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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The first real taste I got of football in the Tampa Bay area was in 1996. I was working in the Polk County Bureau of The Tampa Tribune and was assigned to help with coverage of the three Polk County teams in Daytona Beach one weekend. After I filed my final story of Bartow’s shocking 14-13 win over Jacksonville Bolles in the Class 4A championship, I hung around to watch the 6A final between perennial powerhouse Miami Carol City and an upstart Hillsborough team, one that was going to try to break Hillsborough County’s 27-year slump in football finals. The crowd was huge – Carol City always travels in droves, but Hillsborough’s faithful showed up strong on that chilly mid-December evening. The game was physical and tough. Carol City won 21-7, but Hillsborough fought hard and you got the sense that the program led by Earl Garcia wasn’t just going to be a flash. Three years later, I crossed paths with the Terriers again. It was a 5A regional final against Lakeland. Two teams, both 12-0 and ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in Class 5A. It was a heavyweight fight in front around 10,000 people at Hillsborough High School. The Terriers led 14-0 at halftime but Lakeland railied to win, 19-14. The Dreadnaughts would officially win the 5A championship a few weeks later, but for all intents and purposes the real championship game was decided that night. Tampa Bay area high school football was close. Hillsborough was good. Tampa Catholic had good teams. Armwood was starting to put it together. Both Wharton and Jefferson made state championship games in 2002, and then in 2003 it happened. Thirty-four years after Blake defeated Leesburg in the Class A final, Armwood won the 4A state championship over Lake Gibson (my alma mater). In 2004, the Hawks did it again. They came close to three-peating in 2005, but couldn’t get past Nease and some guy named Tim Tebow. But Tampa Bay area high school football had arrived. After Armwood opened the flood gates, other programs walked right in. Plant would follow with a 15-0 season and a state championship in 2006, the first of four titles in six years for the Panthers. Jefferson, so often a bridesmaid, finally put it together in 2010 with a magical 15-0 season and a 3A state title. These days, the road to a state championship has to go through Tampa Bay. Armwood and Plant continue to live at the top of the food chain with several programs nipping at their heels. Pinellas County is still searching for a championship, but Clearwater Central Catholic, Indian Rocks Christian and Admiral Farragut have all been finalists in the past decade. It’s been 1992 since a Pasco/Hernando County program has reached the finals, but several programs are equipped for deep playoff runs in the future. As we wait for the next team in the Tampa Bay area to hoist football championship hardware, we are proud to present this year’s FNF Tampa Bay Magazine. From the front cover to the last page – it is all Tampa Bay high school football. Your stories, your players, your coaches, your teams, your triumphs, your trials and tribulations. We are proud to recognize you Tampa Bay. You’ve earned it! Corey Long

Managing Editor, FNF Tampa Bay Magazine fnf@ae-engine.com


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wo years ago, the FHSAA changed the entire playoff structure. Gone were the days that finishing second in a district was going to be good enough. If your team didn’t win the district, they had to put together enough quality wins to qualify for one of the eight spots in a region. This worked to the benefit of teams who played tough schedules and districts that were particularly deep and competitive. After the first two years, a few cosmetic changes were made so teams such as the 2018 Chamberlain squad that went 8-2 has a greater chance of making the playoffs. The goal remains the same, however: get the best teams in the postseason. With that being said, here are our predictions for district champions and playoff qualifiers in Tampa Bay. –COREY LONG District 8A-7 Champion: Plant Playoffs: Steinbrenner District 8A-8 Champion: Sarasota Riverview District 7A-7 Champion: Lakeland Playoffs: Bloomingdale, Plant City District 7A-8 Champion: Armwood Playoffs: Tampa Bay Tech District 7A-9 Champion: Pinellas Park Playoffs: Mitchell District 6A-5 Champion: Springstead Playoffs: Lake Minneola District 6A-6 Champion: Gaither Playoffs: Land O’ Lakes District 6A-7 Champion: Clearwater Playoffs: Largo District 6A-8 Champion: Boca Ciega Playoffs: St. Petersburg District 6A-10 Champion: Hillsborough Playoffs: Jefferson District 5A-8 Champion: Nature Coast Tech Playoffs: Hernando District 5A-11 Champion: Zephyrhills District 5A-12 Champion: Jesuit Playoffs: Chamberlain, Booker Region 4A-3 Playoffs: Tampa Catholic, Lakewood Region 3A-3 Playoffs: Clearwater Central Catholic (projected No. 1 seed), Calvary Christian, Berkeley Prep Region 2A-3 Playoffs: Admiral Farragut, Seffner Christian, Zephyrhills Christian


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he 2019, 2020 and 2021 Florida High School Football State

Championships will take place at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee (Classes 1A-3A) and Daytona Stadium in Daytona Beach (Classes 4A-8A), the Florida High School Athletic Association announced Friday. “After listening to feedback from our membership, we felt having two locations stretched out over two weeks made the most sense,” FHSAA Executive Director George Tomyn said. “This new schedule gives families and fans the most flexibility when it comes to supporting their student-athletes and we are thrilled both Visit Tallahassee and DME Marketing made this possible.”

2019 Florida High School Football State Championship Schedule Date Thursday, Dec. 5 Friday, Dec. 6 Saturday, Dec. 7 Wednesday, Dec. 11 Thursday, Dec. 12 Friday, Dec. 13 Saturday, Dec. 14

Location Gene Cox Stadium Gene Cox Stadium Gene Cox Stadium Daytona Stadium Daytona Stadium Daytona Stadium Daytona Stadium Daytona Stadium

City Tallahassee Tallahassee Tallahassee Daytona Beach Daytona Beach Daytona Beach Daytona Beach Daytona Beach

Class Kickoff TBD (1A-3A) 7:30 p.m. TBD (1A-3A) 7:30 p.m. TBD (1A-3A) 7:30 p.m. TBD (4A-8A) 7 p.m. TBD (4A-8A) 7 p.m. TBD (4A-8A) 7 p.m. TBD (4A-8A) 1 p.m. TBD (4A-8A) 7 p.m.

■■ For more information on the FHSAA and the Drive to December, follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat by searching for “FHSAA.”

TAMPA BAY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ON TWITTER FNF Tampa Bay uses Twitter (@FNFMag) as a critical component for keeping up with what’s happening in the Bay Area. We also see a lot of fantastic high school football accounts, and these are the three we most recommend following. Coach Short @fhscoachshort: Short is the Special Teams Coordinator for the Freedom High School football team. One of the coolest things we’ve seen from him is his use of social media for Q&A’s with student athletes on the #HogFBChat hashtag. Frank LaRosa @EB_CoachLo: Coach LaRosa is the head football coach of East Bay High School. The best way to understand why LaRosa is worth following, just check the replies – this Coach talks back! He understands the social nature of Twitter, and often converses about his craft with other coaches and players. Brandon Ronacher @Coach_Ronacher: Countryside High School’s Strength and Conditioning coach Brandon Ronacher makes the list for his reply game as well, although he isn’t quite all business. Ronacher’s gif game is strong, and not only will he talk, but he might drop something fun in your timeline as well! Who are some of your favorite Bay Area accounts to follow on Twitter? Hit us up at @FNFMag on Twitter!





■■ Clearwater Central

Less than 10 percent of the 83 teams in the

Catholic is 92-18 since 2010. If the program can attain eight wins in 2019, the Marauders will be the first team to finish with 100 wins in a decade in Pinellas County history. ■■ Berkley Prep head coach Dominick Ciao’s entire 2019 coaching staff played football for him. ■■ Plant head coach Robert Weiner is 168-31-1 in 15 years as the head coach. ■■ The annual rivalry game between Land O’ Lakes and Sunlake is nicknamed the “Butter Bowl.”

WHO IS YOUR COACHING MENTOR? My mentor is Bill Browning, retired Sunlake coach. He motivated players to give their all and how he developed bad programs into good programs has become the staple of what I do. All of the programs that I have coached has a reflection of the lessons he taught me.”


Tampa Bay area change head coaches from 2018 to 2019, which is well below the state average. This edition of FNF Tampa Bay features an in-depth story on new Pasco coach Jason Stokes. School Bloomingdale Gulf Indian Rocks Christian Pasco Spoto Sunlake Tarpon Springs Weeki Wachee

Outgoing Coach Max Warner Jason Grain Ricky Yates Tom McHugh Melvin Jenkins Bill Browning George Kotis Jacob Gray

Incoming Coach Jake Coulson N/A Nathan Spate Jason Stokes N/A Trey Burdick Cedric Hill Chris Cook

IN MEMORIAM FNF Tampa Bay would like to honor the memory of three local high school football players:





My father, Gary, was a high school, college and professional coach. He taught me that nothing can substitute for hard work and to always make decisions based on what is best for the team.”





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Ricky Sailor, a former Texas Tech cornerback, couldn’t believe what he witnessed. He was Tampa Jefferson’s defensive coordinator in 2010 when a University of Georgia coach came to campus to recruit


star linebacker Ramik Wilson. But when the coach left Tampa without offering Wilson a scholarship, Sailor was angry. Sailor reacted by taking Wilson on a road trip to a Georgia camp. While there, the Bulldogs finally did offer a scholarship to Wilson, and Sailor noticed that 10 other college coaching staffs were represented at that camp. The light went on in Sailor’s head. Together with co-founder Romey Battle, Sailor started Unsigned Preps, a non-profit organization designed to help football players earn scholarships and become well-rounded student-athletes. “The first year we were operational at Unsigned Preps was 2011, and we took 23 kids on a bus tour of different college camps,” Sailor said. “This was a new concept at the time. “Since then, we have taken more than 300 kids to 27 colleges in the southeast region, and about 70 percent of those players have earned football scholarships.”

■■ Sailor (in headband)

This past June, Sailor and his staff took 31 players on camps to Florida, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Clemson and South Carolina. There was also a bus tour for kids ages 9 through 13, taking them to different universities in Florida. Football, however, is only part of the equation at Unsigned Preps. “My heart is into helping kids,” said Sailor, 38. “That’s why we do so much in the community.” –Walter Villa

Faces of Tampa Bay Football TYLER BARNETT






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Recruiting Roundup 2019 college commitments from the tampa bay area MARSHALL: Micah Abraham, DB, East Lake METHODIST: Chandler Tucker, QB, Land O’Lakes MIDDLE TENNESSEE: Jalen Jackson, DB, Bloomingdale MIAMI: Larry Hodges, TE, Jesuit MINNESOTA: Solomon Brown, DB, Largo; James Gordon IV, LB, Plant City

■■ Plant lineman Will Putnam (No. 56) committed to Clemson

ADRIAN COLLEGE: D.J. Mann, ATH, River Ridge; Tyler Poirier, TE, River Ridge; Brayden Van Orden, OL, River Ridge

ARMY: Tim Boone, DB, Berkeley Prep BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Kyler Edwards, OL, Middleton BLUEFIELD COLLEGE: Kasean Ridgel, DT, Wiregrass Ranch BUFFALO: Caleb Tate, DB, Tampa Catholic CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Demarcus Governor, DB, Durant CINCINNATI: Ja’Quan Sheppard, WR, Zephyrhills CLEMSON: Will Putnam, OL, Plant COASTAL CAROLINA: Kennedy Roberts, DT, Clearwater Central Catholic EAST TENNESSEE STATE: Tyler Riddell, QB, Chamberlain FORT HAYS STATE: Dom Rutigliano, WR, Hudson FLORIDA: Ethan White, OL, Clearwater FLORIDA ATLANTIC: Jeremiah Ashe, ATH, Freedom; La’Darius

NAVY: Xavier McDonald, DB, Northeast NORTH DAKOTA STATE: Cameron Smith, DB, Admiral Farragut OHIO: Walter Wilson III, RB, Ohio PERU STATE: Benny Tomas, LB, Wesley Chapel PITT: Jared Wayne, WR, Clearwater Academy International RHODE ISLAND: Dimitrios Gkountoudis, OL, Clearwater RUTGERS: T.J. Robinson, DB, Riverview SOUTH CAROLINA: Johnny Dixon, DB, Chamberlain SOUTH DAKOTA: Cori Want, DB, Jefferson; Jontrell Oliver, DE, East Bay SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Cade Coleman, LB, Wharton; Cameron Lockridge, DB, Robinson; Ricky Luecke, OL, Northeast; Ashton Mincey, LB, Plant City SOUTHERN MISS: Chris Scruggs Jr., WR, Superior Collegiate Academy STERLING COLLEGE: Ian Coleman, OL, Land O’Lakes TOLEDO: Terrel Ferrell, WR, Bloomingdale; Jerjuan Newton, ATH, Clearwater Central Catholic TULANE: Levi Williams, DB, Bloomingdale; UCF: Keenan Hester, DE, St. Petersburg USF: Leonard Parker, DB, Plant WAKE FOREST: Justin Williams, DE, Armwood WEBBER INTERNATIONAL: Tyler Wittish, WR, Wesley Chapel WEST FLORIDA: Nate Howard, WR, Land O’Lakes

Henry, DB, Gibbs

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: Shamar Hobdy-Lee, OL, Jefferson FLORIDA TECH: Chris Daniels, LB, Tampa Bay Tech; Dominic Marino, LB, Mitchell;

GEORGIA STATE: Tyreke Harrison, DB, Plant City GEORGIA TECH: Ahmarean Brown, ATH, Jefferson INDIANA: Kervens Bonhomme, LB, Clearwater Academy International; Sio Nofoagatoto’a, DT, Clearwater Academy International IOWA: Dane Belton, DB, Jesuit IOWA STATE: Ezeriah Anderson, WR, Armwood; Kym-Mani King, DB, Mitchell JACKSONVILLE: Sean Dispenza, RB, Newsome KANSAS STATE: Joshua Youngblood, ATH, Berkeley Prep


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■■ Jesuit defensive back Dane Belton committed to Iowa

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ow that we have published the premiere edition of FNF Tampa,

we are determined to find the best high school football photographer in the Tampa Bay area. We want to recognize the best of the best through our 2020 FNF Tampa Bay Photographer of the Year Contest! Does your team have a photographer who always seems to be in the right place at the right time? Does he or she have editing skills that always make their photos stand out? Is your team photographer always willing to share his or her photos? This is your chance to give back! If so, now is the time to nominate your photographer for the 2020 FNF Tampa Bay Photographer of the Year Contest. Coaches and fans should send a link to the FNF Tampa Bay Photographer of the Year Contest to their favorite photographers from the Tampa Bay region. A photographer can pick his or her best photo and submit a high-resolution image before the nomination conclusion on Oct. 18, 2019. FNF Tampa Bay will select a group of 10 finalists, and their photographs will be displayed on FNFMagazine.com/poty. During the voting round from Oct. 22 to Nov. 15, fans will be encouraged to vote for their favorite photo with an online vote. The finalists are encouraged to promote the contest through social media by using the hashtag #FNFphotos. Nominate your favorite photographer now!


■■ Nominations start: Aug. 2, 2019 ■■ Nominations end: Oct. 18, 2019 ■■ Voting Starts: Oct. 22, 2019 ■■ Voting ends: Nov. 15, 2019 ■■ winning Announcement: Nov. 18, 2015 ■■ vote online at fnfmagazine.com/poty

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NOMINATE YOUR SCHOOL’S FOOTBALL MOMS We all know how important the team mom is to the success of a football team. They are every program’s biggest fans, and they support the players through challenge and victory. FNF has historically taken every opportunity to honor the contributions of team moms, and with your help, we’ll do it again in the Tampa Bay region. Over the years, fans have responded to this contest by voting for their schools and sharing their team mom stories on social media. So of course, we had to bring it back for 2020. And this year, we’re extending it to the Tampa Bay region! FNF Tampa Bay will set out this summer and fall to determine which schools from all across the three counties have the best collection of football team moms. And we need your help! Schools from the Tampa Bay area will nominate their top women for the Team Moms of the Year online vote. Fans from any school will then go online and vote – and then spread the word to your friends and family. Nominations for the 2020 FNF Tampa Bay Team Moms Contest start on Aug. 2, and the voting will begin on Sept. 10. Students will then have until Oct. 11 to cast their votes, and live results will be available so you can track your progress. The winning schools will be notified by phone and once the prize is accepted, it will be posted on the website and shared via social media. Make sure your school is nominated this summer, so we can show our pride and support for our team moms!



■■ Nominations start: July 16, 2019 ■■ Nominations end: Sept. 10, 2019 ■■ Voting starts: Sept. 13, 2019 ■■ Voting ends: Oct. 11, 2019 ■■ Winning announcement: Oct. 14, 2019 ■■ vote online at fnfmagazine.com/moms

Fantastic Four The Tampa Bay area has a host of Division I prospects as well as players who excel both on the field and in the classroom. BY DAN GUTTENPLAN



idolph isn’t the least bit shy about sharing what he believes to be his ultimate mission on the football field. “I’m going to get to the quarterback,” Ridolph said. “My aggression leads me toward that goal. I’m going to get there, and you’re not going to stop me.” Ridolph finished his junior season with 22 sacks, finishing a half-sack away from the county single-season record set by Pasco’s Morgan Flournory in 2012. Ridolph already has a countyrecord 37 sacks for his career. “He’s got a motor that doesn’t know how to turn off,” said Wiregrass Ranch coach Mark Kantor. “Some college that gets him will absolutely love him. We’re waiting on one to pull the trigger.” Gaining admission to a university should be no problem for Ridolph, who maintains a 4.0 GPA. “I’m not really sure why I haven’t gotten any offers yet,” Ridolph said. “I’m hoping to play in college; I just need to keep showing them what I can do.”


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oafili was introduced at an early age to football by his father, also named Lawrance and a former Pinellas Park football player. By the time he reached high school, he realized he had a chance to play at the next level. “At first, I wasn’t really thinking about college, but I saw other people getting offers,” Toafili said. “It made me realize I can do the same thing.” Toafili finished his junior season with 1,434 yards and 17 touchdowns. He splits time in the Pinellas Park backfield with the smaller receiving threat, Derek Bryant. “I love sharing the ball,” Toafili said. “Especially with Derek, he’s such an elusive player. I know he’s the guy who can do it if I can’t. If they’re keying on me, he can shine. If they’re keying on him, I can shine.” Toafili has yet to make his college decision, but is considering Florida, FSU, Oregon and Ohio State.





leason bet big on his own talent and won. The 6-foot-2, 220-lb. quarterback transferred to Plant last spring after spending the first two years of his high school career at East Lake. Believing his best chance to earn a college scholarship was under the tutelage of Plant High coach Robert Weiner, Gleason asked his parents to move to South Tampa during the spring of his sophomore year. Gleason battled it out with seven other quarterbacks for the starting job, ultimately earning the nod from Weiner. “Once I made the decision to transfer, I found out Plant was a different place than anywhere else,” Gleason said. “I knew regardless of how the QB battle turned out, I’d still be here and find a way to help the team.” “I really think his physical tools pale in comparison to his intangibles,” Weiner said. “I think he’ll become one of the greatest high school quarterbacks of all-time in the state of Florida.”


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ne would think Jaylen Harrell fell in love with football due to the influence of his father, James, who played football at Chamberlain, the University of Florida and in the NFL. But Jaylen insists it was his mother, Aria Siplin, who steered him to the gridiron. “My mom really got me into it,” Jaylen Harrell said. “She’s had a huge impact on me.” Jaylen has been a starter for the Bucs since he was a freshman. As a junior, Harrell was a First Team All-USA Florida selection. At 6-foot-4, 235 lbs., Harrell figures to convert to defensive end at the next level. Harrell is not your typical “frothing-from-the-mouth” physical linebacker. He loves to play the guitar, and believes his knowledge of the game and film study separate him from other players. “My knowledge on the field makes it difficult to fool me,” Harrell said. “My motor, my dedication to the game, the hard work I put, and my film study all help me play this way.”


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gators’ 2019 varsity Schedule AUG. 16: ZEPHYRHILLS AUG. 23: PASCO AUG. 30: @ COUNTRYSIDE SEP. 6: @ MITCHELL SEP. 13: TAMPA CATHOLIC





tigers’ 2019 varsity Schedule AUG. 16: @ GAITHER (CLASSIC) AUG. 23: PLANT CITY AUG. 30: @ IMMOKALEE SEP. 6: @ CLEARWATER SEP. 13: BOOKER




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Hernando leopards 2019 varsity Schedule ALL KICKOFFS ARE AT 7:30PM
















OCT. 4: @ CCC





OCT. 25: @ FIVAY




Seniors (left to right): Jacob Batten, Qwenton Coney, Kallyn McLaughlin, Jaquan Spry, Austin McCombs, Shavaris McNair, Broc Valdez, Willie Woods, Cordell Warthen, Fred Scrivens Jr., Isaiah Brown





The Custom Cover Project gives your school the opportunity to receive its own customized edition of FNF Tampa Bay magazine. Schools make $2,000 profit or more with the Custom Cover Project by selling the magazines and advertising. You keep 100% of the revenue generated.


HERE iS wHaT youR ScHooL REcEivES:

• A customized magazine front cover exclusively featuring your team

• The magazine’s back cover to utilize for advertising or additional photos • 200 copies of the magazine (with the option to buy more) • A full-page team preview

• Fundraising sale sheets and an online store to assist your fundraising efforts

The all-inclusive, flat-rate cost for this program is $950. Sign up by Dec. 31, 2019 for the 2020 edition and receive 100 additional magazines for FREE! LEaRn moRE aT cuSTomcovERpRojEcT.com or contact us at fnf@ae-engine.com or 727.209.1750

REaDy To Sign up oR REnEw? You can do so at customcoverproject.com/sign-up

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■■ Clearwater Academy International intends to post its second undefeated season in a row.

each of his two seasons starting. There’s a lot of flexibility here, so look for the Sharks to keep things fluid through the first few weeks of the seasons.


