Sports Outside the Beltway

Two high school football games moved due to burrowing owls

The birds are protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. From the Sun-Sentinel-

The Piper High School football team has lost to the owls – a team not on its schedule.Owls

A pair of the burrowing birds have settled in on the 25- and 35-yard lines and the football team can’t play or practice on the field.

The owls’ new residence has forced the Piper football team to move its final two home games from its Sunrise campus.

The Oct. 30 game will now be played at Miramar High and the Nov. 12 game at South Broward. Nov. 12 also is scheduled to be Senior Night. It’s also likely the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will have to play most of their seasons, which begin early next month, at a local community park.

“Right now we have a football program that’s trying to build and go in the right direction,” Piper coach Matthew Lewis said. “We’re dealing with the sudden change and this provides an excellent opportunity for us to handle adversity.”

The football players on Piper (3-3) weren’t too keen about any owl encounters.

“They’re small, but I don’t want to get close to them,” said Piper senior cornerback Nevin Lawson.

The owls have the upper hand under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules that classify them as a species of special concern. The owls have a high vulnerability to factors that may lead to their becoming a threatened species if they are left without protection or management.

Piper is a Broward County Florida school, as is my alma mater Deerfield Beach HS. Deerfield or The Bucks and Piper played each other yearly back in the 1970′s. Actually the 1978 District Championship(When I was a senior) came down to those two schools, with Deerfield coming out on top 14-0. Piper got revenge the next year by winning 14-12 and they were district champs. The only time between 1978 and 1983 that the Bucks didn’t win the district. Twice in those five years Deerfield was eliminated in the state playoffs by the eventual champion and in another year we lost to Boca Raton HS whose QB is now U of GA head football coach Mark Richt.

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