In 2018, Lyman posted an impressive positive point differential, scoring 281 points, while surrendering only 216. 

Although the expression “Hope Springs Eternal” is typically applied to Major League Baseball as players return for another year of chasing that somewhat elusive World Series crown, the saying can surely crossover to describe Lyman High School Varsity football. 

As the school and the team prepare for its annual Spring Game on Friday, May 17 at Lake Brantley High at 7 P.M., the hope and the goal is to finish with a winning record in 2019, something that hasn’t happened since 2009.

The team finished the 2018 campaign at 5-5 overall, 3-3 in their district. 

“We were just average,” says Coach Dennis Thomas, who will be enterin his fourth year at the helm. 

A feeling of optimism

Nonetheless, there are reasons that hope is alive. The Greyhounds are experiencing two distinct differences from 2018: brand new helmets and a completely different league. 

The latter is courtesy of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s redistricting over the winter that saw the Greyhounds drop from 8A District 2 to 7A District 4. The new district may play to the team’s advantage. 

“The district is wide open,” admits Thomas. “We beat two of the teams last year, so we will see.” 

Lyman’s realigned district opponents include East River, Lake Howell and Winter Springs; Lyman defeated both Lake Howell and Winter Springs last year. Winter Springs was also dropped from 8A District 4. 

The other difference — the modern helmets, is huge. Thanks to a fundraising effort by Longwood Mayor Matt Morgan, the Greyhounds are now sporting SpeedFlex helmets that greatly reduce the risk of concussions.

Coach Thomas, who played football for Evans High School and then Florida A&M, says the players are already praising the new headgear, which can only be a positive for everybody involved — from parents and players to coaches and athletic trainers. 

Thomas says fans should look for major contributions from four key players in 2019.

Exciting gridiron play will undoubtedly derive from senior running back Erick Quesada, senior free safety Yan-Michael Welo-Nsumbu, and senior offensive lineman Dyran Thomas; who at 6-foot-7, 386 pounds is considered the biggest man in the county.

All eyes will also be on sophomore quarterback Curtis Argroves, who threw 11 touchdown during his freshman year. 

The Greyhounds officially open their bid for a turn-around season on Friday, August 16 when they play host to the Winter Park Wildcats.