, Florida International, and three other schools.

“We have some young guys playing key positions and I’m very excited about it,” Alfred adds. Among the promising players are sophomore Fuge Theodore (who had a big game against River, coming up with fifteen tackles and three sacks), sophomore Josh Volel, and freshman Justin Mosely.

Last year, the team graduated 26 players, opening spots for many new players to step into starting roles. Having experienced players on a team is very important, but when that many seniors leave, there are going to be first year varsity players. Alfred made it clear how those outgoing seniors impacted the team by saying, “It forces us to play young, and it forces us to make sure that we have key guys that can contribute behind them.”

The Lions will put their undefeated on the line in a home game against Cardinal Newman on Friday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m., Keep in mind that there will be a security checkpoint ath the stadium entry, only clear bags are allowed in the stadium, there is no entry into the stadium after halftime, and no re-entry at any time during the game.