No cloud cover. No hint of a breeze.
No problem, at least as far as James Castleberry was concerned.
The hulking defensive end reveled in the chance to play in searing conditions Saturday morning at Dave Warkentin Field and was the top motor guy all game long for the Cape Coral Seahawks unit that snuffed out visiting Estero 35-19 in a non-district encounter.
The teams were scheduled to play Friday night, but original plans were scrubbed by the frequent lightning and heavy rains that inundated the area. The game was one of several locally and dozens in the state to be moved, a situation that suited Castleberry just fine.
"Sure, I was a little disappointed," the 6-foot-1 senior said. "But you know what? It takes hard work to come out here in the heat like this. We come out every play. It doesn't matter if it's going to be hot, cold, snow or wind. We come out 100 percent every time."
No sequence illustrated the approach more than the second play of the fourth quarter.
With the Seahawks already holding a two-score lead, the defense made a third-down stop and forced Estero punter Jack Spiker into the game several paces behind his own 11-yard line. The subsequent snap from Eric Hobbs sailed high off the 6-foot-3 junior's outstretched fingertips and into the end zone, where a hustling Castleberry pounced on it just 51 seconds into the session.
Seahawks kicker Mateo Perez made the extra-point, and, just that quickly, a two-score lead became 35-13 to the delight of the sweat-soaked but still energized lineman.
"I saw the ball and I just ran after it as far as I could. That's how I do it, 100 percent every play, every day and every night," Castleberry said. "I'm looking for the ball. I want the ball every play."
He found it again to finish off Estero's next possession at the Seahawks' 6-yard line, snaking into the backfield and taking advantage of a spinning stumble by Wildcats quarterback Cody Long.
It was the fourth turnover of the day for the visitors, who also punted three times and were stopped on downs once. Estero gained 160 total yards on 36 plays over five first-half possessions, but managed only 76 yards on 26 plays in five second half drives before a cosmetic late TD march.
Those efforts made the heat easier to take for Seahawks quarterback Dylan Bontrager, who found three receivers - C.J. Lewis, Rasheen Bailey and Austin Cole - for TD passes of seven, 92 and 37 yards. Also a help were the 99 yards on 16 tough carries by Eamon Smart, who also scored once from one yard out.
The long pass connection gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game at 4:51 of the second quarter, when, just 70 seconds after he'd found Lewis for the first score, Bontrager bought some time with his legs before spotting Bailey in the clear down field behind an overaggressive defender.
"I saw that the safety bit down on the left and I looked right," he said. "There it was."
The Seahawks (2-0) visit Ida Baker (2-0) next Friday night and hoping for better weather this time.
Estero 7 6 0 6 - 19
Cape Coral 0 14 14 7 - 35
E - Brennan 25 pass from Long (Wilson kick)
CC - Lewis 7 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
CC - Bailey 92 pass from Bontrager (Perez kick)
E - Long 6 run (pass failed)
CC - Moore 8 run (Perez kick)
CC - Cole 37 pass from Bontrager (Peres kick)
CC - Castleberry recovered fumble in end zone (Perez kick)
E - Brennan 3 run (run failed)