Just how beneficial is it that Hillsborough County schools are forced to play out of county? Nearly every public school


(minus the seven in District 6A-10) will be forced to play at least one out-ofcounty district game in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, courtesy of the FHSAA’s latest reclassification. How important is this? Well, it makes some teams have to travel less while making those same teams face talent that they normally wouldn’t face. The most notable crossovers: Bloomingdale and Plant City will now have to face Lakeland and Kathleen (Lakeland) in Class 7A, District 7 while Chamberlain and Jesuit will see Bayshore (Bradenton) and Booker (Sarasota) in 5A-12.

Burning 1 Questions

With a reclassification from the FHSAA, a new playoff ranking system and a number of transfers, there are plenty of burning questions surrounding some of Tampa Bay’s best high school football teams. We’ll now shed some light on those questions. BY WILL TURNER



Can Clearwater Academy international pull off a second straight undefeated season? The Knights scored 533 points en


route to an 11-0 season in just the third since they converted from eight-man football. In terms of recruits, CAI has some of the best around – WR Ajou Ajou, DB Javaun Jacobsen, QB Luca Stanzani and several others all have Division I verbal offers. And for an independent school, CAI is one of the biggest powerhouses in the state. They certainly can pull off another undefeated season, but it will be tough with 2017 7A Champion Venice and a traditionally strong Immokalee team on the schedule.

Hornet will play for a traditional runfirst offense that has featured some of the best running backs in Florida over the past few seasons. Does that offense change around Sykora, who threw for 1,785 yards and 21 touchdowns last season? Potentially – if Sykora can win the starting job. Senior quarterback Fabian Burnett had his best season throwing the ball with 1,041 yards and a TD:INT ratio of 13:0. He adds a threat with his legs, having gone for 700-plus yards in

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com


Could a couple of transfers and a reclassification push Clearwater past the first round? A couple of solid

players came to the Tornadoes during the offseason in the form of Cardrece Mobley from Countryside and Jaquaveon Crankfield from Dunedin. Mobley should provide a vertical threat on the outside to complement 1,000yard receiver Keedrik Murray, while Crankfield is tasked with keeping a no-fly zone at the cornerback spot. Add those pieces in with an already solid core in running back Marcus Jeter, wide receiver Marquvion Jeter, quarterback Rent Montie, Murray and a defensive line that returns the same group, anchored by Tim Williams and

How does Nature Coast Tech’s offense change with the addition of Vaughn Sykora? The former Weeki Wachee


■■ Nature Coast Tech has boasted some of the top RBs in the state.

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■■ Derek Bryant, Pinellas Park

Matthew Nieves, from a year ago and Clearwater has something cooking.


Which Pinellas Park back makes more of an impact: Bryant or Toafili? It’s a

“pick your poison” type situation for the Patriots. Derek Bryant or Lawrance Toafili – two very capable options in the backfield. Toafili is the taller of the pair at 6’ (Bryant is listed at 5’8”) and is a more traditional running back. Bryant can serve as a flexible H-Back that can slide out to the slot or even as an “X” receiver. Bryant and Toafili both had over 1,000 rushing yards in 2018, but Bryant’s catching ability makes him even more impactful. He finished as the Patriots’ leading receiver with 545 yards on 25 receptions.


Does Armwood make it out of a tough region? In previous years, this is an

automatic yes. But after the FHSAA’s most recent reclassification, the Hawks get bumped up to Class 7A, Region 2, which is filled with quality teams. Armwood now shares a region with the 2015 7A Runner-Up, Viera, and last year’s 7A-2 Finalist, Bloomingdale. Oh, and, they’ve got the defending 7A Champion, Lakeland in their adjacent district. Even within their district, East Bay, Tampa Bay Tech and Wiregrass Ranch will make for a tough schedule. It will be a hard road for Armwood, but it’s certainly one that they can overcome to reach its third consecutive state championship game.


Is Bloomingdale still a team to watch after Warner’s departure? The team is

coach Max Warner departed to Bowling Green State. Jake Coulson, the team’s defensive coordinator, will take over with a reloaded team. Lance Alderson is back at quarterback after fracturing his foot in the final game of the regular season. Charles Montgomery and Maurice Frost will be viable offensive weapons. Linebacker Gabe Jones and defensive lineman Quinton McCoy anchor a tough front seven. The Bulls are a solid team from top to bottom and could make a run in the new District 7A-7.


If the new RPI system was implemented in 2018, what team would it have had the biggest effect on? It would have had a major effect on Chamberlain. The Chiefs didn’t make the playoffs last year even after going 8-2 in the regular season for the second straight time – but with the new RPI system that will take effect in 2019, the Chiefs would have been the sixth seed in Class 6A, Region 2. That would have set up a rematch with Mitchell from 2017’s playoffs, a game that Chamberlain could’ve won, which would have pushed it to a rematch with Armwood, a game that the Hawks only won 20-14 in 2018.



any team that sits in Plant’s district but Steinbrenner has the tools to make some noise in 2019. The Warriors went 5-5 last year and won a postseason bowl game. They’ve got a strong core of players returning on offense including quarterback Haden Carlson and offensive lineman Matt Adcock along


■■ Courtney Eubanks, Admiral Farragut

with some young, but experienced players on defense such as junior linebacker Austin Brannen. If the Warriors can get off to a strong start, they could potentially challenge Plant for District 8A-7.


Will Admiral Farragut Academy take the next step in 2019? AFA shocked a lot of people going from 4-6 with a first-round playoff exit to a 10-2 season and a trip to the Class 2A final four. The Blue Jackets lost in a 24-20 heartbreaker to Champagnat Catholic as a late rally fell just short in the state semifinal. A sweltering defense (7.0 PPG allowed in 2018) should be back with defensive back Kavary Jenkins (nine sacks) and defensive lineman Kamel Ajlouni (14 sacks) highlighting that unit. Courtney Eubanks will also be back to provide a pop on both sides of the ball. He compiled five interceptions and six touchdowns even while missing six games with an injury.


■■ Armwood running back Eric Wilson

in good hands even after former head



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AYNITE Ready up, boys!

Tonight we’re dropping into Tampa Bay! This year’s FNF Blitz scopes out some of the most legendary players on the map. One by one, from Chamberlain to Armwood to Largo, these squads are showing why the Bay Area is so OP in Friday Night Football. BY WALTER VILLA 21

Johnny Newton C

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learwater Central Catholic’s Jerzhan “Johnny” Newton is a

6-3, 255-lb. man-child who will start his senior year at age 16 and is a force at multiple positions. He’s so tough that he played four weeks last year with a broken leg. “It didn’t really hurt like that,” Newton said modestly. “It was more of an aching pain.” Even so, Newton knew something was wrong because all he could do was jog as opposed to a full-on sprint. When he finally got it checked out, the fracture was revealed, and he missed five games. Newton returned for the playoffs and was a terror, posting 8.5 sacks in three games and helping the Marauders reach the Class 3A state semifinals. “Johnny has special athleticism for a guy his size,” Marauders coach Chris Harvey said. “He runs a 4.6 (40-yard dash), and he could be a hybrid defensive end/ outside linebacker in college or an H-back/tight end.” As a sophomore, Newton was the Tampa Bay Times Pinellas County Offensive Player of the Year. It was his first year playing running back, and he bludgeoned defenders by rushing for 1,365 yards and 15 touchdowns. Newton, who wants to be an engineer, likes Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Miami and West Virginia. Three of his brothers are already playing college football – cornerback Jerjuan at Toledo and twins Jervon (running back) and Jerquan (linebacker) at West Florida. Their 12-year-old brother, Jershaun, is a quarterback who appears to be the best athlete of the bunch. But for now, at least, Johnny is the best prospect, and Harvey pointed toward a run he made in 2017 as proof. “Johnny got hit two yards deep in the end zone, but he ended up gaining 12 yards,” Harvey said. “By the time he hit the turf, every Calvary Christian player was riding his back. … He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve coached.”



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Malik Jones

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ore than 30 college coaches found their way to Zephyrhills Christian

Academy this spring – and most of them presumably used a GPS to get there. The reason those scouts have flocked to this small, out-of-theway school – that has yet to produce a single FBS football player – is due to the presence of Malik Jones, a 6-3, 295-lb. lineman. “Malik is a stud on both sides of the ball,” said coach Mike Smith, who started the ZCA football program 20 years ago. “He’s doubleteamed on every play at defensive tackle. On offense, he doesn’t miss many blocks.” Jones said most schools like him as a center – he often practices his shotgun snaps to his three younger sisters – but he’s also an outstanding wrestler, ranked fourth nationally in the 285-lb. class. This past season, he won a Class 1A state wrestling title with a 39-0 record, including 37 pins. In football, he produced 105 tackles, including 25 for losses and five sacks. Even so, only two schools – Southern Miss and Troy – have offered a scholarship so far. “I’m surprised he didn’t have more (scholarship) bites,” Smith said. “Malik wins MVP at every camp he goes to. He destroys people, and then the scholarship offer goes to the kid from a bigger school. “He wants to go to USF, but they haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I think USF will be missing out if they don’t come through.” Jones, who said he also likes UCF and South Carolina, is more than just a good player. He’s a devout Christian, and he will soon take a humanitarian trip to help the citizens of a village in Guatemala. He also has a 3.8 grade-point average with designs on a career in exercise science.



Isaiah Brown



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rooksville is the birthplace of big No. 99 –

the late and great defensive tackle Jerome Brown, who died way too soon at age 27. His legacy lives on through the community center that bears his name – it’s located, of course, at 99 Brown Place in Brooksville. And Jerome Brown’s legacy will also live nearly three decades from the time he made the Pro Bowl on through his greatnephew, Hernando’s Isaiah Brown. Isaiah Brown wasn’t born until well after Jerome Brown died in a fiery car crash. Even so, Isaiah Brown is connected to his famous relative through football. In the summer before his junior year, Isaiah grew from 5-11, 185 lbs. to 6-2, 225 pounds. Good-bye wide receiver. Hello tight end. “He can catch anything, and his footwork is incredible,” Hernando coach Rob Kazmier said of Isaiah, who has a scholarship offer from Bowling Green. “He no longer has wide receiver speed. But he has receiver skills, and defensive backs have a hard time with him.” Jerome Brown, who was part of the Miami Hurricanes first national championship in 1983 before becoming a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987, played tight end among other things at Hernando. He was incredibly athletic but kept growing so much that defensive tackle became his spot. Isaiah Brown also plays defensive tackle in addition to tight end, and it remains to be seen how much he grows and what position he ultimately plays in college. “People tell me I’m like Jerome Brown reincarnated,” Isaiah Brown said. “I never met him, but I’ve heard all the stories.”



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hance Coleman is big,

and he’s trying to get bigger every day. “I’m currently up to 207 lbs.,” Coleman said. “I’m hoping to get up to around 215 lbs. this season.” Coleman wants to put on the weight because he knows he’ll be on the field a lot for the Cowboys this season. “I’ll be playing linebacker, running back and maybe some tight end and defensive line this year,” Coleman said. “Really they can put me wherever they need me.” Versatility is the name of the game for Coleman. He’s always trying to figure out another way to get on the field and help his team. Coleman has big plans for himself and big expectations for Gaither as he enters his senior year. “I was us to make a deep run to the playoffs, at least to the 3rd or 4th round,” Coleman said. “Obviously the goal is to win a state championship. That’s everyone’s goal and we’re going to work hard to get there but the third round is a definite goal. “As for me, I need 12 sacks this year because I had 10 last year and I want to rush for 800 yards and get 10 touchdowns.” Coleman will be keeping his talents close to home when he heads off to college to play for the USF Bulls. He was the first commitment to USF’s recruiting class and has stayed solid to the Bulls. Coleman expects he’ll play outside linebacker once he gets to college. “They have a great staff and they were very transparent with me from the beginning,” Coleman said. “That’s what I loved. They talked to him. They wanted to know what my goals were on and off the field and we talked about achieving them. I felt like they really cared about me as a person.”



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Jayion McCluster

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argo senior linebacker Jayion McCluster’s Twitter account lets you

know his intentions. You can find him @JayHitEmUp – and that’s how he plays, too. “He doesn’t shy away from contact,” said Largo coach Marcus Paschal. McCluster started at running back on Day One of his freshman season and became a first-team safety as a sophomore. Last season, he outgrew safety and moved to middle linebacker. At 6-2, 210 lbs. and with 4.7 speed, he still plays running back, too, although there’s no finesse to his game. “He’s not trying to make moves – just run through you, straight downhill,” Paschal said. “On defense, it’s: ‘See ball, hit ball’.” That simple approach worked last year as McCluster made 129 tackles, caused three fumbles and recovered three loose balls as well. He averaged 11.7 stops per game for a 7-4 team. Scouts took notice and McCluster narrowed his college choices to Miami, Florida State and Auburn before committing to the Seminoles on May 1. McCluster recently attended his prom, signaling his intention to graduate high school in December and enroll at FSU in January. Perhaps genetics have played a role in his success – his cousin is Dexter McCluster, a small-but-speedy running back who became a third-team All-American at Ole Miss and a secondround draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010. In addition, Jayion’s younger brother is an emerging star in his own right. Zayvion McCluster is already 6-1, 190 lbs. in the eighth grade, and he figures to be a Largo standout by 2020. “Jayion is bound by blood,” Paschal said, “but he is blazing his own path.”


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friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

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hen James Ash greets you, he essentially shakes your wrist – so large are his

hands. Ash, a 6-3, 280-lb. defensive tackle who is athletic enough to also play tight end, is just one of several Chamberlain prospects who have scouts buzzing. Coach Jason Lane, who inherited a 2-8 team when he took over at Chamberlain in 2015, has helped transform the program. In 2017, he led the Chiefs to their first playoff appearance since 2008. Last year, the Chiefs finished 8-2 and barely missed the postseason. However, they continued a positive trend in which Chamberlain has posted a 17-5 record over the past two seasons. “We’ve been getting great feedback from college coaches,” Lane said. “The key to our growth has been stability, consistency and commitment.” It helps to have major-college prospects such as Ash, defensive end Johnny Walker, wide receiver Kaleb Long and offensive tackle Cesar Reyes. Between the four of them, they have more than 50 scholarship offers. Here is a breakdown on each player, in alphabetical order: ■■ Lane said Ash is one of the most amazing athletes he’s seen. “In P.E. class, he plays point guard and shoots three-pointers,” Lane said. “In the weight room, he’s bench-pressing 345 lbs. “James has great hands. That’s why we use him in the red zone on offense. If they put a linebacker or safety on him, there’s nothing they can do. He’s going to catch the ball. He’s a mismatch.” ■■ Long, a 6-5, 180-pounder, caught 54 passes last season, scoring eight touchdowns and averaging 15 yards per reception. He’s come a long way since missing his freshman season due to academic issues. Lane “discovered” him in the school hallways, and Long soon began applying himself. Now, Long has 16 scholarship offers. “He’s one of my favorites because the light finally went on,” Lane said. “Now I see a 6-5 kid with all the tools. He’s physical. He can run. When he opens up, he’s a long-strider, and it’s beautiful to watch. He’s so fluid that it doesn’t even look like he’s trying hard.” ■■ Reyes, a 6-5, 315-lb. right tackle, is ranked higher than any of his teammates, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He started as a sophomore, missed his junior year due to a knee injury and is now primed for a major comeback. “His greatest attribute is his intellect,” Lane said. “He’s a great communicator, very aware and intuitive. He also has great feet and great bend at the knees and the hips. “Cesar is naturally aggressive, and he really cares about the program. There’s zero risk with him as a person.” ■■ Walker, a 6-3, 220-pounder, showed up at an Under Armour camp this summer that featured some of the best athletes in Florida and Georgia, and he blew them all away in vertical leap and a short-burst shuttle run. “He has top-10 NFL draft pick talent,” Reyes said. “I go against him in practice every day, and he gives me problems. He’s fast, explosive and strong.” Lane said Walker – who had 13 sacks last year – loves the weight room, and he figures to get bigger in the coming years. “His confidence is growing,” Lane said. “Our defensive coordinator, Trae Gentle, always says, ‘Nobody can block Johnny Walker.’”


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urant Cougars defensive back C.J. Barnes plays a violent game

in a hard-hitting and yet intellectual way. Barnes, a 5-10, 170-lb. senior, was such a force at safety last season that he made 107 tackles in 11 games, intercepted two passes, took one to the house and caused three fumbles. Get him away from the controlled aggression of a football field, however, and Barnes is a deep thinker who has read biographies of sports figures such as racecar driver Dale Earnhardt, golfer Tiger Woods and former coach Tony Dungy. Barnes has received scholarship offers from Army, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Campbell, Western Carolina and others. He’s not sure what position he’ll play collegiately. “Some schools like me at safety,” said Barnes, who ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at a Nike event in Orlando, “and some like me at cornerback.” Durant coach Mike Gottman said many high-level colleges are looking for taller corners and bigger safeties, but he added that Barnes could be a great fit at nickel. “His biggest asset is that he’s a thumper,” Gottman said. “He has a unique ability to take you off your feet quickly.” Barnes, who is interested in studying Communications, likes to write, but no one knows yet how the final chapter of his high school career will play out. The Cougars went 7-4 in 2017 but slipped to 3-7 last season. “It was a rebuilding year,” said Barnes, who also returns kickoffs and punts. “We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores. But all those guys are back. They have experience now, and I’m confident we’ll be much better.”



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Agiye Hall

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giye Hall – his first name is pronounced

Ah-JIGH – is Florida’s highestranked offensive player in the Class of 2021 and the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation. He had more than 900 yards in receptions and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore, and his collegiate scholarship offers exceed 30, including Alabama, which knows a thing or two about raiding Florida for elite receivers. “He comes with a stupid amount of talent,” Armwood coach Evan Davis said of Hall, a 6-3, 195-pounder. “He has this long frame and big hands, but he’s also the fastest guy on our team. He loves to compete, and he wants the ball in his hands.” Even so, Hall will have to elevate his game this season since Armwood graduated two standout receivers – Ezeriah Anderson, a 6-5, 210-pounder who signed with Iowa State; and Wayne Dennis, a 6-4, 190-pounder who signed with Northwestern. But these are the Armwood Hawks, and they are expected to merely reload for another run at an elusive state title. After last winning a state title in 2011, the Hawks have lost in the championship game five times, falling on three occasions to Miami Central and twice to Miami Northwestern. Davis, in his third year as head coach since replacing Sean Callahan, may now have enough talent to turn the proverbial tables on Miami – or any other team in Class 6A. Besides Hall, Armwood will be led by junior quarterback Cam’ron Ranson, senior running back Eric Wilson and sophomore running back James Smiley, who are all Division I talents. “Agiye is our best player,” Davis said. “But he’s pushed on a daily basis because we have other good players, too.”


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y r l a Riv e l b m Ru ■■ Tampa Jesuit has not lost to Tampa Catholic since 1999.

The Tampa Bay area is filled with longstanding rivalries. TAMPA CATHOLIC V. JESUIT Bob Henriquez was worried. His Tampa Catholic team had a short week to prepare for rival Jesuit. As he walked his team out to the field, his fears began to subside. While his Crusaders stood side-by-side, Henriquez caught a glimpse of Channing Tatum. Yes, that Channing Tatum. Long before he was Magic Mike, Tatum was a Tampa Catholic Crusader, ready to take on his rival. Really ready. With veins popping out on his head, his face bright red, Tatum yelled, “Kill ’em all!” And then Tampa Catholic ran onto the field. “I knew we were going to be OK,” Henriquez said. Welcome to Tampa Bay’s Holy War, pitting Jesuit Tigers versus Tampa Catholic Crusaders. One of the oldest rivalries in the Bay area is also arguably its fiercest. “It feels like it’s a major college rivalry, but it’s crazy because it’s a high school,” Jesuit student body president Andrew Kynes said. You’re either Team Blue or Team Green. And you never mix your colors. “I can tell you not a day goes by, if I put blue on, I don’t think about it for a second,” said Henriquez, the former Tampa Catholic head coach who is now the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. “And then going to college, I’m going to become a Princeton Tiger? It was not the easiest thing. First time I remember screaming, ‘Let’s go Tigers,’ it kind of caught my throat for a second.”


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The schools, only three miles apart, share a neighborhood and a religion. They’ve also featured their fair share of stars, including recent top recruiting prospects Nate Craig-Myers, Devin Barrett, Malik Davis and Larry Hodges. Even current New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox spent some time behind center for Tampa Catholic before focusing solely on the hard court. “The rivalry is rooted in something real,” said Fr. Richard Hermes, President of Jesuit High School. “Two great Catholic schools with very similar missions, serving the Catholics and others of this city with a great mission.” A great rivalry with a great streak. That Channing Tatum game in 1997 was one of the last times Tampa Catholic defeated their rival. Since a 26-7 Crusaders victory in 1999, Jesuit has won 19 straight games. That dominance, however, has not diminished the hatred each school has for the other. And it hasn’t lessened the pressure to win that game.

