Pasco-Hernando State College to face Everest College in Joni Industries Bowl

By Frank Fencil |

SPRING HILL, Florida — Forget Florida State and cast aside the Crimson Tide. Frown upon Oregon and don’t stay up late for Ohio State. The biggest game of the college football season will be right here in our own community.

The College Football Playoff Committee announced Sunday that Pasco-Hernando State College will face Everest College in the Joni Industries Bowl on Jan. 1 at Delta Woods Park.

“This is going to be one for the ages,” said Pasco-Hernando State College coach Ted Gupples, whose team’s only loss this season came when the Conquistadors were forced to forfeit against Hillsborough Community College because too many players missed the game to work at their part-time retail jobs the day after Black Friday. “Not since the American Handball Association’s 2009 Southeast Regional Qualifier has Delta Woods Park seen such a prestigious sporting event.”

Gupples said he is hopeful that most of his players’ requests for a day off have been granted this time around.

“It’s hard enough to win a football game on the field without all these overzealous McDonald’s shift managers keeping my best linemen working the drive-through window two hours late,” he said.

Undefeated Everest College is on an 11-game winning streak and this week gets back its starting quarterback, who has missed the previous four games on house arrest.

“He’s still not full speed, what with that ankle monitor, but he’s most dangerous when he’s slinging the ball anyway,” Everest College coach Tim Beckwith said. “It’s his last year and so he’s really driven to show scouts what he’s got because getting into the NFL is the only way he’s going to get out from under the crippling debt he’s taken on to pursue his education here.”

Pasco-Hernando will be holding a series of car washes to help fund the bus ride from the Brooksville Campus to Delta Woods Park. Everest College athletic director Joseph Peppers said each of his student-athletes will be taking out an additional $2,500 in high-interest, private student loans to finance the trip.

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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