Third Homecoming of the year really meaningful for White

Third Homecoming of the year really meaningful for White

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville defensive lineman Maroa (pronounced Ma-rah) White is a guy who rather likes Homecoming games.

Good thing, too, because by the end of Saturday White will have experienced his third of the season, two on the field and one emotionally.

It's this week that really has him excited as the Dolphins travel to White's home town, and high school field, in DeLand to take on Stetson.

"I'm going back home to play in the stadium (Spec Martin Stadium) I played at in high school; it's going to be under the lights (a 6 p.m. start time) and it's going to be like I am back home playing football.''

White, who has 22 tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses, a half sack, a pass break up, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble this season, generally likes the regular Homecoming atmosphere.

"Oh yeah,'' he said. "The crowd gets into it and a lot of people come out to see the game.''

His first homecoming experience this year was on the road when JU traveled to Butler and won 35-7. The following week the Dolphins had their homecoming and beat Drake, 29-14.

When White, now a junior, graduated from DeLand High School in 2012, the Hatters weren't playing ball (they started last season) but were recruiting White who is expecting more than 25 family and friends and is looking for tickets from teammates.

"They were recruiting me but we were going to have to wait a year,'' White, who wanted to play immediately, said. "It's really worked out well. I like Jacksonville a lot. I didn't really want to be too close to home t too far away. It's worked out perfect.''

Another DeLandite, freshman Tyler Havenner, also makes his return to the field on which he played high school ball.

Havenner said he talked to Stetson about playing at home but wanted to both play at an older program and get a bit of distance from home.

"I liked that JU was a more established program and I wanted to be pretty close to home but not be at home,'' he said. "And, I really liked the coaches here.''

Like White, Havenner says he has no regrets.

"No, not at all,'' he said. "We're off to a good start and hopefully there are big things ahead.''

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Catch all the action on 92.5 FM in the Jacksonville area.