Dunbar High School football team chasing the state championship

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan

Dunbar High School’s varsity football team has a chance to advance to the state title after upsetting Naples, one of the best teams in Southwest Florida, last week, winning 14 to 7.

The team considers each other family, and it’s that bond off the field that’s allowed them to make history on Friday, hopefully.

If the Tigers defeat Mainland, they’ll advance to the state championship.

Team comes together during practice. CREDIT: WINK News

This wouldn’t just be the first time in the school’s history but the first time for a Lee County school since 1998.

Last year, the Tigers lost in the first round, which has given the team more than enough motivation to prove themselves this year.

The focus, grit, and hard work the Tigers displayed this year, helped them overcome all the adversity they’ve faced all season long.

Dunbar High School football team jogging off the field. CREDIT: WINK News

And, for Dunbar’s linebacker Kyeran Garcia, wide receiver Tawaski Abrams, and all of the Tigers, winning for the community is very important.

“We love being counted out. So that really is what fuels us,” Abrams said. “Anytime you win games, you do things you’re not supposed to unexpectedly, community is in an uproar. Everybody’s happy they want to see us go farther.”

Running plays during practice. CREDIT: WINK News

“When I came back to this team, I was like felt like I was coming home to like my real family, like coming to a different family because I love all these boys,” Abrams said.

“Think we got what it takes to bring the community back up to what it was before,” Garcia said.

“Just like us, they’re like, wow, they did it after the storm, the setback and all that. We just keep pushing, showing we can do it. We made history last year. We made it again this year. We plan to keep going. Get us a ring,” Garcia said. “It’s going to be lit! Everybodys going to be here. It’s going to be a sold-out crowd. You’re going to have to walk to the stadium. You’re not going to be able to park. That’s how big it’s going to be.”

Running drills during practice. CREDIT: WINK News

Dunbar isn’t the lone Southwest Florida team hoping to secure a spot in their division’s title game.

Bishop Verot is in Tallahassee, facing Florida High, trying to get back to the championship for the first time since 1994.

In Collier County, First Baptist is back in the semifinals as they host Munroe County Day.

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