Mainland hasn't used the motto since 2003— the year the Bucs won their only state championship.
It’s a yearly ritual for Mainland’s football program: The Buccaneers graduate a plethora of talented athletes who go on to play at the college level, Division I or otherwise. The end of the 2018-19 school year was no different for the Buccaneers, who went 7-4 and lost to Miami Northwestern in the first round of the 2018 FHSAA playoffs.
But every year, the Buccaneers find a way to fill those voids. This year is no different.
While Mainland graduated top talent in defensive tackle Kevon McCrary (now at Florida Atlantic), wide receiver/defensive back Andrew Plummer (who is also at FAU) and running back D’Andre McMillian (now at Murray State), the Buccaneers will return plenty of players with ability and have even hauled in several solid players via transfers.
Last year’s starting quarterback Taron Keith returns to lead the Buccaneers’ offense, which will be anchored by an experienced offensive line, which was bolstered by the addition of Luke Walker, who holds offers from several Division I programs.
Things are similar on the defensive side of the ball, with senior defensive back Ra’Mello Dotson taking more of a leadership role this season.
He’s more of a lead-by-example kind of guy, although he’ll speak up when he has to.
“But everybody’s working right now, so there’s not too much I’ve had to say,” Dotson said. “Everybody is flying around in practice. This year should be good.”
Mainland’s longtime coach, Scott Wilson, believes his team has all the pieces to be successful this season.
“We’ve just have to stay humble, keep working hard and focus on character and commitment to each other,” he said. “I think we’ll be fine.”
Outside of the team’s talent, what Wilson feels the most confident about is the amount of high-character guys on the squad.
He cited one particular example: The Buccaneers had an affirmation day a few weeks ago. The whole team sat in a banquet hall at the Wyndham Hotel in Daytona. They talked about life, their goals and laid out a plan for this season. They didn’t leave the room for eight hours.
“They didn’t want to leave each other,” Wilson said. “They love each other. There’s a brotherhood.”
“Committed to brotherhood.” That’s the team’s motto for this season. It’s a motto that they haven’t used since 2003 — when Mainland won its only state title.
Winning games and postseason titles is, once again, the expectation this season.
“Anyone who steps in front of us,” Keith said, “we’re going to knock them down one by one.”