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RIVALRIES ABOUND FROM SLEDGEHAMMERS TO “BUTTER BOWLS,” HERE IS A SAMPLING OF OTHER GREAT TAMPA BAY RIVALRIES. Springstead vs. Nature Coast Tech Schools are in close proximity to each other Tampa Bay Tech vs. Armwood Has been an ultra-competitive matchup King vs. Hillsborough Traditional schools which have played each other for decades Sickles vs. Alonso Schools are six miles apart; players on both sides grew up together Countryside vs. Clearwater Compete for a Clearwater rivalry trophy Clearwater Central Cath. vs. Tampa Catholic For CCC this is their rivalry game (CCC is 18-16 since 1999) Weeki Wachee vs. Central “Battle of Hexam” refers to the road that connects the two schools Dunedin vs. Palm Harbor University Schools reside four miles apart from each other Zephyrhills Christian vs. Seffner Christian Strong programs always duke it out Hillsborough vs. Jefferson Traditional Tampa high schools always play tough Boca Ciega vs. Gibbs Programs have a long history and close proximity Anclote vs. Tarpon Springs Schools located near to each other Hudson vs. Fivay Hudson was split to create Fivay Wiregrass Ranch vs. Wesley Chapel The “Battle for the Chapel” is a staple in all sports at both schools Clearwater Acad. Int’l. vs. Superior Collegiate New programs located only 10 miles from each other Keswick Christian vs. Indian Rocks Christian Longtime rivals close to each other Northeast vs. St. Petersburg Longtime rivals who compete academically, athletically Bishop McLaughlin vs. Santa Fe Catholic Longtime rivals; last year’s game was a triple-OT barnburner East Lake vs. Pinellas Park A growing rivalry; Pinellas Park has only beaten East Lake once Hernando vs. Nature Coast Tech This game annually draws the area’s largest crowd Gaither vs. Chamberlain A great rivalry since 1987 Lennard vs. East Bay Winner of the South Shore Shootout receives a trophy and a sledgehammer Robinson vs. Plant The Battle of South Tampa draws the fans Bloomingdale vs. Newsome Always a hard-fought, competitive game Land O’ Lakes vs. Sunlake Nicknamed the “Butter Bowl” Lakeside Christian vs. Academy at the Lakes Annually a great matchup Palm Harbor University vs. East Lake Neighborhood rivalry; student bodies know each other

“You don’t want to be that senior who loses to Tampa Catholic,” said Richard Gonzmart, president of the Columbia Restaurant Group and a Jesuit alumnus. “You don’t want to be the one who snaps the streak.” Gonzmart helped lead the Tigers to a state championship in 1968. But it’s the games against Tampa Catholic that really make him relive the glory days, even if he was the focus of game-week pranks. “They hung me in effigy,” Gonzmart recalled. “It’s all in fun, though. A lot of fun.” Fun, mixed with a lot of drama, a foot-ball field of memories and a lot of tradition. “It’s special and something we should do everything we can to continue to foster,” Henriquez said. “It’s just really special.”

■■ Referred to as the “South Shore Shootout,” East Bay and Lennard battle annually for bragging rights, a trophy and a painted sledgehammer.



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first team from Hillsborough County to win consecutive state championships. The Hawks knocked the Panthers out of the playoffs in 2005, then, the following season, Plant had a breakthrough. They beat Armwood in a standing-room-only

regional final at Dad’s Stadium en route to their first of four state titles. The 2008 season marked the last time these two teams played in the same classification and region. Armwood and Plant would no longer have to go through each other to claim a state championship. But that didn’t diminish the rivalry. Both programs now use the game as a gauge, a measuring stick of where they are in the season and what they need to do to reach the ultimate goal of another championship. “The greatest rivalries always have heated battles but ultimately reside in profound respect for each other,” Weiner said. “This game never disappoints.”

some of its importance and didn’t even make the schedule on a few occasions. But now it’s a district game and Largo and Clearwater are expected to be the top two teams in District 6A-7. Both programs are on the rise. The Packers have had winning seasons in four of the five years since Marcus Paschal took over in 2014. Mesick has had winning records at Clearwater every season since he arrived in 2015 and believes the 2019 Tornadoes can be as good, if not better, than his 2016 team that finished 10-2. Since the rivalry returned in 2015, Clearwater and Largo have split the last four games. The Packers won 39-27 last year and that win proved to be the

tiebreaker in the district. “We’re two talented teams in the same district,” Paschal said. “The game is always competitive and intense. Everything you want in high school football.”

it’s called the “9-Mile War.” There will be no district titles on the line because the two programs are in different classifications, but it’s not a game either side wants to make a habit of losing. The Pasco Pirates were once the class of the county. They won a state championship in 1992 and reached the state semifinals in 2008 and 2010. In recent years, Zephyrhills has taken over the mantle. The Bulldogs have won at least seven games every season since 2011 and are 29-6 in the past three seasons under coach Nick Carroll. Pasco has a 40-21 lead in the series but Zephyrhills has won the last four games by a combined margin of 187-29,

including a 49-0 blowout in 2018. That game came under a cloud of controversy after Pasco head coach Tom McHugh threatened to cancel the game because he felt Zephyrhills coaches recruited some of his players to play over there. McHugh has since left Pasco to take a job as an assistant coach at Wesley Chapel and new Pirates coach Jason Stokes is ready to take on the challenge overcoming Zephyrhills head on. “We’re not running from anything or any opponent,” Stokes said. “Zephyrhills is a very good team, a big rival and this community is hungry to make it a rivalry again.”

It’s the improbable rivalry. The one that pits rural vs. urban elite. Seffner vs. South Tampa. The Armwood-Plant rivalry is one born, not of neighborhood bragging rights, but from shared success and a quest to be the best. “Many people think that it is the best rivalry because it is an epic battle between polar opposites,” Plant head coach Robert Weiner said, “but the truth is that it is a monumental match-up because we are way more alike than we are different.” They share a love for titles. Armwood claimed a championship first. The Hawks won back-to-back state titles in 2003 and 2004, becoming the

LARGO V. CLEARWATER Clearwater head coach Don Mesick calls the football game with Largo, “the original rivalry in Pinellas County.” Only five miles separate Largo High and Clearwater High, but as far as the Tornadoes and Packers are concerned, they are many miles apart. Back in the day, it was considered to be the game between the “farmers” (Largo) and the “city folk” (Clearwater). The game used to be played in November, on Thanksgiving weekend to be specific, back when there were fewer high schools in the county and a big game could draw close to 10,000 people. As the county grew, the game lost

PASCO V. ZEPHYRHILLS When it comes to football in Pasco County, only nine miles separate two proud football communities. When Pasco and Zephyrhills play at the end of the regular season


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Hundreds upon hundreds of high school players will take the field in front of cheering crowds on Friday nights in the Tampa Bay area this fall, but they wouldn’t be able to do so without the people behind the scenes, the unsung heroes who prepare the equipment, the field, and everything else that makes games happen. Here are their stories. BY DANIEL PAULLING

THE CHAIN GANG Andy Thomas didn’t need to think long when his friend Don Vendrone asked him to join Springstead’s chain crew. Thomas would be going to the games anyway because his son was playing wide receiver, so he figured he might as well have as good of a view as possible. Thomas continued to volunteer on the chain crew after his son graduated and is now approaching his 40th season. He’s 83 and plans to keep going, even after undergoing heart surgery in May. “There’s a certain amount of pride in it,” Thomas said. “You’re glad that somebody is letting you do it at your age. I’ve gotten my pumping mechanism straightened out, and I’ll be OK.” Thomas, the longest-tenured member of Springstead’s chain crew, volunteers alongside Augie DiBenedetto, who began shortly after him, and Tom Dwyer, who started in 2008. Thomas runs the down box, and DiBenedetto and Dwyer work


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■■ Springstead chain gang

the chain markers (DiBenedetto the line of scrimmage when Springstead is on offense, Dwyer the line of scrimmage when the opponent is). Their length of service and quality of work is greatly appreciated. “It’s a great feeling never having to worry about who’s going to do the chains for the game,” Eagles head coach Mike Garofano said. “I’ve gone to other high school football games, and the PA announcer will ask for another one, two, or three guys for the chain crew, and it’ll even hold up games. But for 30 years now, Springstead has never had to worry about that. “I don’t think I’ve thanked them enough in the past and really showed them how much they mean to me and

the Springstead program, but they truly are the best, and we love, respect and appreciate them.” Vendrone retired from the chain crew after the 2015 season — which forced them to use a couple of new people to work the clip, the final position on the four-person team — and passed away in 2017. His absence is still felt by his friends on the chain crew and the Springstead High School community. “Mr. Vendrone and his crew are indeed a part of what makes football at Springstead what it is,” the school said in a statement posted on its website following Vendrone’s death. “Don will always be a part of the Springstead family and forever an Eagle.” Vendrone, who always told Dwyer

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to give back to children whenever he had free time, persuaded Dwyer the night before a game to begin volunteering on the chain crew. Dwyer, who hadn’t worked on one before, was understandably nervous. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll get through it. The first game’s the tough game. After that, it’s all downhill’,” Dwyer said. “I enjoy doing it. I like high school sports. It’s very little what I do. If it helps out, I’m happy to do it. It’s a joy to do.” The experience has taught Dwyer a lot of things, whether it’s that the person working the clip will place it on the closest major yard line in front of the line of scrimmage to make measuring distances easier to how fast and strong the players actually are. Of course, there’s one lesson every member of a chain crew learns, either from friendly fellow volunteers giving them a heads-up before they start or the hard way. “If we get somebody new, they’re told, ‘If the runner is coming your way, whether you think he’s running off the field or not, you drop the stuff and run back toward the track’,” Thomas said. Thomas said he’s never been in a major collision or had a fellow chain crew member suffer a serious injury, and Dwyer said he’s had to jump over players a few times but has been fine. How long Thomas and DiBenedetto, who are approaching 65 combined years of volunteering, will keep going on the chain crew is uncertain, but Thomas plans to continue the legacy of the Springstead chain crew once they decide to retire. “I’m definitely sticking around as long as they let me,” Thomas said.


Field Painter, Armwood, Bloomingdale and Wharton SCOTT DERMODY’S GAME

days start at 5 a.m. so he can complete his 10-hour workday painting fields at Armwood, Bloomingdale and Wharton. He starts by dragging the field with a giant hose to dry it off, a process that’s done before the sun rises, and then starts the painting. First come


Athletic Director, Lakewood LAURA MUDD DESCRIBES

her first football game as Lakewood athletic director as “crazy.” She admits to running around trying to get everything done because she hadn’t planned well enough. Mudd, who is entering her fourth season, came up with a checklist for her many responsibilities on game


Mr. Do-Everything, Hudson STEVE MIDKIFF’S JOB

description can best be summarized as Mr. DoEverything. He prepares equipment, uniforms and the field for both the varsity and junior varsity games, which requires him to sleep on what he calls a big, comfortable couch in the coaches’ office Wednesday and Thursday nights. It’s not glamorous, but he loves it. “I love being around the kids,” said Midkiff, who is entering

days: finding ticket takers and a chain crew, managing the hospitality tent, making sure the administrators staffing the game are in the right spot. “After that first week, I was able to say, ‘OK, when the refs come up for halftime, this administrator is going to bring the refs to the locker room, this administrator is going to make sure the money is brought to the correct place after the third quarter,’” she said. Needless to say, the second

week of her first season went much better. Of course, there’s no planning for everything, like the recent fire that destroyed the visiting team’s locker room in the gymnasium at her school, or whatever else happens on game day. “There’s always the thinking on my feet the day of,” Mudd said. “You have to make those lastminute decisions and hope for the best. Most of the time, it ends up working out at the end of the day.”

his sixth season at Hudson, his alma mater. “I like to see them. I’ve worked at different schools, and those kids that I’ve touched, they’ll see me at a Friday night football game, and they’ll give me high-fives. It just makes me feel good, to see kids get what they need.” Midkiff is very particular about his work, preferring to load the truck for away games or set up the sidelines the way he has determined is best. “I take care of all the equipment and make sure everything’s set up and make sure our athletic trainer doesn’t

have to do anything but come down there and take care of the kids,” he said. “Whatever they need fixed or torn down or put up, I’m the man. “They keep asking if I need any help. I tell them, ‘No, I’ve got my own system’.”



Goss has one goal each game: whenever a player runs off the field in need of something, get them back out there without missing a play. It’s a challenge, but he’s done a good job. “As soon as I see them leave the field, they start hollering, and they’ll come to me or I’ll run to them,” Goss said. “Whether it’s helmet or shoulder pads, I carry that stuff in my pocket.” His pockets are filled every game with the items

the numbers, which usually take about three hours to finish. Dermody then does the hashmarks, a 60- to 90-minute process, and then the logo, something that might take him about two hours to complete. He uses about 17 gallons of paint—roughly 10 for the numbers, two for the hashmarks and five for the logo—to complete each job at each high school every week. He’s entering his sixth season

needed to repair broken chinstraps—by far the most common thing to break, Goss said—and re-lace shoulder pads. He keeps a screwdriver on his keychain to assist with repairs and more equipment on the sideline. He’s ready every game. Goss’s success comes after a lengthy career. This will be his 46th season, which doesn’t include the three years he worked as a student manager at King. “I never thought about explaining what I do,” Goss said. “I just instinctively do it when they come off. I just learned over the years to use what I have and make it work to get a kid back in the game—safely, of course.”

painting high school fields, something he loves doing. “It’s a business, but it’s also a hobby,” said Dermody, an award-winning field painter who runs his business, Turf Graphics, in addition to working his full-time job. “I’m just relaxing out there. The fields that have some lines on it, some logos, it makes the kids feel like they’re moving up from youth football to high school football. It’s more of watching these kids grow.”


Students of the Game The ideal student athlete works hard both in the classroom and on the playing field. Below are four well-rounded high school football players, who have found a way to excel both athletically and academically, and have set big goals for the future. BY AARON BLANKENSHIP


The senior linebacker’s intellect and keen attention to detail have enabled him to excel on the football field and in the classroom. As a junior, Jones led the Bulls’ 3-4 defense in tackles and helped Bloomingdale earn a single-season teamrecord six shutout victories. “Gabe’s athletic but his intelligence really sets him apart,” Bloomingdale coach Jacob Coulson said. “He’s one of those kids who knows the ins and outs of what we do defensively. He gets us lined up properly and makes calls on the field. Gabe watches a lot of film and he’s so smart that he knows where to attack offenses.” Jones has maintained straight As on

his report card throughout high school and has a cumulative 5.23 GPA. “I want to play football at a college that has a pre-med school, because I know I’m going to become a doctor,”


When this junior left tackle isn’t racking up pancake blocks on the football field, he often can be found volunteering his free time doing such things as serving pancakes to raise money to fight cancer. Lydting, who also has voluntarily picked up trash off local beaches several times, said he enjoys doing what he can to raise money for good causes. “I just like helping people,” said Lydting, who helped Springstead finish 7-3 overall last season. “Whether I’m doing car washes, serving pancake breakfasts or cleaning up beaches, it feels good to do something good for the school and my community.” Springstead coach Mike Garofano said Lydting is one of the most


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

well-rounded student athletes he’s had the opportunity to work with. “Scott’s a big, strong kid, and it’s nice having a smart, cerebral player out there blocking for us,” Garofano said. “On top of being a good football player, Scott’s a humanitarian and a well-grounded person. The future’s real bright for him.” Lydting, who stands 6 feet, 3 inches and weighs 270 lbs., is entering his junior season with a 4.49 grade point average. “I work real hard on my grades and I excel in mathematics and sciences,” Lydting said. “I want to play college football, and my goal is to go into the medical field, so I can work as a nurse practitioner, with the goal of eventually working my way up to being a doctor.”

Jones said. “As much as I’d like to play in the NFL someday, I know that what I have going on between my ears is how I’m going to make a living, so I’ve been talking with high-academic schools like Yale, Holy Cross and Davidson.” Jones has added 30 lbs. of muscle during the offseason after having surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which brought his junior season to a premature end. “I’ve used this injury as inspiration to come back a stronger, faster and more intelligent football player,” Jones said. “I plan on shadowing a surgeon this summer. My dream job is to become an orthopedic surgeon, so I can return home after college and give back to this program, both financially and through coaching.”

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While rotating between the linebacker and strong safety positions, Lee has earned a fearsome reputation of being a hardhitting defender. As a junior, Lee racked up 46 tackles, seven tackles-for-a-loss and one sack while leading the Cowboys to a 7-4 overall record. “I’m big and I have a hard exterior, so a lot of people are afraid of me,” Lee said. “But I have an intellectual side, too, that most people don’t know about. Strong safety is my dream position, because I have mental capacity to get our defense lined up and organized. Off the field, I like to read books.” Gather coach Kirk Karsen is impressed with how Lee has turned his academic career around after a slow start. Lee had a 0.7 cumulative GPA at the end of his freshman year, but said

he was on pace to raise it to a 2.6 by the end of his junior year. “Sammie Lee has been a foster kid for most of his life and has had it tough,”

Karsen said. “He worked hard to become eligible, has completely turned his life around and now is constantly an honor roll student and one of our team leaders.” Lee said his goal is to perform well enough, both on the field and in the classroom, to earn a college football scholarship, so he can pursue his dream of becoming a physical therapist. “I grew up around gang violence, and four guys I knew, who were my same age, have passed away,” Lee said. “I wasn’t focused my freshman year, but when I saw some of my friends becoming successful at high school football, I knew it was time to get to work because God has given me the skills to play football. “I have boosted my GPA dramatically, and I want to make it out of the hood and inspire other kids to work hard on their grades.”


The senior quarterback has continued to display a tireless work ethic while leading his classmates athletically and academically. As a first-year starter last fall, Montie set single-season team records in completion percentage (.592 percent on 167 completions and 282 attempts), passing yards (2,485) and touchdown passes (24). The 6-foot-3, 185-lb. athlete accomplished this feat despite having to play on a hyper-extended knee for most of the season. Montie also had broken a growth plate in his throwing arm as a sophomore. “Rent’s teammates all respect him for how hard he works and the way he leads by example,” Clearwater coach Don Mesick said. “They also respect him as a leader, because of the toughness and fearlessness that he’s displayed while

playing with and overcoming injuries.” Montie, who is fluent in Spanish, scored a 1270 on his first SAT exam and is entering his senior season ranked first in his class with a 4.64 cumulative grade point average. As of the last spring, Montie had already been offered a football scholarship by the University of Southern Mississippi, but also was considering playing for Ivy League schools, such as Harvard and Princeton. “To be honest, I haven’t set any individual goals for my senior season, other than to do my best to help my team win every game,” Montie said. “Obviously, any quarterback’s ultimate goal would be to play in the NFL, but I’m looking at schools where I can play football and get a great education. Right now, I’m considering majoring in biomedical engineering because science has always been my favorite subject and making prosthetics really interests me.”


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

who’s who in tampa bay football From the youth leagues to the professional ranks, Football resonates loudly throughout the Tampa Bay area. Here are six individuals who are making a difference on the field and in the community. BY WALTER VILLA


The Spring Hill Athletic Association has been preparing youth-league football players for the next level for three decades, and the results can be seen every fall Friday night in Hernando County. In fact, the SHAA feeds five local high schools: Springstead in Spring Hill, Central, Hernando, Nature Coast Technical in Brooksville and Weeki Wachee. “That’s the cool thing,” said Greg Bass, who has been the SHAA president since 2013. “There are kids at every school who have come through our program.” Spring Hill’s football league has three age divisions: six through eight; nine through 11; and 12 through 14. All three divisions play tackle football, and the practices and games are held at Veterans Memorial Park in Spring Hill. “We have about 200 kids per year playing football,” Bass said. “We keep the number per team fairly small so that each kid can get playing time. “Most importantly, we teach the fundamentals, and all our coaches are certified through the USA Football Heads Up program. Safety is our No. 1 priority. We make sure they are hitting and tackling properly.”


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Ron Wimbush, who

Former Tampa Bay

is starting his third season as president of the Suncoast Youth Football Conference, knows firsthand how the league he represents prepares young athletes for high school football and beyond. His son, Jaylaan Wimbush, went through the program and went on to win four NCAA Division II national titles as a member of the North Dakota State football team. He was a three-year starter as a Bison defensive back after a stellar high school career at Boca Ciega, and he now wants to become a coach. Perhaps the most famous players to come out of Suncoast program are the Griffin twins – Shaquill and Shaquem – who are now in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks, and also played at Lakewood and the University of Central Florida. “We’re here to teach kids the fundamentals,” Ron Wimbush said. “Our program has a long history of supplying talent for high school teams throughout Pinellas and Pasco counties. “It’s also a way to help kids stay on the straight and narrow.” The league is open for kids ages four through 14. For the first three years, they play flag football. Starting at age 7, they play with pads, and there are 11 organizations – each with at least four teams in the different age groups. In addition, there are at least 10 coaches per team, and they are encouraged to go to clinics to keep improving their mentorship skills. Kids are not allowed to compete and perform, Wimbush said, if they are misbehaving at home or at school. Positive reports from parents and teachers are essential. “We preach academics first,” Wimbush said, “and teamwork.”

