Since Academy at the Lakes football coach John Castelamare took over the program in 2010, the event of giving his seniors The Last Hit before the final regular season game has grown into a yearly tradition.
This year’s crop of seniors lined up before the Wildcats’ practice Oct. 24 to shake hands and wish final goodbyes to fellow teammates and coaches before, one by one, getting into a three-point stance and taking down the tackling dummy.
Castelamare brought the tradition with him when he left Wesley Chapel three years ago. He had two seniors his first season and four the last two years.
The academy (5-0) defeated New Port Richey’s Solid Rock Community 45-26 Oct. 25. The Wildcats open the playoffs at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Center Nov. 2 against Fort Pierce Gold Rule at 7 p.m.