Viera football will be tested next season


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Last year, they went undefeated in the regular season for the first time in school history and then won their first-ever district championship.

Come the fall, the Viera High football team is going to be taking a major step up in competition.

“We wanted to test the kids so they could see more playoff-type teams,” Hawks coach Kevin Mays said. “Week in and week out, it’s going to be tough.”

The Hawks’ 2016 schedule looks like a list of perennial Brevard County powerhouses, with a few out of town — and one big out of state — games thrown in for good measure.

After playing Eau Gallie in the Kickoff Classic, the Hawks are set to open the season Aug. 28 at home against Rockledge.

From there, the Hawks are off to play in Allen, Tex. on Sept. 4 before returning for games against Merritt Island (home), Lakeland/Kathleen (road), Cocoa (road), Melbourne (district game/road), Palm Bay (home), and Martin County (district game/road).

After a bye week, Viera will finish with home games against South Fork (district game) and Winter Springs.

While it will certainly be tough to go undefeated against that bunch, should the Hawks qualify for the playoffs for just the second time in school history, they will know they have been tested.

“Everybody said we played a soft schedule (last year),” Viera quarterback Hayden Kingston said.

“The junior class (who are) going to be seniors really wanted to show what we’re about. We really look forward to playing the Palm Bays, the Merritt Islands, the Allens and the Cocoas of the world and showing the state what we can do, show them we’re not just a one-trick pony.”

Viera’s game against Allen, Texas will certainly represent a big challenge.

The Eagles finished 16-0 last season, winning the Texas Class 6A state championship and extending their winning streak to 43 games. Allen has won the title in the state’s largest classification for three consecutive years. Only five other teams in the state have ever done that.

Playing in a big stadium on the road will be an experience the Hawks will never forget.

“We were just looking at traveling,” Mays said. “One phone call led to another and Allen offered us a game to come out there. They play in front of 18,000 people. It will be a neat experience for us to go out there and see what it’s like.”