Countdown To Kickoff: Belleview Rattlers

Rattlers look to respond after 8-3 season in 2021
Rattlers want to keep the surprises coming
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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BELLEVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -For years, the Belleview football team heard all the derogatory comments, but there is a much different vibe in he fall of 2022.

“The hype train is kind of real, I’m not going to lie, the expectations are high,” said senior quarterback Ernest Blythe.

After posting one victory combined from 2018 to 2020, the Rattlers exploded last season to eight wins last year, their most since 2004, and a playoff appearance. Belleivew will once again have to overcome lack of continuity, however. Brian Lane is the team’s third head coach in as many seasons.

“It’s a partially new coaching staff, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator,” said Flythe. “It’s been rough trying to learn the new system and everything, but it’s just a thing we have to work out.”

“We’re definitely ready to get on the field,” said offensive coordinator Dustin Whitlock. “It’s just hard work and consistency, getting the players to buy in and keep building on success. Once they tasted it, it’s hard to get the taste out of their mouth.”

The Rattlers return six players on each side of the ball, and a it’s huge lift have Ernest Flythe back under center after a 2,177 yard passing season as a junior, with 25 touchdowns. Flythe’s top returning receiver is Andrew Lanctot, who had five touchdowns last season. To Flythe, Lanctot is a player with whom he has developed a certain telepathy.

“I grew up with him, been around with him my whole life, went to every school with him,” said Flythe. “It’s just a chemistry thing.”

Belleview now plays in class 3A Suburban and shares a district with Leesburg, Tavares, and Marion County county foe Vanguard. The Rattlers open play against Lecanto on Aug. 26, and if they can establish consistency, Belleview might have to enjoy the view from the top.

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