Tech wide receiver Tyrone Timmons, second in the Mississippi Valley State record books behind only the legendary Jerry Rice, is making catches of another kind these days. These are potentially life-saving catches: keeping kids from falling through the cracks and helping them get an opportunity at a college education. Since 2013, Timmons has been running “The Challenge,” a 7-on-7 tournament held every April at the Larry Sanders Sports Complex in Tampa. “I started the tournament because I wanted to give kids a chance to be recruited,” Timmons said. “I invite all the big teams and the ‘middle of the road’ squads. My goal was to get those ‘middle of the road’ players recognized.” Timmons said his plan has worked. His tournaments have resulted in college scholarships for scores of players. Aside from the tournament, Timmons helps organize bus tours in which high school football players in his program get to visit college campuses throughout the country. There is also a state bus tour for kids in grades four through seven, taking them to Miami, FSU and Florida, for example, and all of this is made possible by grants and donations from the community. “It sparks their brains,” Timmons said of the bus tours. “It shows them that college is real. It lets them know, ‘I can do this.’ For a lot of them, it’s the first time they ever step foot on a college campus. “The kids have met college coaches on these tours. It’s a motivating factor, and parents have given us feedback that their kids become much better students after they go on these bus tours.”

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Before a football is

Gerold Dickens had

passed, a baseball is pitched or a soccer ball is booted, Hillsborough County Assistant Athletic Director Jennifer Burchill has already worked tirelessly to make sure the games go on without a hitch. Together with Director of Athletics Lanness Robinson, Burchill schedules every game in every sport for all 27 public high schools in her county. Burchill, who has been at her post since 2000, also schedules the games for all 48 public middle schools in Hillsborough. “Unlike many other counties in Florida, we are centrally funded,” Burchill said. “We oversee the budget for equipment, uniforms, transportation, security, officials and more. “My greatest fear is to have a stadium full of people and no referees to run a game.” Thanks to Burchill’s tireless efforts, that doesn’t happen. Burchill’s biggest challenges happen when inclement weather forces games to be postponed, which happens frequently during baseball and softball seasons. Fall sports – including football – are often postponed due to hurricanes. But, despite those issues, Burchill said her job is highly rewarding. The proof is in the pudding as Hillsborough County football programs have become perennial contenders and have won seven state football championships since 2003. “Seeing individuals and teams from our county succeed is a joy,” she said. “I love seeing kids earn scholarships to further their education and continue their athletic careers. “When I started in this office, we had very few teams represent us at state. That has changed completely, including in football with teams such as Armwood, Plant, Jefferson and others. It’s very exciting.”

an unbelievable experience at the University of Florida, helping the Gators win their first two SEC titles, in 1984 and ’85. But it almost never happened for Dickens. “My high school (Plant City) went 5-5 my senior year,” said Dickens, a former linebacker. “Florida would’ve never offered me a scholarship had I not gone to one of their camps. It gave me separation and allowed me to show my individual talent.” Decades later, Dickens has made it his business – and, he believes, his calling – to help the next generation of football players make their marks. Since 2006, Dickens and fellow co-founder Hasani Jackson have run a program that was once called “Next Level” and was rebranded a couple of years ago as Pro-Active Sports Academe in Plant City. The rebranding effort comes complete with a unique spelling of the word “academy.” Backed by key board members Denise Major and Gary Givens, Pro-Active has been able to positively impact local high school football. “We provide evaluation, training, development and exposure,” Dickens said. “We are here to support high school coaches and help develop talent. “Our players compete in 7-on-7s against elite talent, which helps them improve and also gives them exposure from college coaches.” Dickens and his group settled on the name Pro-Active because it is not his group’s philosophy to wait to be recruited. Members of his academy are proactive, and he uses his know-how and connections to steer players into what events he believes that will give them the most exposure. “We’re able to educate the parents along the way,” Dickens said. “For a lot of them, this is their first time going through the recruiting process.”


Chip Bennett raised a quarterback who went on to play college football – his son C.J. – and he has been “passing” his knowledge on to others ever since. C.J. played three years at South Alabama and one season at Murray State, and, until very recently, he coached running backs at Samford University. These days, C.J. is back home in Tampa, working with his father and former Arena League quarterback John Kaleo, who is also an NFL regional combine director. Together, they serve as instructors for “The Stable,” the unofficial name for a collection of quarterbacks that includes former Tampa Bay area standouts such as Chase Litton (Chiefs) and Alex McGough (Jaguars). “We do QB-specific drills, focusing on technique, footwork and other nuances,” Chip Bennett said. “We put the quarterbacks in competitive situations with each other.” Kaleo, who coached quarterbacks for two years at Iona and for another two seasons at Towson, is the lead instructor, and the group works with youth and high school passers while still being home for guys who have moved on to college or pro ball. “Once you are in The Stable, you’re always in,” Bennett said. Since 2011, The Stable has helped its quarterbacks earn $4 million in scholarship money, according to Kaleo. The instructors work with quarterbacks virtually year-round – meeting three or four times per week in the summer and on Sundays during the season. Young quarterbacks are schooled on the field as well as on a white board, teaching them how to read defenses and perfect their throwing motions. “These days,” Bennett said, “it’s not uncommon for players to get specialized, outside coaching.”


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

the Custom Cover Project GET YOUR SCHOOL ON THE FRONT COVER OF FNF TAMPA BAY FNF Tampa Bay gives every team an opportunity to be on the cover of our magazine through the Custom Cover Project. Schools use the Custom Cover Project both as a fundraiser and an opportunity to showcase their players. BY DAN GUTTENPLAN


NF Tampa Bay offers every school in our coverage

area the opportunity to receive maximum exposure by not only featuring players on the cover, but also providing a full-page team preview on the inside of the magazine. Many coaches use the Custom Cover Project (CCP) as an annual fundraiser for their respective programs. “We sold ad space on the back cover to take care of the cost of the print copies,” said Alonso head coach Ron Perisee, whose team did the CCP for the first time in 2019. “We’ll sell all 200 copies to parents, players and anyone else interested. That should net us $3,100. It’s a dual-purpose thing. It’s exposure for the players, and it helps raise some sorely needed funds.” Land O’Lakes High also took part in the CCP fundraiser this year, and Booster Club President Chris Lewis said the school will use the additional funds toward a new headset system as well HUDL’s instant-replay package. “One of the things we liked about this is it gives our players a piece of memorabilia to put away and pull out several years from now,” Lewis said. “Some of the players will go on to have successful college – or even professional – careers. To be able to look back at the magazine and see some of the guys they played against … we thought that was cool.”



friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com



Most coaches choose to recognize their seniors on the cover of the magazine, which is a nice way to honor their four-year commitments to the program. However, FNF Magazine provides plenty of space for other photos and a roster.



CCP schools often have a system in place in which each player is responsible for selling a certain number of magazines.

Alonso has earmarked its CCP funds toward the purchase of new uniforms, sleds and chutes. “We have some short- and long-term items to address,” Perisee said. “Really, the money will end up going to a number of different things.” Once a school commits to the CCP, the program’s head coach is asked to complete a questionnaire that is used to draft an editorial for the full-page feature. An FNF Tampa editorial staff member then reaches out to the coach for an interview, roster, schedule, along with photos for the magazine. “It was pretty simple,” Lewis said. “We supplied the spring roster and set up a photographer for a photo shoot. FNF walked us through the process. We didn’t sell advertising this year, but we will in the future. We’ll sell the back cover and offset the risk.” Perisee plans to surprise his team with the magazines with his players on the cover at the start of fall training camp. “The product sells itself,” Perisee said. “What parent wouldn’t want to buy a magazine with their kid on the cover? If you’re a supporter of the program, you can see that this is a national publication that is showcasing your local team.”



Some coaches cover the cost of their CCP entirely by ad sales, making any income generated from magazine sales extra revenue.



We’ll help you through each step of the process with fundraising advice, photo specs and other tips.



more invested in helping the sales effort if they know how the money will be spent. The FNF Tampa Bay staff is already planning the 2020 edition. If you are interested in learning more about the Custom Cover Project, please email us at fnf@ae-engine.com or visit customcoverproject.com.



Part fundraiser. part keepsake. all yours. @ F N F M AG # F N F M AG F N F M AG A Z I N E .C O M




gators’ 2019 varsity Schedule AUG. 16: ZEPHYRHILLS AUG. 23: PASCO AUG. 30: @ COUNTRYSIDE SEP. 6: @ MITCHELL SEP. 13: TAMPA CATHOLIC





tigers’ 2019 varsity Schedule AUG. 16: @ GAITHER (CLASSIC) AUG. 23: PLANT CITY AUG. 30: @ IMMOKALEE SEP. 6: @ CLEARWATER SEP. 13: BOOKER




@ F N F M AG # F N F M AG






F R I DAY N I G H T F O O T B A L L TA M PA B AY 2 01 9



F R I DAY N I G H T F O O T B A L L TA M PA B AY 2 01 9

F R I DAY N I G H T F O O T B A L L TA M PA B AY 2 01 9


F R I DAY N I G H T F O O T B A L L TA M PA B AY 2 01 9

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Hernando leopards 2019 varsity Schedule ALL KICKOFFS ARE AT 7:30PM
















OCT. 4: @ CCC





OCT. 25: @ FIVAY




Seniors (left to right): Jacob Batten, Qwenton Coney, Kallyn McLaughlin, Jaquan Spry, Austin McCombs, Shavaris McNair, Broc Valdez, Willie Woods, Cordell Warthen, Fred Scrivens Jr., Isaiah Brown





The Custom Cover Project gives your school the opportunity to receive its own customized edition of FNF Tampa Bay magazine. Schools make $2,000 profit or more with the Custom Cover Project by selling the magazines and advertising. You keep 100% of the revenue generated.


HERE iS wHaT youR ScHooL REcEivES:

• A customized magazine front cover exclusively featuring your team

• The magazine’s back cover to utilize for advertising or additional photos • 200 copies of the magazine (with the option to buy more) • A full-page team preview

• Fundraising sale sheets and an online store to assist your fundraising efforts

The all-inclusive, flat-rate cost for this program is $950. Sign up by Dec. 31, 2019 for the 2020 edition and receive 100 additional magazines for FREE! LEaRn moRE aT www.cuSTomcovERpRojEcT.com or contact us at fnf@ae-engine.com or 727.209.1750

REaDy To Sign up oR REnEw? You can do so at www.customcoverproject.com/sign-up

fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

l l a b t o o F y a B a p m a T Football season is finally here, and we’re gearing up for another year of big plays, crushing hits, and extraordinary upsets with FNF’s official alphabet of all things high school football. From Alvin Mathis to Zayvion McCluster, this year’s collection features dozens of local athletes and coaches who have worked tirelessly to hone their craft and elevate their game. BY ZACH LEETE


Alvin Mathis. It was an eventful summer for Alvin Mathis, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defensive specialist with a penchant for big hits and even bigger plays. Versatility is the name of Mathis’ game, which has landed him in a variety of roles for his first three years with Pinellas Park. Now he will try to bring that same all-around game to Largo, where the Miami commit will be in the middle of the defense with FSU commit Jayion McCluster. Although listed as an outside linebacker, Mathis has shown promise in multiple positions on the defensive end including strong safety and middle linebacker. His long arms, quickness, and vision have made him an impressive stopper. He has a gift for tracking down the runner, clogging up holes, and making his presence known to disrupt the offense. Blitz. If you can get to the quarterback, it makes winning a lot easier. So it comes as little surprise that coaches have been tweaking their defensive schemes and bolstering their pass rushing strategies throughout the off-season to bring the pressure with more blitzes, more sacks, and more turnovers. At Alonso High School, where many players are also members of the track team, the Ravens are relying on their team’s speed to refine their blitz package. Last season, Clearwater High School defensive lineman Tim Williams recorded eight sacks, so he’ll play an integral role in the Tornadoes blitz attack this year. Qwenton Coney will be another important contributor to Hernando’s blitz. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound defensive end recorded 4.5 sacks and 66 tackles in his junior year comes into this season with an offer from FAU. Clyde Pinder Jr. Clyde Pinder Jr. is a bonafide trench bully who is drawing looks from a variety of collegiate recruiters from Arizona State, Boston College, Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, and FIU. He hasn’t committed, likely waiting


C 50

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

on one of Florida’s “Big Three” to put forth an offer. With the strength and speed to pester his blocker and wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage, Pinder’s talent as a defensive tackle is reminiscent of the similarly sized Aaron Donald. This year, Pinder is playing with a chip on his shoulder after the Armwood Hawks went down 22-0 against the Miami Northwestern Bulls in the 2018 Class 6A State Championship, but he isn’t letting that stop him from turning himself into the best player he can be. By working hard and dominating everything he does both on and off the field, Pinder has shown that he has both the skill and maturity to succeed on the collegiate level. DeAngelo Taylor. After hitting the 30-scholarship mark in May, DeAngelo Taylor just needs to figure out which program is right for him, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to rest on his laurels with a full season of football left to go. Arizona State, Duke, Iowa State, Louisville, and Pittsburgh have all shown interest in the 5-foot-11, 190-lb. two-way player, who is a threat on both sides of the ball; however, it’s his ability to suffocate offensive threats in the cornerback position that make him such an enticing prospect. Regardless of where he decides to take his talent, his ability to read the offense, assess the best play on the fly, and execute are going to make him a valuable asset and his knack for making plays on the ball and extending his yards after an interception are a significant bonus. Eric Wilson. Armwood’s versatile running back, Eric Wilson, has already exhibited the signs of league-favorite pros like Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley — the ability to catch, find seams in the line, and create yards after contact. He shines taking the ball to the outside to exploit smaller defenders in the open field, but he’s also dynamic driving the ball down the middle where he shakes off tackles with confidence. The 6-foot, 190-pound ran for 1,223 yards and 13 touchdowns in his


e d y l c . r j r e pind od armwo

first season with Armwood after spending his freshman and sophomore year at Plant City. Now that he’s settled into Coach Evan Davis’ system and asserted himself as Armwood’s first option in the run game, his production is sure to skyrocket. Fundraising. Without help from the local community, many high school sports programs would struggle to supply their athletes with facilities and equipment they need to succeed. For example, Hernando High School recently initiated fundraising efforts for an artificial turf field at Tom Fisher Stadium. Mark Lee, athletic director at Hernando High School, launched the “Jerome Brown Project” to raise the $1.4 million needed for the new field. Lee knows that $1.4 million is a “lofty goal,” but he believes the Brooksville community will support the initiative. Plus, Hernando High School’s fundraising efforts will support youth sports and community events as well. In addition to private donations, Lee has organized a golf tournament at the Brooksville Country Club. Gage Wilcox. When it comes to the tight end position, Jefferson High School standout Gage Wilcox checks a lot of boxes. Give his footage the eyeball test and you’ll see a 6-foot-4, 230-pound powerhouse with above average lateral movement and serious stopping power. In person, Wilcox demonstrates utter dominance as a blocker, putting the outside blitz in a slump as he fills in the most porous part of the line. He accelerates quickly for his size and rips the ball out of the air with ease, which makes him a potent offensive weapon. But his



most noteworthy skill may be his sheer force of will. Wilcox is a tough tackle, even with multiple defenders wrapping him up. Haden Carlson. Haden Carlson has been showing flashes for a while, and now that he has received his first offer from FIU, his hard work and grit are paying off. The son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Carlson recently turned heads at the QB Collective in Atlanta, where some of the NFL’s most noteworthy names like Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan gathered to check out some of the top upcoming talent. At the event, Carlson impressed coaches with his arm talent and athleticism in the pocket. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Carlson is already built like a collegiate quarterback. He might be Hillsborough County’s most overlooked prospect. The Steinbrenner faithful are looking forward to a big year for the rising star. Isaiah Knowles. Isaiah Knowles is the leader and engine of the Seffner Christian Academy football team, single handedly willing the Crusaders to an 11-1 record during the 2018 season after going 1-8 the previous year. The 6-foot, 190-pound quarterback is a cerebral player with keen instincts on the field. He’s a smart passer who can let it fly, but his best passes rise in calculated arcs, careening neatly into his receivers’ possession. He’s doing work off the field, too. Knowles has risen to the top of the academic ranks, too. He currently holds a 4.1 GPA and wants to study kinesiology in college. Although he hasn’t decided on where he is going to land just yet, there’s a lot



TAMPA BAY FOOTBALL A-Z of interest in the Seffner Christian standout. Jaylen Harrell. With offers from top collegiate programs like Alabama, Clemson, and Miami, the sky’s the limit for Berkeley Prep linebacker Jaylen Harrell. The 4-star recruit and MaxPreps First Team All-American is a dominant presence on the field, imposing his will and disrupting offenses with his large stature and superior athleticism. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect is surprisingly light on his feet and demonstrates quick reflexes when making plays on the ball. There’s no denying the fact that Harrell is the type uncompromising player you want on your team when games come down to the wire. He’s already reading the offense at an elite level for his age, rarely falling for gimmicks or misdirection. This season, Harrell will be delivering big hits and big plays while he ponders his football future at the collegiate level.


keyvone lee

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of regulation. This gunslinger is destined for great things as he continues to develop his game over the new couple years. Michael Rankins. Michael Rankins is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle with a bevy of offers from notable collegiate programs including Duke, UCF, FSU, Louisville, and more. Rankin is a strong-bodied force to be reckoned with on the line. He asserts himself against even the most skilled pass rusher and uses his powerful upper body to manhandle defenders and create lanes for the runner. This year will be all about consistency both on and off the field for Rankins. That means keeping up with his schoolwork to maintain his 3.6 GPA, enhancing his conditioning, and putting his talent on display by protecting his quarterback. New Coaches. When a coach takes on a new group of boys at a new school, there’s no limit to the things they can accomplish, but accomplish great feats requires hard work and dedication. This year, Nathan Spate will take over as head coach for the Indian Rocks Christian School Golden Eagles. He looks to improve on last year’s 2-8 record by implementing a system that can build off their strength on the offensive line and capitalize on hustle plays. At Land O’ Lakes High School, Chad Walker will be entering his second year as head coach. After battling to a 7-3 record in 2018 and snapping an eightyear losing streak against Sunlake to win the Butter Bowl, it will be exciting to see what Coach Walker can do with this program moving forward. Optimism. Football season has arrived, which means teams across the Sunshine State are gearing up for the gridiron. Everyone has been working hard since last year drew to a close, and blood, sweat, and tears have turned into optimism for what’s to come. St. Petersburg High School’s Joe Fabrizio is optimistic about the Green Devils’ talent on the offensive end, especially quarterback Tonio Shavers and running back Derrel Kelley. At Robinson High School, Coach Craig Everhart is optimistic about the strong foundation he established last year. This year, the Knights will be moving on without 24 seniors, so culture will play an important role in shaping their future. In Valrico, the Bloomingdale Bulls are optimistic about the return of their experienced linebackers who held six teams scoreless last year.



Keyvone Lee. Ask anyone who’s played against him in the regular season and you’ll likely hear the same reply — there’s no stopping Superior Collegiate Academy’s Keyvone Lee once he’s in the open field. At 6-feet, 225-pounds, this sensational talent from Clearwater is the perfect archetype of the modern running back. He’s an effective runner with powerful, controlled strides that catapult him past the line of scrimmage and around defenders with ease. He uses momentum to his advantage, bouncing of tackles for extra yards and flat out beating pursuers in the open field. He can start and stop on a dime and his ability to catch the ball adds another dimension to his game. Scouts are already praising his workhouse qualities, so it comes as little surprise that top collegiate programs like Penn State, LSU, Florida and FSU are vying to have Lee bolster their backfields. Luca Stanzani. Luca Stanzani is already garnering considerable praise after recording 3,386 passing yards (second most in Florida) and leading the Knights to an 11-0 record in his freshman season. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound quarterback is a highly accurate passer who is agile in the pocket, but his most valuable quality is arguably his killer instinct. Last Season, the Clearwater Academy International Knights outscored teams by an average of 50 points per game, and only one team, the Cornerstone Christian Warriors from San Antonio, Texas, managed to keep the game within two touchdowns by the end

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Physicality. Football is a game of guts and glory. Every time these talented young men step on the field, they are choosing to put their bodies on the line for their teammates and coaches. Central High School’s Kaleb Morrison will be bringing an extra level of physicality to the Bears’ defense this year as he moves into the linebacker position to wreak havoc in the box. At East Bay High School in Gibsonton, the Indians are embracing a “blue collar” mentality to overcome a schedule featuring some of the best teams in Hillsborough County. Meanwhile, the Gaither High School Cowboys will be relying on Chance Coleman and Sammie Lee to use their physicality to generate sacks. Quarterbacks. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson believes that, in order to be a great quarterback, “you have to have a great leadership, great attention to detail, and a relentless competitive nature.” These are three qualities shared by many of the talented young quarterbacks in Florida, including James Perkins (Hernando), Devin Gagnon (Lakeside Christian School), Ethan Forrester (Land O’ Lakes), Fabian Burnett (Nature Coast), Tony Bartalo (Gaither), and Joshua Williamson (Robinson). While a good quarterback can pass the ball accurately and manage the play clock, a great quarterback can unlock the potential of his teammates and help cultivate a positive team culture.

Rent Montie. After passing for 2,485 yards, 24 touchdowns, and a 103.2 QBR in his junior season, Clearwater High School quarterback Rent Montie is ready to prove that he’s one of the most talent prospects in the entire State of Florida. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Montie throws a great long ball, and if he can pack on a few pounds in the weight room this season, he’ll be a fearsome opponent as soon as he enters college. Plus, he’s just as beastly in the classroom as he is on the field. If you thought his stats from last season was impressive, check out his test scores — 4.0 unweighted GPA (No. 1 in class rank), 1230 SAT, 27 ACT, and a member of the National Honor Society. Shelton Quarles Jr. When you’re the son of a former NFL linebacker, escaping your father’s shadow can be a challenge. Fortunately, Shelton Quarles Jr. has the skill to carve out his own legacy, although he does enjoy dissecting plays after each game alongside his father, Shelton Quarles Sr. The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback is a dynamic talent with the type of pure athleticism that automatically qualifies one as a defensive threat. Quarles Jr. starred at Carrollwood Day School in 2018 but will take his talents to Calvary Christian this season. Quarles Jr. has already received offers from Colorado State University, Southern Miss, Oregon, and USF.



