Spring high school football games mark the final stretch of the academic year, and Melbourne Central Catholic is on the clock.
Saturday at 6 p.m., the Hustlers welcome Gulliver Prep, a Class 4A team coming off a playoff season.
“We talked after the season and thought it would be a really good challenge,” MCC coach Mike Riazzi said. “They’re a quality club.”
Of the 13 area schools playing spring football games this May, only seven will play inside Brevard County. Games stretch from Saturday through to May 30. The heaviest day will be May 23, when five teams play games, though only Eau Gallie will be in town.
Unlike 12 teams among the 17 local football-playing schools, the Hustlers are not initiating their next quarterback. MCC did lose to offensive linemen to graduation, but the defense was hit the hardest, with five gone.
Space Coast will follow the Hustlers in action, playing at home against Warner Christian on Tuesday. Graduated quarterback Nick Rittenhouse has left a major hole to be filled.
“We have a lot of skill position players coming back,” said Vipers coach Jake Owens, who also will be looking for some new interior linemen. “We have a lot of returnees back from the defense. I think we’ll be a little more athletic on that side of the ball.”
Teams have been allowed to practice since May 1, and Owens said he’s been pleased with the squad coming off its second playoff year ever. Tuesday’s game will give him better evidence of where it stands.
“I think with any spring game you just want to see what kind of progress you’ve made from January to that point,” he said. “It’s an evaluation process, and the game gives you some film on your guys against an actual opponent.”
The only game between two Brevard teams will be Wednesday, including two of last year’s teams with unbeaten regular seasons, Heritage at Merritt Island.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @321preps.
Spring football game schedule
Saturday, May 17
Gulliver Prep at MCC, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 20
Warner Christian at Space Coast, 6:30
Wednesday, May 21
Heritage at Merritt Island, 6
Thursday, May 22
Viera at Freedom, 7
Friday, May 23
Pine Ridge at Eau Gallie, 7
Palm Bay at Royal Palm Beach, 7
Astronaut at Seabreeze, 7
Melbourne at Deland, 7
Rockledge at Colonial, 7
Wednesday, May 28
Spruce Creek at Satellite, 7
Thursday, May 29
Jones at Bayside, 6:30
Friday, May 30
Titusville at East River, 7