Running back Chris Cooper (4) looks on as the offense takes to the field. Cooper played a key role in the Canes offense last year. He’ll look to carry the load alongside fellow running back Lucas Dennis.

A rivalry will be renewed as the 2020 high school football season kicks off  on Friday Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. between the Coral Shores Hurricanes and Marathon Dolphins (weather pending). Both teams have put in the conditioning and honed their tackling techniques for the past month. The Canes took to the field on Sept. 28 as some 30 players practiced offensive and defensive schemes in preparation for a big matchup. “I think once we get over there and get the nervousness out, we’re going to play a very good ball game,” Canes head coach Alphonso Bryant said. Last year, the Canes defeated the Dolphins at home on Oct. 4, 2019, by a score of 19-13. The Canes return their quarterback, Brian Lesko, and running backs Chris Cooper, who scored a 50-yard touchdown run in the matchup last season, and Lucas Dennis. 

For the Dolphins, expect great things from wide receiver and safety Miguel Avena, running back  Jimmy Gimeranes, linemen Andrew Lawyer, TJ Hawkins and Malachi Hawkins, and linebacker Jayden Bruland.

“These young men have put all their time and efforts into getting extra time in the weight room, watching film, and running plays. Not only have their skills grown, but so has the team itself,” said Dolphin coach Mac Childress, noting the team has doubled in size this year with 30 varsity players.

The seating in Marathon’s new stadium has been reduced from more than 1,000 seats to about 300 to allow for social distancing. Spectators must wear a mask at all times and remain in their seats. There will be no play area for kids and limited concession sales. The guest team (Coral Shores) can buy two tickets per player. The home team, cheerleaders and band members can purchase four tickets per player/student. MHS’s athletic director said he expects there may be a few left over for purchase by the general public. For more information, call Kevin Freeman 305-289-2480.

— Weekly staff and Clare Merryman contributed to this report

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