Pahokee High School

  • LOCATION: Pahokee, Florida
  • MASCOT: The Blue Devils
  • COLORS: Blue and Red

STORY OVERVIEW

For the fourth installment of the "Underdogs" series, SI.com visits Pahokee (Fla.) High, a once proud football powerhouse -- the Blue Devils have won six state titles, most recently in 2008 -- coming off of two straight subpar seasons. But hope remains. The town is confident that a turnaround is finally in the works.


Blaze Thompson, a Pahokee native who was an all-state center during his playing days, coaches a team heavy on both experience and legacy. Thompson brought back his father, Don, who coached the Blue Devils from 1984 to 1992, as an assistant. The duo is dedicated to reinvigorating the fans, many of whom slipped away as the team faded into mediocrity.


The real underdog is the town. Known as "Muck City," Pahokee was once one of the nation’s biggest producers of sugar cane. Now that’s dried up, and unemployment hovers around 40 percent. Coaches and players view football as an escape -- and a ticket to a better future.

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