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Tre’von Riggins. After committing to the University of Miami

in January, Tre’von Riggins will spend his final year at Lakewood showcasing his talent as one of the top strong side defensive ends in the country. Riggins already possesses the size to compete at the next level, so refining his already high-level game will take precedent in his final year. Although the 6-foot-4, 260-pound recruit sat out his junior year with a torn meniscus in his left knee, his reputation as a monster on the defensive line is already solidified. “Whatever I have to do, that’s what I’m willing to do,” said Riggins during a podcast with CanesInSight. “I’m trying to leave a legacy at Miami.” Up and Up. Turning a losing record into a winning record is one of the toughest hurdles coaches and players face in any sport. Winning takes commitment. You should be the first one on the field and the last one off if you want to reach your pinnacle. When you do this, it becomes evident in the yearly improvements to your record. For example, Fivay High School improved from a 1-8 team in 2017 to a 4-6 team in 2018, proof that putting the work in leads to results. The Boca Ciega Pirates also made significant improvements over the last two years. In 2017, they ended their season with a 3-7 record. However, they coasted to a 7-3 record the year after fortifying their team chemistry in the off-season. Video Review. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has instituted a set of new rules regarding the use of video review in high school football. Starting this season, they have decided to permit the use of video review in state postseason contests nationwide. On-field game officials would be responsible for reviewing this footage. Still, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) doesn’t currently have any specific rules regarding official video review according to their latest football manual, although they could feasibly choose to adopt video review under the NFHS guidelines. Where’s the Whistle? Players and referees don’t always get along, but they’re both important parts of the game of football. Unfortunately, a shortage of referees could soon become problematic in the State of Florida. Some referees claim that hostile fans, parents, and even players are at the root of the shortage, while others attribute it to the out-of-pocket expense referees are forced to deal with before they can be cleared to officiate. Whatever the reason, referee registration numbers have dropped over the past five years, and the


FHSAA is scrambling to find new applicants. This season, let’s make an effort to show respect to the officials who put in the time to make sure our games run smoothly. X’s and O’s. In many ways, football is like a game of chess. Coaches face-off in heated matchups, deploying strategies developed after hours of watching film and watching their pieces clash firsthand. Effective play calling can take a team from good to great, whereas bad play calling can mitigate a team’s athletic advantage and cause a breakdown in crunch time. This year’s crop of coaches is stocked with savvy play callers whose X’s and O’s turn into W’s, including Rob Kazmier (Hernando), James Coffman (Lakeside Christian School), Marcus Paschal (Largo), Cory Johns (Nature Coast), Dominick Ciao (Berkeley Preparatory School), and Jacob Coulson (Bloomingdale). You Could Be Next. The State of Florida has a rich history of producing top-level professional talent. Athletes in Florida are forced to contend with some of the country’s hottest weather and stifling humidity during training, which puts them at an advantage when the time comes to move on to the next level. It takes a workhorse mentality to survive in the Sunshine State, but those who persevere have bright futures awaiting them on the collegiate and professional level. For example, Nelson Agholor, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, attended Berkeley Preparatory School. Hargreaves III, cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, graduated from Wharton. Other notable names include Dante Fowler, Jr., Tyler Higbee, and Shaquem Griffin. Who will follow in the footsteps of these impactful players?



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Zayvion McCluster. The hype surrounding Largo High School

outside linebacker Zayvion McCluster is so thick it’s palpable. Colleges around the country are keeping eyes on the athletic freshman, who has already demonstrated a mature mentality toward the game as well as the ability to single handedly disrupt the offense. Zayvion will be the second McCluster to suit up this year alongside his brother, Jayion, who recently committed to FSU. So far, the younger McCluster has received offers from the University of Miami, UCF, and FSU, but he has plenty of time to think over his options before making a decision.

I n o v ’ e tr s n i g rig d o o w e k a l


It’s Time to

Tikkun HaYam® & Scubi Jew ®

Repair the Sea! ®

Tikkun HaYam and Scubi Jew are initiatives created by Hillels of the Florida Suncoast to raise awareness in the Jewish community, and the community-at-large, of the many threats facing the marine environment, as well as showcasing the innumerable wonders of the Sea.

Manatee Awareness Scubi Jew students snorkel with endangered Manatees, and learn about the dangers that threaten the Manatees and what can be done to protect them.

Beads Out of the Bay

Scubi Jew student divers dive in Seddon Channel to remove thousands of plastic bead necklaces after years of Gasparilla Pirate Invasions.

Open Water Scuba Certification

Students learn how to breathe underwater and become a safe diver, opening up service and employment activities.

DiveHeart Adaptive Diving

Scubi Jew students become scuba dive “buddies” to children, adults and veterans with disabilities to help them enjoy the beauty and the freedom of the underwater world.

Coral Restoration

Scubi Jew students spend a long weekend learning about coral conservation and planting juvenile corals on at-risk reefs in Key Largo.

Shark Awareness

Students come face-to-fin with sharks in an effort to learn about the perils facing the ocean’s apex predators, what can be done to protect them, and dispel the myths perpetuated by the media.

Dive Against Debris & Shore Cleanups

Scubi Jew students and community volunteers remove fishing lines, anchors, tires, and plastic from local reefs and shorelines.

Alternative Spring Break

Students learn about the Jewish connection to the water and perform acts of service for bodies of water in Florida.

To learn more about the efforts of Tikkun HaYam and Scubi Jew and to support this worthwhile cause, visit repairthesea.org or contact Shayna Cohen, Program Coordinator, at shayna@repairthesea.org. Please join us for the second annual Bubbles & Bubbly, our gala fundraising event in support of Tikkun Hayam and Scubi Jew, at the Florida Aquarium on November 9, 2019. For more information visit suncoasthillels.org/bubbles-and-bubbly or (813) 899-2788. Tikkun HaYam® & Scubi Jew® and the Tikkun HaYam logo are Registered Trademarks of Hillels of the Florida Suncoast.

Hillels of the Florida Suncoast supports Jewish life on three college campuses along the west coast of Florida, including the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Eckerd College.


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Mapping Out a Dream Schedule It stretches 425 miles across Tampa Bay and includes a trip to Sarasota County, but our Dream Schedule captures the most intriguing matchups of this year’s high school football season. BY WILL TURNER

Instead of a mid-September battle, the Armwood and Plant clash moves to the opening week of the regular season. It will be a battle of top quarterbacks in the area as Georgia Tech commit Tucker Gleason leads the charge at quarterback for Plant, while Cam’Ron Ransom will conduct an electric Armwood offense. The Hawks have won three out of the last five matchups. It’s a bit of a hike, but the drive to Venice is worth it to see a great coaching matchup between St. Petersburg’s Joe Fabrizio and Venice’s John Peacock. Plus, Powell-Davis Stadium is one of the best places to see a football game in Florida. Like traditional rivalries? Well, East Lake and Palm Harbor University will give you one of the best to open September. East Lake’s “Blue Crue” and PHU’s “Rowdies” are two of the best student sections around. Thanks to the FHSAA’s reclassification, the Lakeland and Plant City battle resumes. This matchup dates back to 1908. The Dreadnaughts lead 31-14-4 in the all-time series. Plant City hasn’t won since 1994 when the Raiders stunned the fifthranked ’Naughts, 19-16. There are a pair of great small school games in consecutive weeks to end September and open October. Head to St. Petersburg to see a competitive matchup between Victory Christian and Admiral Farragut. The following week head down Haines-Bayshore Road in Clearwater on the first Friday of October for a premier private school matchup between Clearwater Central Catholic and Jesuit. Both teams made the

■■ Armwood and Plant will square off in Week 1 at Lyle Flagg Stadium.

state semifinals last year, CCC in Class 3A and Jesuit in 5A. The Marauders won 14-6 in the first matchup since 2014. Frank LaRosa and Mark Kantor are fired up about the clash between East Bay and Wiregrass Ranch in Week 8. This district game will provide two very different styles of offense and two extremely fun teams to watch. Newsome proved in 2018 it was possible for a Hillsborough County team to take down mighty Sarasota Riverview, giving the Rams their only district loss in a run to the 8A state semifinals. Newsome is looking for that same result in a game that could hold a lot of weight in the playoff hunt. Nature Coast Tech and Hernando provide a great Hernando County rivalry, while Pasco and Zephyrhills give one of the oldest Pasco County rivalries around new life with journeyman Jason Stokes taking over at Pasco. Both of those matchups will finish off a fantastic schedule around the Tampa Bay Area.

THE 2019 FNF TAMPA BAY MAGAZINE DREAM SCHEDULE DATE Aug. 23 Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 26 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 1

LOCATION Lyle Flagg Stadium Powell-Davis Stadium Hurricane Stadium Raiders Stadium Packer Stadium Al Ross Field J.B.T. Stadium E.G. Simmons Stadium Newsome Stadium Tom Fisher Field Bulldog Stadium

HOME TEAM Armwood Venice Palm Harbor Univ. Plant City Largo Admiral Farragut CCC East Bay Newsome Hernando Zephyrhills

AWAY TEAM Plant St. Petersburg East Lake Lakeland Palmetto Victory Christian Jesuit Wiregrass Ranch Riverview (Sarasota) Nature Coast Tech Pasco

WHAT TO WATCH FOR Star QBs headline rivalry of top programs 27 years of coaching experience clashes A fierce Pinellas county rivalry After 15 years these long-time rivals meet again Plenty of top talent on both sides Two of the best in Class 2A Two state semifinalists battle for Tampa Bay supremacy LaRosa vs. Kantor is worth the price of admission Rams want revenge but Newsome is tough at home The battle of Brooksville Stokes brings new blood to the “9 Mile War”


Leaders in the Game Coaching Profiles

■■ Plant High coach Robert Weiner stands with members of his 2018 squad – Leonard Parker (6), William Putnam (56), Tucker Gleason (4) and Jude May (5).


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The Tampa Bay area has long been the home of some of the best high school football coaching minds in the state. We take a look at eight of the most respected coaches in the area, examining their accomplishments thus far, their style of coaching, their strengths and what they hope to accomplish in the future. BY AARON BLANKENSHIP

ROBERT WEINER, PLANT Entering his 16th season as Plant’s head coach, Weiner’s resume is already loaded with glittering accomplishments. During the first 15 seasons of his tenure, Weiner guided the Panthers to a 168-31-1 overall record, 14 district titles and four state championships. In that span, the Panthers qualified for the playoffs 14 of 15 seasons and a total of 241 Plant players have gone on to play college football. From 2006 to 2008, Plant became the first Florida team to pass for more than 4,500 yards in three consecutive seasons, with Weiner also serving as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I love coaching the intricate quarterback position and I spend a lot of time working with special teams, as well,” Weiner said. “But really, I have a lot of great people around me, from my coaching staff to the players and all of our families, who do a lot of great things that make me look good.” Weiner began his coaching career as a wide receiver coach at his alma mater, Tampa Jesuit, where he served under head coach Dominick Ciao from 1988-02. Over his 31-year coaching career, Weiner has developed friendships with NFL coaches such as Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Greg Schiano. “Robert’s known all over the country

as a great football coach, who has an unbelievable legacy of kids who have gone on to play in college and the NFL” Clearwater coach Rob Mesick said. “He’s extremely organized, a tremendous communicator and a genius in finding unique ways to motivate kids.” Weiner, who has turned down several opportunities to coach college football, said his passion for high school football is undiminished. “The cool thing is Plant isn’t a football factory; it’s small-town USA inside a big city,” Weiner said. “I still love what I do because I’m passionate about working with young people, and I’m in this for the kids.”

EARL GARCIA, HILLSBOROUGH While building Hillsborough into a consistent winner the past 26 seasons, Garcia has become a coaching icon. Since being named Hillsborough’s head coach in 1993, Garcia has guided the Terriers to 24 playoff appearances and 10 district championships. Garcia, who led Hillsborough to the 1996 6A state championship game, is the winningest coach in Hillsborough County history with 257 victories in 33 seasons as a head coach. The 66-year-old is entering his 34th season as a head coach and 45th season as a high school coach. “Earl is the godfather of Hillsborough County football, with all of the success he’s had over the years,” East Bay coach Frank LaRosa said. “The thing that separates Earl from most other coaches is his passion for the game and for the coaching profession.” During Garcia’s tenure, more than 200 Hillsborough players have earned college football scholarships and a total of 20 Hillsborough alumni have signed with NFL teams, including long-snapper Charlie Hughlett (Cleveland Browns) and cornerback Anthony Brown (Dallas Cowboys). Garcia is enjoying coaching alongside his son, Earl III, who serves as the Terriers’ defensive coordinator, and he insists that he isn’t planning on retiring from coaching anytime in the near future.

“I’m very healthy and I get great support from my wife (Gilda), and those are the keys to my longevity,” Garcia said. “I get to coach with my son and my grandson will be a heck of a wide receiver here in the future. “I’m an old-school coach. I call my own plays on offense and I still have the exact same rules I established here back in 1993. I learned a long time ago that you better be yourself because you can’t fake it.”



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MIKE GAROFANO, SPRINGSTEAD Garofano built Springstead into a consistent winning program during his first six seasons as head coach, guiding the Eagles to a 35-20 overall record, two playoff appearances, one district championship and three district runner-up finishes. As he enters his seventh season as Springstead’s head coach, Garofano is looking to take the Eagles to an even higher level of success “Our program was up-and-down before I took over, but I feel like we’ve had a good thing going here the past seven years,” Garofano said. “We want to keep challenging for our district title every year and we’d like to make it back to the playoffs even more often.” Garofano, who served as Springstead’s defensive coordinator for 10 seasons before being hired as head coach, is known for putting aggressive defensive units on the field. “Defensively, we try to score, not just stop the other teams,” Garofano said. In Garofano’s first season as head coach in 2013, the Eagles advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in program history. Garofano, who also served as both Springstead’s offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator the past three seasons, has hired new offensive and defensive coordinators for the fall season.

“This will allow me to spend more time on fundraising and building the culture of the program,” Garofano said. “I like the culture we have here. The kids are selfless, putting team goals in front of their own, which is great in this age of entitlement. I feel like we have a good thing going and we just want to keep getting better and better.”

PHIL HAYFORD, KESWICK CHRISTIAN Hayford is embarking upon his 49th season coaching high school football. Many of his peers consider him to be a local legend. In his first 36 seasons as a head coach, Hayford amassed an overall record of 202-164, which makes him the winningest coach in Pinellas County history.


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The 72-year-old, who is entering his fourth season as the Crusaders’ head coach, surpassed Northeast’s Jerry Austin (196) on the Pinellas County wins list in 2017. Hayford also served as the head coach at Shorecrest Prep for 33 seasons, from 1979-2011, leading the Chargers to 191 wins and playoff appearances in 15 seasons, including a stretch of 12 postseason appearances in 14 seasons from 1992-2005. “The highlights of my career aren’t any particular wins, but rather my relationships with the kids and the moments we share together,” Hayford said. “Our teams have won a lot of trophies over the years, but my real trophies are the young men who once played for me, who are now walking around town as good citizens and successful adults.” Hayford coached his son Brett, a 1989 Shorecrest graduate; and is currently coaching his grandson, Bryce Artze, who is a returning starter at free safety as a sophomore at Keswick Christian. The affable Hayford has been asked if he plans on retiring at the conclusion of his grandson’s high school football career, but the coach laughs off the suggestion. “It’s been a great ride so far, and I still have the same passion for coaching that I’ve always had,” Hayford said. “A lot of people have to go to work, but I get to coach and that’s what I love to do. God has blessed me with great health and I feel like my purpose is coaching football as a vehicle to coach life.”

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FRANK LAROSA, EAST BAY LaRosa has taken East Bay to another level of success since being hired as the Indians’ head coach in 2011. In 2013, LaRosa guided the Indians to their first playoff victory, after they had gone 0-6 in previous postseason appearances. That same season, East Bay also captured its first district championship since 1957.

With LaRosa at the helm, the Indians have enjoyed four consecutive winning seasons, including going 7-4 last fall. “Historically, we hadn’t had a rich football tradition here,” said LaRosa, who served as an assistant coach at East Bay for six seasons from 2005-2010. “During my time here, we’ve been trying to make a name for our program and rebrand ourselves into something fresher and meaner.” LaRosa played high school football in Long Island, where he was a two-year starter as an offensive lineman and middle linebacker. He then attended Ithaca College in Central New York. “I’m a stubborn, Italian New Yorker with the mentality of a lineman and a linebacker and some would say I’m a little on the overzealous side,” LaRosa said with a chuckle. “I want our teams to be dominant on the line, so that we’re known for playing great defense and running the football.” As head coach, LaRosa has led the Indians to a 44-38 record and two district championships in eight seasons. The Indians also have had 14 athletes move on to play Division I college football during his tenure. “We had only one Division I signee during my six years as an assistant here, but now we’ve got coaches from programs such as Auburn, Tennessee and Michigan visiting us,” LaRosa said. “We’ve always had talent here, but we’ve emphasized the importance of academics, and now our kids have the academics to go with their talent.”

MARCUS PASCHAL, LARGO Paschal received excellent coaching during his successful playing career, and the sixth-year head coach is currently sharing that knowledge with his players at Largo. During his senior season at Largo in the fall of 2001, Paschal had 61 tackles and eight interceptions while playing safety and rushed for 959 yards and seven touchdowns and passed for 1,724 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing quarterback. Paschal was a three-year starter at safety at Iowa University, where he was named honorable mention all-Big Ten as a junior and second-team all-Big Ten as a senior. Paschal then spent five years in the NFL, after being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in May 2007 and later signing with the Atlanta Falcons (2008), Indianapolis Colts (2009) and Baltimore Ravens (2009). “My coaching technique is to teach through our players’ eyes, because I’ve been in their shoes before,” Paschal said. “I have an undeniable knowledge of how to play the game and I understand the trials and tribulations that our players are going through.” After retiring from professional football in 2011, Paschal returned to Largo to teach and serve as the Packers’ defensive backs coach in 2012. Paschal became Largo’s head coach in 2014 and he led the Packers to a 30-22 overall record, three playoff appearances and two district championships in his first five seasons.

During those five years, a total of 23 Largo players have gone on to play college football, including 2015 graduate Jonathan Crawford, who started 50 games at safety at Indiana University before signing with the Tennessee Titans in late April. “I’m living my childhood dream,” Paschal said. “My goals are to help more kids move on to play in college while leading our teams to more and more success.”



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JAYSON ROBERTS, TAMPA BAY TECH When Roberts played wide receiver for Fairmont State University, he wasn’t very interested in the defensive side of the ball. Ironically, several years later, Roberts has earned a reputation as a brilliant defensive coach. Roberts made his debut as a defensive backs coach at Tampa Bay Tech in 2006, before being promoted to the Titans’ defensive coordinator three years later.

After being hired as Tampa Bay Tech’s head coach in 2011, Roberts served as the Titans’ defensive coordinator for two more seasons; and he will once again be the Titans’ defensive coordinator during his ninth season as head coach this fall. “Back when I was a wide receiver, I never would have imagined in 100 years that I would coach defense, but that was the only position that was available when I arrived here,” Roberts said. “I’m big on watching film, game planning and creating schemes that fit my players’ best attributes, and it turns out that defense is where I made my name as a coach in this area.” In his first eight seasons, Roberts has earned a 63-30 overall record to become the winningest coach in Tampa Bay Tech history. During Roberts’ tenure, the Titans have qualified for the playoffs seven times, including advancing to the third round twice. Tampa Bay Tech also captured district championships in 2014 and 2017. “We went 0-10 for a second consecutive season the first year I was a volunteer coach here, so we’ve really come a long way,” Roberts said. “The thing I’m most proud of as a head coach is we’ve never had a losing season and we’ve made it past the second round of the playoffs for the first time in school history. We’re still chasing that elusive state title, but I feel good about the direction we’re heading.”

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ANDY SCHMITZ, MITCHELL When Schmitz was hired as Mitchell’s head coach in 2014, he had the honor of filling the shoes of his father, Scott, who had served as the Mustangs’ first head coach from 2000-08 and coached Mitchell again from 2012-13. As it has turned out, Andy Schmitz has thrived in his new role, as he led Mitchell to a 42-14 overall record, four district championships and five playoff appearances in his first five seasons. During the first five seasons of his tenure as head coach, Andy Schmitz has extended Mitchell’s streak of winning records to a county-best 10 consecutive seasons, and he guided the Mustangs to their first two playoff victories during 2016 and 2017. Mitchell has won four consecutive district championships after never having won a district title in previous campaigns. “The foundation of the program was created by my father and his staff, and since then, we’ve built on that foundation and have made the program a little more successful,” Andy Schmitz said. Andy Schmitz was the starting quarterback at River Ridge, which was coached by his father, before graduating in 1998. He served as an assistant coach at Mitchell from 2002-09 and again from 2012-13, along with a stint as an assistant coach at Hudson in 2010-11.

After working as Mitchell’s offensive coordinator from 2007 through 2009 and again from 2012 to 2013, Andy Schmitz has continued to call offensive plays as a head coach. “Our offense is my baby,” Andy Schmitz said. “My dad’s a heck of a football coach and the thing I try to emulate is the way he treated people. My dad built a great coaching staff and allowed them to work, without micro-managing them, and I’m trying build that same tight, family atmosphere here as well.”




