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Braves soak Johnson

Boone will face toughest early slate
8/17/2014 7:09:00 PM

If you want to know who the best team in the Sentinel's coverage area is, ask Boone coach Andy Johnson in about seven weeks. His Braves open the season with six consecutive games against teams that combined to go 56-15 last year.

Boone, which was 4-7 last season against the same opponents it will face this year, will open with an Aug. 29 home game against West Orange and then will play at Timber Creek on Sept. 5; Orlando University at home on Sept. 12; at Apopka on Sept. 19; Winter Park at home on Sept. 26; and at Dr. Phillips on Oct. 3 in its Class 8A, District 5 opener.

Nobody in the area has a more challenging start.

Johnson was new as Boone's head coach in 2013, and his inexperienced squad went 0-6 against that slate.

"Even in the midst of that, the kids played hard every week," he said. "They just weren't ready to beat teams like that."

The Braves bounced back to win four straight and make the playoffs. They're better prepared to face the gauntlet now.

"We didn't lose many seniors, and I think we're going to be competitive with everybody," Johnson said. "As long as you're competitive, anything can happen."

Competition figures to be fierce across the area. We've picked one game to watch for each week of the regular season, and added "audible" options in case you want to change the game plan once the season starts. If Johnson proves correct about the Braves' growth, you might be adding Boone to this list.

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