NEW PORT RICHEY — The United Football Federation, an adult amateur football league, opened its fourth season on Feb. 8 for two Pasco County teams, including the Pasco County Hitmen and the West Coast Soldiers. The Hitmen, now in their third season with the UFF, opened with a 35-6 loss to the Soldiers.
Julio Rodriguez has owned and operated the Hitmen since 2007 when the team began as a 6-man club. Pasco County won 6-man league titles in 2010 and 2011 before entering the ranks of 11-man football in 2012.
Pasco County revamped its team and coaching staff for the 2014 season, including appointing Tarpon Springs High School assistant Chris Housholder as the team’s new head coach, succeeding Scott Palasky. Among the former area prep players are Ty’Shon Peters (Gulf), Hector Collazo (Gulf) and Steven Bybie (Ridgewood).
Meanwhile, the Soldiers have started the season at 2-1 with wins against Pasco County and the Bay Area Pirates (7-6). The Soldiers have already equaled their win total from a year ago, when the team finished 2-8.
A big part of the Soldiers’ success has been the new additions to the roster and coaching staff. West Coast have brought on Steve Gordon, a Hudson High assistant, to run the offense, and several key players like quarterback Jordy Wright and Nick Martino (Ridgewood), have made big contributions.
Both the Hitmen and Soldiers share a homefield at Veterans Memorial Park, which is located off of Hicks Road in Hudson. To learn more about the Hitmen, Soldiers or the United Football Federation, visit the league website at www.ufffootball.net.
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.