Football: Schnellenberger, FAU players participate in first-ever Battle of Florida all-star game

Nick Hahn

Former Owls head coach Howard Schnellenberger coached the South team to a 51-3 loss in the first-ever Battle of Florida all-star game. Schnellenberger will coach in the game again if invited. Photo by Charles Pratt.
With a chance to return to FAU Stadium to coach for the first time since retiring on Dec.3, Howard Schnellenberger, coach of the South team during the inaugural Battle of Florida football game, had a chance for one final victory.

Instead, he got something that was quite familiar to him in 2011 — another loss. Much like his final season at FAU, he was blown out 51-3, but had a message for the North’s coach.

“You got the victory, but I got a whole lot of character,” Schnellenberger jokingly said to Bobby Bowden after the game.

The teams were split up into two sides: the North and the South. The game was between NFL draft eligible collegiate players which were from, or had connections to North and South Florida. FAU had three representatives: Punter Mickey Groody, defensive tackle Kevin Cyrille, and defensive tackle Jarvis Givens.

Groody and Cyrille represented the South; Givens represented the North.  Groody had an efficient game, with his seven punts averaging 42.9 yards, with a long of 52. Cyrille recorded no tackles. Givens had one tackle.

“This game was about bringing football to the area”, said Schnellenberger when asked about this being his last game on the sidelines. He did however say he would return to coach again if invited.

FAU punter Mickey Groody had seven punts averaging 42.9 yards in the Battle of Florida for the South team. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

Schnellenberger sees potential for the all-star game to turn into a showcase for the football talent in Florida and wants it to be played annually.

“This [event] can be super important for Palm Beach County, and all of South Florida,” Schnellenberger said, “We need to develop a football mindset in this area.”