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Fighting the Good Fight Charles Montgomery wears his heart on his sleeve. He wears his grief there, too. A prayer wraps around Montgomery’s left arm in black ink: “Now I lay me down to sleep.” BLOOMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL On the other arm, the names of his aunts tattooed into his skin. It’s his way of memorializing his aunts who passed away from breast cancer. The prayer, which he reads to his younger sister each night, is a nod to his sibling killed by a drunk driver. “A lot of deaths in my family, but I’ve been working through it,” Montgomery said. One way the Bloomingdale High rising junior works through it is on the football field. “Football is just where I can let all my anger out and all my tensions,” Montgomery said. “It’s just something I can release all the stress from in my life. “I love the sport of football because I can just leave all that stress and depression on the field. You know, it doesn’t get to my head as much.” Instead, Montgomery gets in the heads of his opponents. One of the top offensive players in the Bay Area, he has Bloomingdale poised for big things. Last season, he helped the Bulls make history by posting their third-straight winning season and a trip to the postseason where they won the school’s first playoff game. “I’m very proud of what we accomplished as a team and I think it’s going to give us that energy we need to stay together,” Montgomery said. The Bulls advanced to the Class 7A region finals last season where they lost to defending state champs Venice. Montgomery played a big role in transforming the Bloomingdale program, once a doormat in Hillsborough County, into a perennial power. Colleges took notice and showered him with offers. Montgomery ended his recruitment in the offseason by verbally committing to South Carolina. “He’s just one of those personalities that


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

can light up a room when he walks in,” said Max Warner, the Bulls’ former head coach who left after last season to become Bowling Green’s quarterbacks coach. “When you see Charles smile, it’s a good thing.” That personality is infectious and has created a tight bond with his teammates. “We’ll fight for each other, we’ll do anything for each other,” Montgomery said. “Brotherhood is the word for it, ’cause every last one of them are like my brothers.” It’s Montgomery’s extended family, one that means everything to him because he’s lost so many family members. But don’t expect him to wallow in his grief. He’s found ways to cope. Just like football, the Consulate Care nursing home in Brandon provides a refuge for Montgomery, a place he can surround himself with family. “It’s a smile on their face every time,” he said. “That’s why I love to do

what I do. I love to do what I do.” Montgomery volunteers his time, not to beef up a résumé, but to be that bright light in someone’s day, a shoulder to lean on. One of the patients checks in with him after games to go over his stats. “I just want to be that person that feels like family every time I come there,” he said. “That’s how I want everyone to feel when I’m there. I just want to leave a mark because you never know what can happen.” Montgomery learned that lesson the hard way. Through the various family members who have passed away and the one he almost lost. He was just 10 years old when his mother, Iris, was diagnosed with breast cancer. A blow to a young boy who had already lost several loved ones to the hideous disease, but also a great life lesson. “It showed him to continue to fight, no matter what we’ve endured, we continue to fight,” Iris Montgomery said. Iris fought the good fight and is now cancer-free. She battled so she could continue to do what she loves the most – sitting in the stands, watching her son play football. “It just amazing to be able to see him do what he’s always loved to do,” Iris said. “I think God has allowed me to live this far to be able to watch him do what he does best.” And she’s prepared to continue as his No. 1 fan when Montgomery plays in college. “I’m so excited for him,” she said. “I’m looking forward to cheering and screaming for him at the next level. I’ll be the loudest mama there.” There are many people rooting for Montgomery. Not only because of his football talent, but because of all he has endured. And because Montgomery knows better than most how unpredictable life can be, and he’s doing all he can to control his destiny. “Football’s my way out,” Montgomery said, “so I gotta do what I gotta do.”

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■■ Charles Montgomery, and his uncle, Carlo Thompson

joe hodge’s guy JOE HODGE HAS FOOTBALL

in his blood, and he can thank his uncle, Carlo Thompson, for it. “That’s my man,” Hodge said. “That’s my guy right there.” That guy caught a glimpse of something special in his nephew at a very young age. “I saw a hunger in him,” Thompson said. “From go, you could see he had a different kind of drive, a different kind of want to. “And I knew if I could put him in the right situation, the skies the limit.” Thompson knows his football. He’s armed with a stint as a “J Boy” on his resume. The Jefferson High Class of 2001 alum passed along his passion for football to his nephew. He passed along the attitude, too. “I just score, try to score, make a play,” Hodge said. “Playmakers make plays.” Hodge will be making plays at Chamberlain this season. He transferred from Jefferson in the offseason, announcing his decision on Twitter with the declaration “this season will speak for itself just wait.” Thompson can’t wait. He’s Hodge’s No. 1 fan. You can find him in the stands on Friday nights watching his nephew run around the field. He knows that’s the one

CHAMBERLAIN HIGH SCHOOL place Hodge can clear his mind. “That’s the one place you get to be carefree,” he said. Carefree doesn’t come naturally to Hodge. It’s hard to be carefree when your father dies of a heart attack when you are only 6 years old. Hodge stored a few fond memories of his dad that brings a smile to his face from time-to-time. “We used to eat and make jokes a lot,” Hodge recalled. After his dad passed away, Hodge moved in with his uncle and football became his outlet to deal with the grief. “He does a good job of bottling it all up, at least from me,”

■■ Carlo Thompson, Jefferson, No. 4

Thompson said. “I can see it at times. I can see moments.” Thompson does his best to make those sad moments few and far between. “Any kid wants their father to be there, wants that connection, so I don’t try to replace him,” Thompson said. “I won’t ever be able to replace him, but I try to fill that void.” Football helps. And so does fostering a family environment filled with the sport they love. A senior season of memories awaits this football-loving family. “Football in our household is like life, literally, but it’s bigger than the game,” Thompson said. “Football means everything to us.”

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From Lakewood to The League Pinellas County’s Lakewood High School has made a habit of turning NFL dreams into reality. BY COREY LONG


■■ Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin


s Lakewood quarterback Gregory “Duece”

Spann takes the Spartans through a spring practice on a sunny day in south St. Petersburg maybe he wonders if he’ll be the next one. Or maybe it’ll be on the other side of the ball where Tre’von Riggins plays on the defensive line and has already committed to the University of Miami. The idea of high school players thinking about fulfilling their dreams of playing professional football in nothing new. Most high school coaches would much rather talk about the current team and fulfilling team goals like winning their district, making the playoffs and competing for a state championship. But at Lakewood things might be a little different. The players want to win their district and compete for a state championship like everyone else. But the dream of making it to the NFL doesn’t seem as farfetched there. Not when there have been so many before them that have achieved the goal. “There’s definitely something special going on at Lakewood and there has been for a long time,” said Larry Blustein, who has covered high school football in Florida for five decades. “You look back to Ernest Givins, William Floyd, Louis Murphy, Tim Carter, Dante Fowler…the list goes on and on.


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“And remember they had five kids from their 2012 team drafted. FIVE!” The 2012 Spartans featured future draft picks Rodney Adams and Marques Valdes-Scantling at wide receiver, Isaiah Wynn on the offensive line and twin brothers Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin in the secondary. Adams and Shaquill Griffin were drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft while Valdes-Scantling, Wynn and Shaquem Griffin were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, one of two high schools in the nation that had three players drafted. Super Bowl LIII actually featured former Lakewood players on both teams when Fowler, who plays for the Los Angeles Rams went against Wynn, who plays for the New England Patriots. Wynn didn’t play in the game as he was recovering from a torn Achilles, but the point stands that the Lakewood lineage is spreading throughout the NFL. “All I know is the good Lord is shining down on Lakewood,” Spartans head coach Cory Moore said to the SEC-based football website Saturday Down South earlier this year. Moore is also part of the Lakewood linage to the NFL. He graduated from Lakewood High in 1994 and was a standout at Bethune-Cookman before spending some time in NFL training

camps as an undrafted free agent at the end of the 1990s. Lakewood has always been known for its strong athletics. The boys’ basketball team has been to the state tournament 10 times with state championships in 2002 and 2005 while the girls’ team has also won the basketball state championship twice, in 1989 and 2011. And then there’s the Lakewood track team, consistently one of the best in the Tampa Bay area. “The relationship between track and football has always been strong and having a good track team has been a big advantage for Lakewood football,” said John Cotey, former prep columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. “A lot of those kids also take track seriously. The Griffin brothers were two legs of a state championship 4x400 relay team in 2012.” In the 53 years that Lakewood has been open, 15 players have been drafted by the NFL and numerous others have joined teams as undrafted free agents. The most recent one is Ryan Davis, who graduated from Lakewood in 2015 and joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. As Lakewood’s success with individual players hovers over the program it’s began to trickle down to more team accomplishments. The Spartans have yet to win a state championship but they’ve made major strides in the postseason under Moore, winning 10 playoff games since 2008 and advancing to the region finals twice and Class 5A state semifinals in 2013. Blustein said that Moore has shown that Lakewood is more than a pit stop to the pros, it’s becoming a consistently good high school football program with the potential to bring a state championship to Pinellas County. “You have to remember Lakewood didn’t win anything in the playoffs until 2001,” Blustein said. “All those good teams in the 80s and 90s…the first team to go 10-0 in 1988…all those teams looked great coming off the bus but they lost in the first round. “Because of the players that have come through the program, the expectations at Lakewood are very high. By having success in the playoffs Cory Moore is finally getting that program to start meeting those expectations.”

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Class of 2012

Class of 2013

Class of 1982

Class of 1986

College: Florida

College: USF/N.C. State

College: Louisville

College: Notre Dame

Pro: Drafted third overall (first round) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. Played for Jaguars (2015-2018) and L.A. Rams (2018-present)

Pro: Drafted 174th overall (fifth round) by the Green Bay Packers in 2018

Pro: Drafted 34th overall by the Houston Oilers in 1986. Played for the Oilers (1986-1994) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1995)

Pro: Drafted 49th overall (second round) by the L.A. Rams in 1990. Played for the Rams (1990-93), N.Y. Jets (1994), Carolina Panthers (1995-97) and Green


standout in football and track at Lakewood. He was a high school AllAmerican and played in the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game. He played three years at Florida, earning freshman All-American honors in 2012 and First Team All-SEC honors in 2014. Fowler was part of the Rams team that made Super Bowl LIII that lost to New England Patriots. He recently signed a one-year contract to remain with the Rams for the 2019 season. Fowler has 83 tackles and 16 sacks in his first four seasons in the NFL.

LOUIS MURPHY Class of 2005 College: Florida (2005-2008) Pro: Drafted 124th overall (fourth round) by the Oakland Raiders in 2009. Played for the Raiders (2009-11), Carolina Panthers (2012), New York Giants (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-16), San Francisco 49ers (2017)


Scantling was part of the 2012 Lakewood team that featured Isaiah Wynn, Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin and advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals. He played his first two years of college at N.C. State before transferring to USF where he led the Bulls with 879 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2017. He started 10 games with the Packers in his rookie season and had 38 catches for 581 yards and two touchdowns.

SHAQUILL AND SHAQUEM GRIFFIN Class of 2013 College: UCF Pro: Shaquill, drafted 90th overall (third round) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017; Shaquem, drafted 141st overall (fifth round) by the Seahawks in 2018

of three playoff teams at Lakewood in the early 80s. After Lakewood, Givins went to Louisville where he set records as kickoff and punt returner. Givins was a prominent member of the Oilers’ run-and-shoot offense with Warren Moon as the quarterback. Givins was an All-Pro selection in 1990 and make Pro Bowl teams in 1990 and 1992. He had 571 catches, 8,215 yards and 49 touchdowns in nine seasons. Since retiring Givins returned to St. Petersburg and even coached at Lakewood and Boca Ciega.

helped Lakewood reached the Class 5A quarterfinals in 2012 and were also standouts on the track team. Both played at UCF, and Shaquem Griffin was named American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2017 and ran the fastest 40-yard dash time for any linebacker in the history of the NFL Combine (4.38 seconds). Shaqull Griffin has made 27 starts for the Seahawks and has 121 tackles and three interceptions through two seasons. Shaquem Griffin made one start and finished his rookie season with 11 tackles.

LAKEWOOD PLAYERS DRAFTED IN THE NFL Rodney Adams, WR, 170th overall (5th round), 2017, Minnesota Vikings Ricky Anderson, P, 298th overall (11th round), 1985, St. Louis Cardinals Tim Carter, WR, 46th overall (2nd round), 2002, New York Giants Tom Carter, CB, 17th overall (1st round), 1993, Washington Redskins William Floyd, FB, 28th overall (1st round), 1994, San Francisco 49ers Dante Fowler Jr., LB, 3rd overall (1st round), 2015, Jacksonvile Jaguars


several receiving records during his time at Lakewood High in the early and mid 1980s. He was part of Notre Dame’s national championship team in 1988. Terrell helped the Carolina Panthers earn their first playoff win during the 1996 season. He had 11 career interceptions in eight NFL seasons. Terrell is currently the President and CEO of Terrell Materials, a heavy materials highway construction company in Chicago, Illinois.


Class of 1990

Class of 2014

College: Florida State

College: Georgia

Pro: Drafted 28th overall (first round) by the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. Played with the 49ers (1994-1997) and Carolina

Pro: Drafted 23rd overall (first round) by the New England Patriots in 2018



Bay Packers (1998)


Panthers (1998-2000)


multi-sport athlete at Lakewood. He played quarterback and wide receiver for the Spartans football team and also played basketball and was part of a state winning track team as a sophomore in 2003. He was part of two BCS championship teams at Florida in 2006 and 2008. Murphy had 170 catches for 2,443 yards and 11 touchdowns in his eight-year NFL career. He is the founder of the 1st Downs-4-Life Foundation (1stdowns4life.org).


Spartans to a 34-4 record during his time at the school including an undefeated season in 1988 under head coach Robert Stephens. He was an All-American by Super Prep magazine. He helped Florida State win a national championship in 1993 and scored the Seminoles’ only touchdown in the game. He is the last fullback to be drafted in the first round and the first rookie to score three touchdowns in the NFL Playoff game. He helped the 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX, catching a five-yard touchdown in the game. Floyd had 1,141 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in his NFL career.


of the 2012 Lakewood team that advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals and the 2013 Lakewood team that made it the state semifinals, the farthest any Lakewood football team has advanced in the FHSAA playoffs. Wynn played in 51 games at Georgia, including all 15 for the Bulldogs in 2017 when they won the SEC and lost to Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game. Wynn missed the 2018 NFL season with a torn Achilles. The Patriots won Super Bowl LIII 13-3 beating the L.A. Rams and Wynn’s former Lakewood teammate Dante Fowler. Wynn is expected to start for the Patriots in 2019.

Ernest Givins, WR, 34th overall (2nd round), 1986, Houston Oilers Jonte Green, CB, 196th overall (6th round), 2012, Detroit Lions Shaquem Griffin, LB, 141st overall (5th round), 2018, Seattle Seahawks Shaquill Griffin, CB, 90th overall (3rd round), 2017, Seattle Seahawks Louis Murphy, WR, 124th overall (4th round), 2009, Oakland Raiders Marques Valdes-Scantling, WR, 174th overall (5th round), 2018, Green Bay Packers Pat Terrell, DB, 49th overall (2nd round), 1990, Los Angeles Rams Isaiah Wynn, OL, 23rd overall (1st round), 2018, New England Patriots


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■■ Head coach Jason Stokes is rebuilding the Pasco High School football program by developing a sense of team and family.

Don’t Call It a Comeback It’s a new era of football at Pasco as Jason Stokes takes over a former state champion program that has struggled in the past four seasons. BY COREY LONG


asco football has seen its ups and downs

through the years. In 1992 the Pirates won the Class 3A championship over Jesuit. They have had levels of success since then, going to the state semifinals under former head coach Tom McHugh in 2008 and 2010. But the past four years have been rough. Pasco has gone 10-30 in that span, struggling on the field while talented players have transferred out of the program. Enter Jason Stokes. Stokes was hired in January to replace McHugh. Stokes is well-traveled — Pasco is his fifth head coaching job — but he has strong roots in the Tampa Bay area having been head coach at Gaither, Bloomingdale and Middleton and serving as a top assistant at Indian Rocks


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

Christian and Hillsborough. Stokes spent 2018 as the head coach at Lake Region in Polk County but jumped at the opportunity to take over a program with rich traditions that the community is invested in. “I wish [the Lake Region] program all the best,” Stokes said, “but I’m happy to be here at Pasco. There’s a lot of support from the administration and the community here. Many of the people here in Dade City have personal ties to Pasco High School and they want us to succeed.” Stokes, 43, has a 49-47 record as a head coach and has generally taken over rebuilding projects in that time. He believes in a process to rebuilding — a step-by-step method that focuses on player development on and off the field.

PASCO HIGH SCHOOL PART 1: REALITY VS. PERCEPTION Stokes accepted the Pasco job on January 2 and was hired as a physical education teacher shortly after his hire. In the time between his hire and the start of his teaching job, Stokes decided to do a little field research to see how his players were perceived around the school and in the community. Were they getting to class on time and generally good students? Did they have disciplinary problems? Were they leaders in the hallways? Was the program doing a solid job of getting involved in the community? Stokes said he reached out to several teachers, most of the school administrators and even some of the leaders within the community to get feedback. “I didn’t actually meet with the kids for the first time until the middle of January,” Stokes said. “I wanted to get around the area and talk to whoever I could outside of the program to see how they felt about the kids and what their overall perception of Pasco football was.”

PART 2: SETTING THE STANDARD In the first meeting with the team, Stokes wanted to share the feedback he got, good and bad, and explain to them the

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expectations he had on and off the field. “I was very blunt and honest with them,” Stokes said. “We had a great turnout and I felt good about the program and the players after the first meeting.” Stokes talked with them about the history of Pasco football and even though the team hadn’t had much onfield success in the past four years there was still a rich history of winning and success. He talked with them about their community involvement, fundraising and being involved in some of the program’s youth initiative programs like the summer youth football camps. “I saw the excitement, some outgoing seniors and former players showed up to that first meeting to share their experiences and add their opinions,” Stokes said. “People want to see us do well. This is a neighborhood school and that’s a little different than the situations in Tampa, where there are a lot more transient schools and kids just go anywhere.”

PART 4: WIN THE DAY, PLAN THE FUTURE Stokes began his first spring practice with Pasco in late April. With the spring game against Cypress Creek less than a month away, Stokes knew that he was going to have to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. “That first spring you want to them to understand the way you operate,” Stokes said. “I’m looking at their attitudes and effort. How they practice, the energy they bring and how they respond to adversity. There’s a lot going on and I’m asking for their best and they are expecting the best from me.” Pasco scored 21 unanswered points in the second half of the spring game and beat Cypress Creek, 35-14. “The kids were locked in,” Stokes said. “They were thirsty for a win.” Rand agreed and said that winning

the spring game is just the tip of the iceberg for what Pasco can accomplish in the upcoming season. “After the game we were ecstatic,” Rand said. “We’re getting stronger as a team. The bonds are getting tighter. This is what is going to bring us back.” As Stokes begins the summer conditioning program the numbers have increased with the incoming eighth graders and he expects over 80 players to show up for summer workouts and 7-on-7 leagues. Rand said everyone is quickly buying in to Stokes’ vision. “It’s all about this team,” Rand said. “As a senior you want to leave a lasting impact and win some big games. But it’s deeper than that for us. We want to leave Pasco football in a better place for the guys coming up behind us.”

PART 3: SHORT-TERM GOALS Stokes’ offseason plan is all about building discipline, building mental toughness, building a sense of team and family and understanding the fundamental foundations of football. Stokes began to put together weight-training programs and goals for all of the prospective players along with academic achievement goals. “We want them to grind in the weight room, get stronger, gain confidence, meet their goals,” Stokes said. “And we let them know that the academic expectations are real. I expect them to get it done in the classroom and sit in the front of the class. Pay attention. Lead by example at all times.” Stokes said there were about 55 players coming in the weight room for the offseason training. Senior lineman Cody Rand said it was easy to buy into Stokes’ program. “Of course having a new coach, you always question things,” Rand said. “But in that first meeting he seemed committed to making us better. I felt like he was the right guy and he’s doing the right things.”

■■ Jason Stokes (right) is focusing on fundamentals, discipline and mental toughness as part of his Year One gameplan at Pasco.


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■■ Quarterback Jalen Brown was Academy at the Lakes’ offensive MVP in 2018.



Consecutive state titles the last two seasons have established Academy at the Lakes as the team to beat in Eight-Man FCAPPS, but things weren’t always easy sledding for sixth-year head coach Shawn Brown. When he took over the program from legendary head coach John Castelamare in 2014, he faced a battle to win over hearts and minds with his new system. BY TONY ADAME

■■ Academy at the Lakes coach Shawn Brown


Way before Academy at the Lakes won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018. Way before the Wildcats’ current 20-game winning streak. Way before a third straight title seemed like a real possibility. Way before all that, in 2014, a new head coach was struggling to find his footing. “At first, no, I didn’t see the big picture of what we could accomplish,” said AATL head coach Shawn Brown. “We really struggled. I was taking over for Coach (John) Castelamare, who was a legend, and when he left some of the kids weren’t even sure if they were going to play anymore.

