By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
North Port coach Brian Hatler works his team through drills during practice on Friday afternoon (Sun Photo by Michele Haskell).
NORTH PORT — Hurricane Irma wasn’t going to be a buzzkill for North Port High School.
The Bobcats, two weeks removed from their first win of the season over Ida Baker, finally returned to the practice field on Friday. They were all smiles, partly because they’ll return to the game field tonight for their District 7A-11 opener against Sarasota, but also because they all made it safely through the storm.
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Sarasota (2-1) at North Port (1-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Sarasota 34, Booker 14; North Port did not play.
Last season: Sarasota 13-12.
Players to watch: Sarasota: Tommy Battie (Sr., QB/CB), Brian Battie (So., RB), Deric DuBose (Sr., WR); North Port: Devon Allen (Sr., QB/S), C.K. Poulos (Sr., WR/CB), Javon Howell (Sr., RB/S), Brian Taylor (So., RB/LB).
What to expect: This was a close game a year ago, but the Sailors have lost part of the group that won thanks to some transfers. Meanwhile, the Bobcats have most of their team back and that chemistry showed in their 52-35 win over Ida Baker two weeks ago. North Port has a good chance to start district play with a win and push over the .500 mark early in 2017.