Hawks add Osceola, Heritage to already tough schedule


Viera football coach Kevin Mays likes his bolstered schedule for 2017.

photo by Carl Kotala

The Viera High football team’s 2017 schedule will feature a number of familiar names … and a few new ones … which should make for another challenging season.

After going on the road to face a Vero Beach team that went 11-1 last season in the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 18, the Hawks will open the regular season at home against a Rockledge team that is expected to be much improved in 2017.

One of the highlights of the season will come in Week 2 when Viera travels to Washington D.C. to play Gonzaga as part of a home-and-home series the two schools began last season.

While the trip should be an incredible experience for the Hawks, they’ll have another tough game waiting for them when they come home.

Osceola, which went 10-1 last season, will come to Viera on Sept. 8.

Viera will be home again the following week against Merritt Island, before embarking on a string of four consecutive road games — at Cocoa, at Melbourne, at Palm Bay and at Martin County in what figures to be a game that will once again decide the Class 7A, District 6 champion.

Viera will get a week off following the Martin County contest before hosting South Fork and then Heritage on Nov. 3 to close out the regular season.

“That schedule, if we get through it healthy, that schedule will have us prepared for the playoffs,” Hawks coach Kevin Mays said.

While Viera has never been afraid to schedule tough teams, the additions of Osceola and Heritage to an already challenging list of opponents will definitely take the Hawks’ degree of difficulty up a few notches next season.

“One, you want to test yourself,” Mays said. “Plus, we have found out the better you get, the harder it is to make a schedule. Osceola called. They’re a good program. We wanted to test ourselves with that. And then we haven’t played Heritage in a long time. Me and Coach (Mark) Ainsley and (Viera defensive coordinator Derek) Smith went to college together. We figured, let’s play and have a good in-county game.”