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

“I’m not kidding when I say I would struggle to get five kids to show up to workouts. We were everybody’s doormat, everybody’s homecoming game.” The struggles didn’t last. Brown, now in his sixth season, stayed the course through three straight losing seasons to open his tenure. Now, he has the Wildcats positioned as the premiere Eight-Man team in the state after consecutive FCAPPS state championships, including last year’s 10-0 campaign. “It was tough in the beginning to get kids to by into the system because they didn’t

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got a ton of experience and he was the one who guided us offensively last year. He’s our catalyst.” AATL has surrounded Jalen Brown with talented, returning skill players. Junior wide receiver/defensive back Caleb Yann stood out at cornerback last sea■■ Senior wide son, leading the team with receiver Cole Lallanilla five interceptions, but also had 205 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Junior wide receiver/ defensive back Adrian see the success right away,” Brown Levertte (373 all-purpose yards) and senior wide receiver/defensive back said. “After the second year, we started Cole Lallanilla also return. Up front, the putting them in some bigger 7-on-7 Wildcats have offensive linemen back competitions so they could go get beat in center Dwight Downing, a two-year up by bigger schools, then eventually starter, and senior Elijah Freedman. compete with them. “Dwight has done a phenomenal job “After that, we started to see some snapping the ball,” Shawn Brown said. changes. The kids saw they could “He makes sure Jalen has time compete at a high level.” to do things, to not get too One player for AATL who continues rushed.” to raise his level of play is Shawn Brown’s son – 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior Freedman, 6-2 and 220 pounds, will be counted on quarterback Jalen Brown, the Offensive to make his biggest impact at MVP of last season’s state championship defensive end, where he had win over Miami Citi Christian Academy. Brown threw for 1,105 yards, 18 44 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks in 2018. touchdowns and seven interceptions to go with a team-high 672 rushing yards “(Freedman) is really the heart of our defense because and 10 touchdowns in 2018. “He’s actually about to be a four-year he can do so much for us,” Shawn Brown said. “He’s one starter because he was our starter when he was an eighth grader, which is crazy of those kids that just plays to think about,” Shawn Brown said. “He’s with a different motor. If

we can disrupt offenses this year, it’s because of what he’s bringing up front.” Senior linebacker/defensive back Denzyl Downing (68 tackles) is also back. Newcomer Tayshawn Pendleton, 6-2 and 160 pounds, is an athletic addition to the team who could also make a big impact after he looked sharp catching the ball during 7-on-7 drills in the summer. And that 20-game winning streak dating back to a 50-35 loss to Eastland Christian on Sept. 7, 2017? Shawn Brown isn’t paying it much mind. Even if some others around the program, including a loyal band of assistant coaches, do. “I put it out of my head,” Brown said, laughing. “My assistant coaches are just another level when it comes to taking care of anything and everything … I have such a great staff. I’d take them to war against anybody.”

■■ Junior receiver Adrian Leverette



s of now the Florida Christian Association of Parochial and Private Schools (FCAPPS) has the only eight-man football conference in the area, but people like long-time high school football specialist Charles Fishbein believes it could be a natural progression. “The Association did a re-classification several years back to create the

Rural division because those schools couldn’t compete with the private schools in those smaller classes,” Fishbein said. “I can see them looking at the growth of football in smaller private schools adding an 8-man division. It would also give smaller public schools that don’t currently have football the opportunity to think about adding the sport.” Other state associations

have adopted eight-man and six-man football. Texas has over 200 high schools playing 6-man football in two divisions. California has 108 eight-man high school football programs within the state’s high school sports governing body. The 8-man game is a little different than traditional 11-man football. The FCAPPS conference uses a field 80 yards long and

40 yards wide. The rosters are limited to 25 players total. The backfield is a quarterback and two backs with five players on the line of scrimmage, the two linemen on the ends are eligible receivers. Fishbein said there are many schools currently playing 11-man football that are overmatched and fielding rosters too small to be competitive that also risk

player safety. Playing eightman football would give those programs another option besides going independent. “I’ve been to games where you see a team with 18-19 players on the roster and it’s not safe for the players nor is it enjoyable to watch,” Fishbein added. “I think there could be a great opportunity for an expansion of eight-man football in the near future.” –COREY LONG


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

TEAM MOMS: THE GLUE THAT HOLDs programs TOGETHER When a football team is successful, its head coach and star players usually receive the majority of the credit. However, most high school programs have at least one woman, known as the team mom, playing a key role behind the scenes. And while team moms rarely are noticed by the average fan, many football coaches say it would be difficult, if not impossible, for their squads to thrive without them. BY AARON BLANKENSHIP

■■ Misty Winter began serving as the Plant High team mom in 2006.

The roles that team moms play on high school football teams typically vary based on the needs of the program. But, in general, a team mom’s duties are to take care of administrative and organizational tasks, to enable coaching staffs to spend more time drawing up game plans and working with their players on the field. While some high school football teams have several team moms making fairly equal contributions to the program, others rely heavily on one team mom to make exceptional contributions in multiple areas. Gather coach Kirk Karsen said he has an elite team mom in Katie Mintzer. “Katie Mintzer is the glue that holds us together,” Karsen said. “She sets up tutoring, helps organize pre-game meals, sets up weekly email lists and is always there whenever I need something that needs to be done.” Mintzer has taught math at Gaither


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

since 2001 and is the mother of senior Hunter Mintzer, who is a third-year starter at safety and also handles place kicking and punting duties. “There’s always so many things to take care of (as a team mom),” Katie Mintzer said. “I coordinate our contact list and send emails to parents. I’m the liaison between coach Karsen and our parents. I set up pre-game meals for the boys in the cafeteria, and send out a list to the parents reminding them to bring fruit and granola bars. I help with fundraising, and I also mentor the boys and tutor them in my spare time, too.” Misty Winter began serving as a team mom at Plant as far back as 2006, when her son, Sam, began playing football for the Panthers. Plant coach Robert Weiner named Winter the Panthers’ Director of Football Operations in 2010, and she continues to fulfill that role, five years after her youngest son, Cameron, graduated.

“Misty is the ultimate team mom to a lot of our players,” Weiner said. “She has never made a penny working as our director of operations, but she works just as tirelessly as I do for the benefit of the program and all of the kids.” As Director of Football Operations, Winter estimates that she works 60 hours each week during the season and 30 hours per week during the offseason, with only three weeks off per year. Her duties include fundraising, organizing team events – such as football camps, setting up team meals and team trips – communication with parents, and filling out crucial team paperwork, including eligibility forms. Winter processes more than 200 23-page athletic packets and gets them in the hands of the families involved in Plant’s football program. “Basically, I handle everything except making calls on the field,” Winter said. “The hardest part is the organization aspect with so many people involved. We have over 150 players between our varsity and J.V. programs, and at our team barbeque (in the spring) we have over 900 people attending.” Even though Winter doesn’t get paid for her hard work, she said the team’s success and the success of Plant’s student athletes keeps her satisfied. During Winter’s 13 seasons with the program, Plant has won four state championships and had more than 200 graduates go to play college football. That includes Cameron Winter, who played wide receiver at Southern Methodist University. “I can’t work a full-time job because I spend so much time doing this and there are times I ask myself if this is worth it,” Winter said. “But it feels great to be there for the kids and their families, and

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it feels great to see them become young men and go off to college to play football after taking them under our wing. That’s the best feeling.” The role of team mom sometimes is played by the head coach’s wife. That’s the case for third-year Nature Coast coach Cory Johns, whose wife, Krysti, is called “Momma Johns” by many of his players. In addition to cooking pre-game meals for close to 100 student athletes, Krysti designs and provides team shirts, postgame goody bags and senior night posters for each athlete. She also works at team fundraisers, and organizes and works in the concession stands at home games. “My wife is such a big help to me and our entire program, and the kids love

■■ The Hernando Team Moms play a big role in fundraising.

her,” Cory Johns said. “There’s no way I could do this without her.” Cory marvels at his wife’s commitment to the program, as she is also mother to their two children, is a full-time teacher at Nature Coast and is an assistant coach for the Sharks’ varsity volleyball, softball and girls basketball teams. Krysti said she averages only five hours of sleep per night, but said she enjoys her role as team mom. “I’ve always been someone who likes to help and I just hope that I can be a positive influence on the kids,” Krysti said. “I really enjoy cooking for the team. I’m Italian, so cooking pasta is my thing, and every time I do it, the kids are so appreciative. Cory and I are both big on bringing a family atmosphere to the team, and doing those little things to make the kids happy is an amazing feeling.” Pattie Cagle plays the role of team mom for Brooksville Central, even though her son, Hunter, is a Nature Coast graduate. Cagle became involved with the Central football program in the fall of 2015 when Central’s quarterback, Sebastian Rivera, died in a motorcycle accident. “My son was good friends with Sebastian, and while we were visiting him in the hospital, we got to know the rest of the team really well and became close with them,” Pattie Cagle said. When Cagle learned that many of Central’s football facilities were in dire shape, she began organizing fundraisers and donating thousands of dollars of her own money to help obtain a new scoreboard, new uniforms and jerseys, and greatly upgrade Central’s concession stand.



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“Mrs. Cagle serves because she loves giving back,” Central coach John Warren said. “We are an underprivileged school, but with her help and organization, we are able to do far and away more than most programs. “She pays out of her own pocket for several expenses to help the concession stand work. She is the first person here, stocking and sorting game-day items to make sure we don’t have any hiccups on Friday nights. She picks up flowers for senior night, cleans and locks up the concession stand and does so without asking for a dime.” Cagle’s husband, Kim, also volunteers his time as Central’s junior varsity head football coach. “My husband and I have donated a lot of time to this team, but it’s so rewarding because we love the kids and they’re so appreciative,” Pattie Cagle said. “With the help of several other volunteers, we’re trying to bring more positive energy to the team, because we’ve seen a lot of kids who started out with nothing, earn scholarships and go on to make something of themselves.”



uch like coaches, team moms are capable of making a large impact on football players’ lives. Misty Winter, who began serving as a team mom at Plant as far back as 2006, learned this first-hand years ago when she noticed an athlete who appeared to be troubled as he walked to his car. Winter decided to stop that student and have a brief conversation with him in an effort to lift his spirits.

“I could tell something was off, so I just checked to make sure everything was all right,” Winter said. “We talked for about five minutes and I let him know that we were proud of him and said, ‘Hey buddy, tomorrow’s a new day, so keep your head up,’ to try to give him a speck of hope and get him out of the funk he was in.” A few years after graduating from Plant, that same player returned to the school and revealed to Winter that he had been

considering committing suicide before Winter had intervened. “Hearing that took my breathe away and opened my eyes as to what a difference you can make in someone’s life with a simple smile, hello, or a five-minute conversation,” Winter said. “I think it’s important that we make time for everyone, including the boys who may be feeling invisible, because everyone deserves that kind of attention, not just the star athletes.”


The OldesT & MOsT presTigiOus seniOr All-sTAr gAMe in FlOridA

65th AnnuAl north-South


december 21, 2019 * 1:00 Pm the VillAgeS

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Tampa Bay Recruiting 2019 When it comes to recruiting, the Tampa Bay area hasn’t taken a back seat to anyone over the past 25 years. Bay area prospects are all over the college football landscape on Saturdays in the fall and many have graduated to playing in the NFL on Sundays. “It’s an area that every college coach in the nation is trying to get into,” said Larry Blustein, a longtime historian and talent evaluator in Florida high school football. “At one time, the Orlando area was where the strength was in the I-4 corridor, but things have shifted considerably.” Blustein points out the on-field success for teams from the Tampa Bay area. The seven state championships won by Tampa Bay-area schools since 2003 and the many more that have played for state championships or made deep playoff runs. “The Tampa Bay area has great coaches and great players,” Blustein said. “There have always been great athletes in the area and now they are developing into great football players. As the area continues to grow and expand I expect we’ll see the number of kids playing college football grow as well.”


team tampa bay offense TUCKER GLEASON



Ht 6-2 wt 205 Yr Senior

Ht 6-0 wt 190 Yr Senior

Ht 5-11 wt 182 Yr Junior

In 2018, Gleason was a 2,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher, while racking up 40 touchdowns.

Toafili averaged a first down every carry in 2018, with more than 1,400 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.

Montgomery had 16 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards of offense as a sophomore before playing quarterback in the playoffs.












Ht 6-3 wt 190 Yr Junior

Ht 5-10 wt 165 Yr Junior

Ht 6-3 wt 200 Yr Junior

As a sophomore, Hall became the Hawks’ No. 1 guy with 50 receptions and 10 touchdowns.

As a sophomore, Williams led all of Hillsborough County with 950 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

As a sophomore tight end with a high volume of receptions, Trigg gained more than 450 yards on 30 catches.









Ht 6-5 wt 265 Yr Senior

Ht 6-5 wt 285 Yr Senior

Ht 6-3 wt 275 Yr Senior

Rankins led an offensive line that paved the way for the area’s leading rusher in 2018.

Chamberlain had a comeback season in 2018 and it was the guys up front, led by Reyes, that made all the difference.

Miller has been the leader of one the area’s most prolific offenses.












Ht 6-4 wt 320 Yr Senior

Ht 6-6 wt 265 Yr Senior

Ht 5-8 wt 160 Yr Senior

Adcock is a bull of a lineman who made a name for himself as a junior by dominating the man in front of him.

McLaughlin is a big, long athletic anchor at tackle for one of the area’s most physical offensive fronts.

Murray hit the 1,000yard mark last season, averaging more than 18 yards per catch and 12 touchdowns.


QB Rent Montie 6-3 185 Sr. Clearwater RB Eric Wilson 6-0 194 Sr. Armwood RB Ludovick Choquette 5-11 205 Sr. Clearwater Academy International WR Ajou Ajou 6-4 210 Sr. Clearwater Academy International WR Khaishef Edwards 5-10 165 Sr. Largo OL Zac Elam 6-2 265 Sr. Clearwater Central Catholic










OL Percy Speights Admiral Farragut OL Nolan Troyer Armwood OL Demetris Wright Zephyrhills OL Devante Penny Pinellas Park ATH Derek Bryant Pinellas Park ATH Cam’ron Ransom Armwood

6-2 285 Jr.

QB Isaiah Knowles Seffner Christian RB Tino Hunt Lennard RB Tyler Williams Mitchell WR Richie Ilarraza Calvary Christian WR T.J. Tampa Lakewood OL Levaris Jackson Hillsborough

6-0 190 Sr.

OL Cade Richards 6-5 250 Clearwater Central Catholic OL Jonathan Haley 6-3 265 Nature Coast Tech OL Dion Denmark 6-3 295 Fivay OL Colby McMillian 6-1 286 Springstead ATH Keyvone Lee 6-0 219 Superior Collegiate Academy ATH Jelani Vassell 6-0 180 Wesley Chapel

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

6-2 260 Sr. 6-0 255 Sr. 6-3 330 Sr. 5-8 165 Sr. 6-3 205 Jr.



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6-0 185 Sr. 6-0 185 Sr. 5-8 160 Jr. 6-2 171 Sr. 6-2 297 Sr.


Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr.

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team tampa bay defense




Ht 6-2 wt 265 Yr Junior

Ht 6-2 wt 295 Yr Senior

Ht 6-3 wt 250 Yr Senior

Williams came into his own as a sophomore with 12 tackles-for-loss and five sacks.

Pinder was a beast along the front line last season with 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

Newton was on pace for double-digit sacks and tackles-for-loss until an injury brought his junior campaign to an early end.






Ht 6-3 wt 205 Yr Senior

Ht 6-0 wt 195 Yr Senior

Ht 6-0 wt 216 Yr Senior

Walker is one of the most productive, relentless players in the area, with 13 sacks in the nine games he played last season.

With 15 sacks in 2018, Hacker spent more time in the backfield than some running backs.

The epitome of a pass rushing specialist, Rudolph had 22 sacks and more than 30 tacklesfor-loss last season.









Ht 6-1 wt 195 Yr Senior

Ht 6-4 wt 235 Yr Senior

Ht 5-11 wt 190 Yr Senior

Very few players got past McCluster last season as demonstrated by his 129 tackles.

Harrell had more than 100 tackles and five sacks as a junior and is likely to increase both numbers this season.

Core is a tackling machine, recording more than 100 last season, with 15 tackles-for-loss and three interceptions.









Ht 5-11 wt 185 Yr Junior

Ht 6-1 wt 195 Yr Senior

Ht 6-1 wt 205 Yr Senior

As a sophomore, Oladokun established himself as one of the best in the state with seven interceptions.

Brown pulled down seven interceptions last season and declared his side of the field a “No-Fly Zone.”

Coleman can play anywhere on the field and it showed with his 10 sacks and 13 tackles-for-loss.








DL Quinton McCoy 6-2 261 Sr. Bloomingdale DL Tre’von Riggins 6-2 265 Sr. Lakewood DL Malik Jones 6-3 295 Sr. Zephyrhiils Christian Academy EDGE Harrison Thomas 6-1 223 Sr. Clearwater Central Catholic LB Anthony Houston 5-11 210 Sr. Nature Coast Tech LB A.J. Mathis 6-1 215 Sr. Largo




LB Brett Gerena 6-0 205 Jesuit DB D’Angelo Hutchinson 6-1 160 St. Pete Catholic DB Shelton Quarles Jr. 5-11 185 Calvary Christian DB Zae Gillespie 5-11 190 Plant DB D.J. Taylor 5-11 190 Tampa Catholic UT Kinyatah Morgan 5-11 188 Nature Coast Tech

Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr.










DL Nicholas Syms Pinellas Park DL Desmond Watson Armwood DL Julius Hawkins Boca Ciega DL Ethan Lyons East Bay DL James Ash Chamberlain EDGE Robert Zanders Gaither

5-11 260 Sr.

LB Anthony Roussos River Ridge LB Adrian Cabrera Springstead DB De’Kwan Hughes Armwood DB Caleb Walker Jefferson DB Junior Vandeross Jesuit DB Keylen Gulley Largo

6-0 210 Jr.

6-5 315 Jr. 6-3 255 Sr. 6-1 235 Jr. 6-3 281 Sr. 6-1 210 Sr.

6-0 200 Sr. 5-11 179 Sr. 5-8 163 Sr. 5-10 165 So. 6-0 170 Sr.


team tampa bay top 50 seniors 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

JAYLEN HARRELL , Berkeley Prep, LB, 6-4, 235 LAWRENCE TOAFILI, Pinellas Park, RB, 6-0, 190 JAYION MCCLUSTER, Largo, LB, 6-1, 195 MICHAEL RANKINS, Lennard, OL, 6-5, 265 TUCKER GLEASON, Plant, QB, 6-2, 205 CONNOR MCLAUGHLIN, Jesuit, OL, 6-6, 265 JALIL CORE , Armwood, CB, 5-11, 190 RENT MONTIE , Clearwater, QB, 6-3, 185 CLYDE PINDER JR., Armwood, DT, 6-2, 290 CESAR REYES, Chamberlain, OL, 6-5, 285 AAMARIS BROWN, Armwood, DB, 6-1, 195 CHANCE COLEMAN, Gaither, LB, 6-1, 205 DYLAN RIDOLPH, Wiregrass Ranch, LB, 6-0, 216 JERZAHN NEWTON, Clearwater Central Catholic, DL, 6-3, 250 ERIC WILSON, Armwood, RB, 6-0, 194 JOHNNY WALKER, Chamberlain, EDGE, 6-3, 205

26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

JACKSON HACKER, Plant, EDGE, 6-0, 195 DEREK BRYANT, Pinellas Park, RB/SB, 5-8, 165 MALIK JONES, Zephyrhills Christian Academy, DL, 6-3, 295 ISAIAH KNOWLES, Seffner Christian, QB, 6-0, 190 KHAISHEF EDWARDS, Largo, WR, 5-10, 165 KEYVONE LEE , RB, Superior Collegiate Academy, 6-0, 219 NOLAN TROYER, Armwood, OL, 6-2, 260 TINO HUNT, Lennard, RB, 6-0, 185 ANTHONY HOUSTON, Nature Coast Tech, LB 5-11, 210 JULIUS HAWKINS, Boca Ciega, DL, 6-3, 255 DEVANTE PENNY, Pinellas Park, OL, 6-3, 330 D.J. TAYLOR, Tampa Catholic, DB, 5-11, 190 TYLER WILLIAMS, Mitchell, RB, 6-0, 165 ZAC ELAM, Clearwater Central Catholic, OL, 6-2, 265 DE’KWAN HUGHES, Armwood, DB, 5-11, 179 DEMETRIS WRIGHT, Zephyrhills, OL, 6-0, 255

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

SHELTON QUARLES JR., Calvary Christian, DB, 5-11, 185 KEEDRIK MURRAY, Clearwater, WR, 5-8, 160 MATT ADCOCK , Steinbrenner, OL, 6-4, 320 AJOU AJOU, Clearwater Academy International, WR, 6-4, 220 QUINTON MCCOY, Bloomingdale, DL, 6-2, 261 A.J. MATHIS, Largo, LB, 6-1, 215 TRE’VON HIGGINS, Lakewood, 6-2, 265 LUDOVICK CHOQUETTE , Clearwater Acad. International, RB, 5-11-25 JEFF MILLER, Armwood, OL, 6-3, 276

42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

HARRISON THOMAS, Clearwater Central Catholic, EDGE, 6-1, 223 KEYLEN GULLEY, Largo, DB, 6-0, 170 ISAIAH BROWN, Hernando, TE, 6-2, 227 ROBERT SANDERS, Gaither, EDGE, 6-1, 210 BRETT GERENA , Jesuit, LB, 6-0, 205 T.J. TAMPA , Lakewood, WR, 6-2, 171 JONATHAN HALEY, Nature Coast Tech, OL, 6-3, 265 ADRIAN CABRERA , Springstead, LB, 6-0, 200 AIDAN BITTER, Steinbrenner, WR, 6-3, 175

TOP JUNIORS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.


