Football finishes season 10-2 in playoffs


Audrey Strembicki

Star running back DJ Scott runs the ball in round 1 of the playoffs against Wharton. He accumulated 164 total yards against the Wildcats.

After a season highlighted by a historic postseason run, a TODAY show appearance, and two hurricanes, Oviedo’s 2022 Fall football season has officially come to an end. Head coach Greg Odierno, known as “Coach O” to fans and players, closed out his second season at Oviedo with a 10-2 record, largely improving from last season’s 6-4 record. 

“We’ve learned a lot more about his system since Coach O has been around for another year,” said senior kicker Owen Proth. 

During the regular season, the Lions defeated three teams that ended up qualifying for the playoffs- the Lake Brantley Patriots, Lake Mary Rams, and Hagerty Huskies after coming back in the second half of all three games. This type of competition in their schedule proved the Lions’ capability of being true playoff contenders. They beat the Hagerty Huskies 26-18 in the Mayor’s Cup rivalry game, also known as the notorious “hometown showdown.”

“Leadership was a little bit scarce in the beginning of the year,” said senior offensive linebacker Noel Keller. “A couple of us had to step up and once we did that we were solid throughout the season.”

Additionally, Odierno led the Lions to a district championship win against the Lyman Greyhounds and a victory of 22-21 in overtime against the Wharton Wildcats, Oviedo’s first playoff win since 2012.

“Our offensive line did an outstanding job all season long,” said Coach Odierno. “Omari Wyatt, Tim Benedict, Gian Deliz and Jacob Thelen all had tremendous seasons that I think didn’t always get the credit they deserved.”

When hurricanes Ian and Nicole came along and delayed two games, including Round 2 against Jones High School, the team was confined to practicing in the Commons, the school cafeteria. Although Oviedo ended up falling to the No. 2 seeded Jones Fightin’ Tigers in Round 2 of the FHSAA Division 3M playoffs, the Lions managed to prove themselves as a powerful team once again by persevering through their disadvantages.

“I definitely wanted to try and make a run to the state championship, but I mean, we got put in the sixth hardest division in the country,” said Keller. “It was definitely cool for us to put Oviedo back on the map and get to Round 2.”

This season is only the beginning of Odierno’s impression on Central Florida high school football as a head coach. The improvement from the previous year alone shows the positive impact he has had on Oviedo’s program in just two seasons.

“You can only do that if your players are mentally and physically tough,” said Odierno on the team’s success. “I wanted to coach a team that cared for each other and had fun playing. I also value toughness and I think that we had that throughout our team.”