The Sandcrabs enter the new season with a first-year head coach in Pat Brown.
Edon Coma was on the brink.
Three losing seasons in your first three years of high school can do that to you.
Coma joined the football team at Seabreeze High School his freshman year — the first year under former head coach Troy Coke.
The Sandcrabs went 6-24 in those three seasons, including 1-9 in 2018.
Players were messing around. There was no passion. No one took the game seriously.
“It was horrible,” Coma said. “There were so many times when I wanted to quit, but I told myself to keep fighting through it.”
There’s an air of excitement around Seabreeze’s program. It’s been that way since the hiring of former Father Lopez defensive coordinator Pat Brown in late January.
Brown was at Father Lopez for two seasons, where he helped the Green Wave advance beyond the first round of the FHSAA playoffs for the first time since 1984. In addition, the team's defense surrendered 42 points per game before Brown's addition. They allowed 13.7 ppg when he took over as defensive coordinator.
The tone of the Sandcrabs’ players has shifted. There has been a culture change, and it’s immediately evident to those who view even a minute of the team’s practices.
“We’re coming to practice to work,” Coma said. “I trusted coach Brown’s plan for us, and we’re a completely different team now. No one’s going to see it coming.”
The Sandcrabs held their first fall practice on the afternoon of Monday, July 29, at the practice fields at Seabreeze High School.
It was a culmination of the work the kids and coaching staff have put in dating back to spring practice and then throughout the summer.
“It’s exciting to be out here,” Brown said. “Guys are getting bigger, stronger, faster. The weight room don’t lie. Whatever you’re putting in, you’re going to get out. So we’re going to see who put the work in.”
"Everyone has a different mindset now. It’s really turned on. Last year, we were hoping for .500. This year, we want that district championship, and we’re going to get it. We’re going to go for it.”
Joe Justice, Seabreeze defensive end