Clearwater and Largo renew legendary Pinellas County rivalry

If Clearwater (6-1) can take care of business against Largo (5-3) Friday night, the Tornadoes will achieve a season-long goal.

Clearwater senior quarterback Garrison Bryant scrambles to his left to complete a pass at practice.

LARGO, FL (WFLA) – “It’s a business week this week,” nods Clearwater senior Camerron Ellis. “Simple as that. It’s just a business week.”

Ellis may not be a member of the work force. He probably doesn’t know synergy from scalability. Heck, it’s unlikely he’s ever touched a copy of Business Week.

But he knows one when he sees one.

If Clearwater (6-1) can take care of business against Largo (5-3) Friday night, the Tornadoes will achieve a season-long goal.

“Our main goal is to make the playoffs. We haven’t done that yet,” explains head coach Don Mesick. “It was nice to beat Countryside and kind of end that long streak, but our goal is the playoffs and we’ve got an opportunity to do that this week. Hopefully Friday night we can check that off our list.”

Mesick, in his first year as head coach of the Tornadoes program, is off to gang-busting start; especially considering Clearwater hasn’t had a whiff of playoff football since 2004.

“It’s a great turnaround. Some people say it’s overnight, but we started three years ago,” details senior quarterback Garrison Bryant. “We finished it off this year and it’s not going to stop. It’s going to keep going.”

“Coach treats us lovely, he cares about us. It’s just a whole new attitude for the school,” added Ellis.

“Everybody has bought in,” Bryant continued. “The atmosphere on campus every single day just makes you want to go to school and play for this school. From the administrators to the teachers to the students, it’s just an awesome atmosphere every single day.”

After an eight-year hiatus, Clearwater and Largo will write a new chapter in a legendary Pinellas County rivalry that dates back to 1932.

“It’s just crazy to see how many games have been played between the two schools,” said Bryant.

“The kids all know each other so it’s always been a really intense rivalry when we’ve played,” concurred Mesick. “The past five or six times that these teams have played, it hasn’t been very competitive because Largo has been doing great and Clearwater not so much, but we’ve got the athletes to do it this year and I think we can match up pretty well with them.”

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