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AGIYE HALL , Armwood, WR, 6-3, 190 JORDAN OLADOKUN, Gaither, CB, 5-11, 185 MARIO WILLIAMS, Plant City, WR, 5-10, 165 TIM WILLIAMS, Clearwater, DT, 6-2, 265 CHARLES MONTGOMERY, Bloomingdale, RB, 5-11, 182 MICHAEL TRIGG, Seffner Christian, TE, 6-3, 200 CAM’RON RANSOM, Armwood, ATH/QB, 6-3, 205 GAGE WILCOX , Jefferson, TE, 6-4, 225 KINYATAH MORGAN, Nature Coast Tech, DB, 5-11, 188 ZAE GILLIESPY, Plant, CB, 5-11, 190 PERCY SPEIGHTS, Admiral Farragut, OL, 6-2, 285 JONATHAN HALEY, Nature Coast Tech, OL, 6-3, 265 TAFFREY PETERMAN, Boca Ciega, QB, 6-2, 188 DESMOND WATSON, Armwood, DT, 6-5, 315 RICKY PARKS, Jesuit, RB, 5-11, 200 RICHIE ILARRAZA , Calvary Christian, WR, 5-8, 160 JEREMIE ROBINSON, St. Petersburg, S, 6-1, 180 ETHAN LYONS, East Bay, DL, 6-1, 235 CARDRECE MOBLEY, Clearwater, WR, 6-4, 182 ANTHONY ROUSSOS, River Ridge, LB, 6-0, 210 ANDARIUS WILSON, Lakewood, DT, 6-0, 275 DEON SILAS, Steinbrenner, ATH, 5-8, 170 DUNSTAN LEVEIN, Northeast, OL, 6-2, 287 HAYDEN REED, Plant, RB, 6-1, 210 JORDAN YOUNG, Jesuit, CB, 6-0, 185

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

TOP SOPHOMORES/FRESHMEN 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

AMARI NIBLACK , Superior Collegiate Academy, WR, 6-3, 210 MELVIN JORDAN, Clearwater Central Catholic, LB, 6-0, 205 D’ANGELO HUTCHINSON, St. Pete Catholic, DB, 6-1, 160 JUNIOR VANDEROSS, Jesuit, DB, 5-10, 165 GREG GAINES, Tampa Bay Tech, WR, 6-1, 170 JORDAN BAILEY, Hillsborough, ATH, 5-8, 155 ZAYVION MCCLUSTER, Largo, LB, 5-11, 180 MARIO EUGENIO, Superior Collegiate Academy, LB, 6-2, 190 KYLE STOKES, Armwood, WR, 6-2, 175 XAVIER TOWNSEND, Berkeley Prep, WR, 5-10, 170 JORDAN WILLIAMS, Hernando, DB, 5-9, 165 TREQUAN ALEXANDER, Jesuit, OL, 6-3, 265 ERRIYON KNIGHTON, Hillsborough, ATH, 5-11, 170 NATHAN POWELL , Plant, DB, 5-11, 160 TRENT GILBERT, Land O’ Lakes, DL, 6-1, 225



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t n i r p S t n i M Thin 1-mile t o r T g n o l a g Ta e g n e l l a h C a Samo


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Presented by: Proceeds benefit:

like a harbor ma ty fe sa , 19 0 2 , 8 2 T. P E S 5K run: 7:30 a.m. 1-mile run/walk: 8:45 a.m. T-shirt and finisher medals for all participants. Free patch for all registered Girl Scouts grades K-12! All participants can join us after the race for FREE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! The top three 5K males and females in each standard age group will be awarded their favorite box of Girl Scout Cookies. Additional awards for overall 5K and 1-mile male and female finishers!

Tampa Bay’s Sweetest Race! Thank you to our sponsors:

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For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please contact Terri Costello at tcostello@gswcf.org, or 813-262-1688.

Register today at ThinMintSprint.org









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Alonso Ravens @AlonsoRavensFB alonso.mysdhc.org/Programs/Athletics HEAD COACH: Ron Perisee ASST. COACHES: Kenn Scott, Terrence Hicks, Tim Ruff, Chris Pagan, Tre

Frison, Ron Gray, Bo Galvin, Michael Walters, Rey Riveros, Conrad Rhoden, Reno Gabonay KEY PLAYERS: Dylan Schneider (Sr., ATH), Joseph Bonga (Sr., DB), Tre

Beach (Jr., DB), Jake Donovan (Sr., ATH), Sergio Garcia (So., OL), Anthony Keene (Jr., ATH), Aidan Mullins (Jr., OL), Hunter Elliott (Jr., LB), Nick McDonough (Jr., OL), Nick Licata (Sr., DL), Austin Walters (Sr., K/P)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Middleton AUG. 30: at Robinson SEP. 6: Newsome SEP. 13: at Steinbrenner SEP. 20: at Sickles

SEP. 27: Palm Harbor University OCT. 11: Wharton OCT. 18: Freedom OCT. 25: at Plant NOV. 1: Hillsborough


he test for Alonso and second-year head coach Ron Perisee in 2019 is an obvious one – replacing over 20 seniors. The solution will be much more complicated when it comes to what players fit best where, first-year starters performing and retooling an offense to fit the strengths on the Ravens’ roster. Perisee and his coaching staff have a very concrete starting point, however. And from there it’s not hard to think anything is possible after going 5-5 in 2018. “We’ll be breaking in a lot of youngsters in key spots, so there will need to be a little more discipline there,” Perisee said. “We’ll have to have a certain attitude and level of effort to be where we want to be this year.” “No matter what, though, kids are going to be kids and the things they care about most are the same. Do you believe in them? Do you believe in what we’re doing and the process? We do. That hasn’t changed.” The unit that Perisee will lean on the most to start the season will be Alonso’s secondary, led by seniors Joseph Bonga, Jake Donovan and Dylan Schneider, who will transition to playing mostly defense after 17 catches for 303 receiving yards in 2018. Junior Tre Beach also returns after playing linebacker last season and will transition into more of a hybrid safety role in a 4-2-5 defense. Switching sides of the ball is a risky proposition, but Perisee’s


Aidan Mullins

Austin Walters

Dylan Schneider

Hunter Elliott

Joseph Bonga

Nick McDonough

Sergio Garcia

Tre Beach

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

■■ Alonso is looking to improve on a 5-5 season in 2018. (Alonso Football photography provided by Robin Kopp and Brian Brantley.)

faith in Schneider’s ability made the decision easy. Says Perisee, “Dylan Schneider is a football player. Period. It doesn’t matter what we ask him to do, he just makes it happen.” Bonga had 28 tackles, one interception and six pass deflections last season. Beach led the team with two forced fumbles. Donovan was also productive, with 44 tackles and one interception. “Bonga is the most prepared football player I’ve ever been around as a coach,” Perisee said. “You don’t ever have to worry about him not knowing what to do in a situation … he’s footballsmart, comes from a great family and he’s really a playmaker because he studies the game so much.” Part-time starter Nick Licata, a 6-foot, 290-pound senior, will have to shoulder much of the load on the defensive line to start the season, at least. On offense, Alonso brings back just one full-time starter in senior offensive tackle Aidan Mullins and a part-time starter in sophomore center Sergio Garcia. Perisee also made it clear that while there’s a preference as to how the offense should be balanced – “Ideally we’d like to run about 60 percent and pass about 40 percent,” he said – he’s not stuck on any one way that things should go. “You can’t shoehorn a system to the kids, you have to adapt to the kids,” Perisee said. “What they know is that nothing is going to be given to them, so they have a chance to win those spots.” On special teams, senior Austin Walters returns after hitting 2-of2 field-goal attempts in 2018, with his longest being a 41-yarder. “We want to give (Walters) more opportunities this year,” Perisee said. “We saw last year that when he gets chances, he makes the most of them.” Production on the field will be one thing, but another missing component for Alonso because of graduation will be finding new players to lead. Ideally, that should be an organic process … but not without a little direction from the coaching staff. “Everyone has an opportunity to step up and take charge of the team,” Perisee said. “I tell them all the time: It can’t be my voice that you’re hearing all of the time. One of you has to grab the reins and take charge and be a leader.”

2019 ROSTER 1 Jake Donovan 3 Dylan Schneider 4 Tre Beach 5 Jayshawn Waldron 6 Joseph Bonga 7 Elijah Rhoden 8 Dennis Samuels 11 Hunter Elliott 12 Nate Rakita 14 Jakari Williams 15 Losbury Hinds 16 Keymani Kerr 17 Sean Ryan 18 Aaron Norwood 19 Javi Mustelier 20 Troy Morrison 21 Vinh Nguyen 23 Austin Walters 24 Gary Wallace 26 Jackson Kassay 27 Damian Clute 28 Connor Caravella 29 Luke Hammond 30 Hunter Walters 32 Tony Moore 33 Augustine Eckles 34 Anthony Keene 41 Jayden Serrano 42 Colin Valentin 43 Anthonie Ames 44 Colin Caravella 52 Andre Bankston 53 Sergio Garcia 55 Anthony Hutchings 56 Gio Sposato 67 Nick McDonough 70 Colin Quigley 72 Connor Walters 73 Aidan Mullins 74 Felix Diaz 83 Logan Gomez 99 Nick Licata

WR Sr. WR Sr. LB Jr. CB Sr. CB Sr. QB So. WR Sr. LB Jr. QB Sr. WR So. TE Jr. RB Jr. TE Jr. CB Jr. WR Jr. DB Sr. DB Sr. KS Sr. CB Sr.. WR So. SS. So. DB So. FS Jr. K So. DL Jr. DE Sr. LB Jr. DE Sr. LB So. ATH Sr. DL Sr. DL So. OL So. DL Sr. DL So. OL Jr. OL Jr. OL So. OL Jr. OL So. WR Sr. NG Sr.




@BCAPanthers bellcreekacademy.com/student-life/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Christian Pittaman (Sr., RB),

Hayden Truong (Sr., DL), Jaden Fisher (So., DB), Anthony Volosen (Sr., OL)

@BPS _ Football berkeleyprep.org/athletics/teams

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: at Canterbury SEP. 6: at City of Life SEP. 27: Real Life Acad. OCT. 4: Oasis Christian OCT. 11: Intl’l Community OCT. 18: at Real Life Acad.


ell Creek will be competing in the FCAPPS 8-man conference for the second year after finishing 2-5 with a pretty young roster in 2018. The Crusaders will be young again in 2019 but head coach Chris Vincent is excited about what they can do on offense with a potentially strong running game. Pittaman is a returning starter and will have an experienced lineman in Volosen to run behind. Vincent is also high on Fisher as a potential standout on defense in his sophomore season. Troung will bring production and experience to the defensive front.




@YellowJacket _ FB blake.mysdhc.org/Programs/Athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Marcus Daway (Jr., QB),

Omarion Coleman (Sr., RB), Ja’Quez Riggins (Sr., WR), Jalen McClendon (Jr., DB), Yakeim Sanon (Jr., MLB), Raequan Washington (Sr., DE), Jesus Ramirez (Sr., OLB)


KEY PLAYERS: Jaylen Harrell (Sr., LB),

Xavier Townsend (So., WR), Zach Perkins (Sr., OL), Ryan Leavy (Sr., P), Manoli Houvardas (Sr., LB), Jeff Odongo (Fr., DB), Michael Maddalon (Fr., LB), Austin Dean (Jr., LB), R.J. Garcia (Jr., WR), Connor Augusta (Fr., TE), Liam McDonough (Sr., DL), Jeb Shock (Fr., OL), Peyton Cauthen (Fr., OL), Zack Lewis (Sr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Clearwater Ctl. Cath. AUG. 30: at Calvary Christian SEP. 6: at Cardinal Mooney SEP. 20: IMG Academy SEP. 27: Tampa Catholic OCT. 4: at Victory Christian OCT. 11: Oasis Christiant OCT. 18: Astronaut OCT. 25: Middleton


erkeley Prep hopes for its 12th consecutive winning season, something the Buccaneers will be counting on their linebackers to help with. Four-star recruit Jaylen Harrell, who holds multiple Power 5 scholarship offers, leads the group after recording 106 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and five sacks last season. Joining him is junior linebacker Austin Dean, who had nine sacks last fall. Other names to watch on the Buccaneers defense include senior linebacker Manoli Houvardas and freshman defensive back Jeff Odongo. The Buccaneers lost their starting quarterback and two top rushers from last fall, putting pressure on sophomore wide receiver Xavier Townsend and junior wide receiver R.J. Garcia to produce this season. Senior Zach Perkins, a three-star recruit with multiple scholarship offers, will be the team’s main presence on the offensive line, which will feature freshmen Jeb Shock and Peyton Cauthen. The Buccaneers will be inexperienced, with just 21 returning lettermen, five returning offensive starters, and seven returning defensive starters.

BLOOMINGDALE BULLS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Riverview SEP. 6: Durant SEP. 13: Hillsborough SEP. 20: at King SEP. 27: at Middleton OCT. 4: Spoto OCT. 11: Steinbrenner OCT. 18: at Brandon OCT. 25: Jefferson NOV. 1: at Lennard

he Yellow Jackets had one of the tougher schedules in the county last year, facing several teams that made deep playoff runs and finishing 3-7. This year’s schedule appears a little ore manageable. In spite of the record in 2018, Blake’s skill players have added another season of experience under their belts and could be primed for a successful campaign. New starting quarterback Marcus Daway didn’t throw a pass in any of the Yellow Jackets’ games last fall but has great size for the position. Returning in the offensive backfield is senior running back Omarion Coleman, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2018. Coleman will help ease the pressure off of Daway. The team’s leading receiver from a year ago is also back in senior Ja’Quez Riggins, who hauled in 20 catches for 426 yards through the air. Defensively the Yellow Jackets are fairly young but they will be pretty athletic. Raequan Washington and Jesus Ramirez will be there to provide some experience and senior leadership.

@Bdale _ Football bloomingdale.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Charles Montgomery, (Jr.,

ATH), Quinton McCoy (Sr., DL), Lance Alderson (Sr., QB), Dominic Gonnella (Sr., RB), Conner Pouchie (Sr., OL), Gabe Jones (Sr., LB), AJ Moss (Sr., DB), Jamarion Neal (Jr., LB), Maurice Frost (Sr., WR), John Goodwin (Jr., DL), Gabriel Akpewero (Sr., WR), Ollie Manhertz (So., RB), Wa’Myron Howard (Jr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Newsome SEP. 6: Armwood SEP. 13: at Durant SEP. 20: at Plant SEP. 27: Plant City OCT. 4: Tampa Bay Tech OCT. 11: Kathleen OCT. 18: Lakeland OCT. 25: Strawberry Crest NOV. 1: at East Bay


acob Coulson takes over as coach for a team that went 11-2 and won playoff games for the first time in school history. Last year’s defensive coordinator, Coulson inherits a team poised to match last season’s school-record win total. Five starters return on each side, including quarterback Lance Alderson (1,485 passing, 9 TDs, 51 percent completions) and the top-two rushers Charles Montgomery (121 carries, 864 yards, 13 TDs) and Dominic Gonnella (89, 745, 11). Seniors Maurice Frost and Gabriel Akpewero should take over as Alderson’s top receiving targets. All-Hillsborough County selection Conner Pouchie anchors the offensive line, which will be young and may hold the key to the Bulls’ success. The 3-4 defense did not allow a point through four weeks and produced six shutouts. Quinton McCoy is a defensive line standout, but the linebacker corps is the most experienced unit, led by Gabe Jones, last year’s leading tackler. The unit also features juniors Jamarion Neal and Wa’Myron Howard. Defensive back A.J. Moss and defensive lineman John Goodwin are poised for breakout seasons.

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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Armwood Hawks @Armwood _ Hawks armwood.mysdhc.org/Programs/Athletics HEAD COACH: Evan Davis ASST. COACHES: Luis Aponte, Jeff Derenthal, Kyle Worden, Reggie Garth,

Corey Peterson, Connor Jostes, Rick Ward, Paul Sardinas, Luis Verela, Fred Hicks, Cody Waldrop

KEY PLAYERS: Eric Wilson (Sr., RB), Cam’ron Ransom (Sr., QB), Jalil Core

(Sr., DB), Clyde Pinder Jr., (Sr., DL), Agiye Hall (Jr., WR), Aamaris Brown (Sr., DB), Desmond Watson (Jr., DT), E.J. Perry (Sr., DB), De’Kwan Hughes (Sr., DB), Jeff Miller (Sr., OL), Nolan Troyer (Sr., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Plant AUG. 30: at North Gwinnett (Ga.) SEP. 6: at Bloomingdale SEP. 20: Chamberlain SEP. 27: Wiregrass Ranch

OCT. 4: at Plant City OCT. 11: at Tampa Bay Tech OCT. 18: Jefferson OCT. 25: East Bay NOV. 1: at Gaither


he pursuit of great endeavors doesn’t always come without “We were a very young group and really do think they overachieved setbacks or heartbreak. No team understands this more last year,” Davis said. “And with all that talent at the skill positions, I than Armwood and third-year head coach Evan Davis. really think our strength on offense begins with our offensive line.” It’s an understanding that was hard-earned – six losses in the state That offensive line returns three players – Nolan Troyer, Jeff Miller championship game in the last decade, including the last two years and Jaime Ramirez – who are all three-year starters and could all under Davis, who guided his team to a 27-3 record in that stretch. end up starting 45 straight games to end their careers if Armwood Every year, the question gets asked. Every year, the answer is were to make it back to the state title game again in 2019. the same. The Hawks understand they are judged on state titles, On defense, things look just as bright. And that starts up front with fair or not. But that’s not the ultimate goal. a pair of massive defensive tackles in 6-2, 295-pound Clyde Pinder “If the only reason you coach is trophies and gold medals, Jr. (14 tackles for loss, eight sacks) and junior Desmond Watson, you’re not going to be a very good coach,” said Davis, who was an who is 6-6, 316 pounds and had 44 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six assistant coach for 11 years before being promoted. “For us, what sacks and three forced fumbles last season. we want to do is take care of the kids. Make them better men. “(Watson) has had about as much recruiting attention as Hall,” “That process usually equates to us being a better football Davis said. “You just don’t hear about it because he’s a lineman team, because we are teaching them the right habits and we’re and doesn’t go to 7-on-7 camps and all that. He’s a long, athletic doing it on a daily basis through our offseason programs.” kid who can really play.” What’s lost in all of this is that last year’s team was one that While the linebackers still have a lot to prove, veteran wildly overachieved and returns 17 out defensive backs can bridge that gap. of 22 starters – a group that’s one to be That group is led by a pair of reckoned with even as Armwood makes cornerbacks in senior De’Kwan Hughes the move up from Class 6A to Class 7A. and senior Aamaris Brown, who led Leading the way on offense is 6-foot-3, the Hawks with seven interceptions 205-pound junior quarterback Cam’ron lasts season. Safeties EJ Perry and Jalil Ransom, who threw for 1,729 yards and Core (93 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 25 touchdowns to go with 412 rushing three interceptions) round out that yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. group, although Armwood will have five Ransom, who has offers from Boston defensive backs on the field more often College, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and than not. UCF, brings back his top target in 6-3, “We’re going to do everything in 185-pound junior wide receiver Agiye our power to make sure this group is Hall (47 receptions, 878 receiving yards, battle-tested and pushed to the max,” Davis said. “Last year, we lost early and 10 touchdowns), who is one of the most then won nine straight to end the regular sought-after players in the country for season with a group that overachieved. the Class of 2021 and has offers from We want to do more this year, we want to Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, LSU and challenge our team so that the ultimate Miami. ■■ Jeff Miller is a three-year goal is that when we do face adversity, Leading rusher Eric Wilson (1,223 rushing starter on the offensive line. when that does hit, that we’re ready.” yards, 13 touchdowns) also returns.


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

■■ The Armwood defense was particularly stout during a 9-game winning streak last season.

2019 ROSTER 1 Cam’ron Ransom

QB Jr.

2 De’kwan Hughes

CB Sr.

3 Jalil Core

SS Sr.

4 Aamaris Brown

CB Sr.

4 E.J. Perry

SS Sr.

5 Eric Wilson

RB Sr.

6 Agiye Hall

WR Jr.

7 C. Ratclife-Campbell RB Sr. 12 Patrick Oden Jr.

WR Sr.

14 Luis Olivo

LS Sr.

15 Denim Raggins

WR Sr.

18 Jaquavius Gilliespy WR Sr. 19 Ryan Redfield

LB Jr.

20 Jakobe Williams

RB So.

21 Desmond Watson

DT Jr.

24 Michael Jackson

CB So.

26 Jaquell Narine

RB Sr.

27 Tavaris Thomas

CB Sr.

29 Rashaad Johnson

CB Sr.

32 Malcolm Hope

LB Jr.

40 Jakobi Jackson

RB Sr.

44 Ty’juan Peoples

LB Jr.

47 Jyrin Eston

LB So.

51 Marvin Vinson

DT Sr.

52 Malcolm Mccants

DE Sr.

55 Christopher Bradley T


70 Jeff Miller

T, G Sr.

72 Jaime Ramirez



76 Nolan Troyer



77 Shamar Harris



78 Brandon Douglas



80 Jaheem Haynes

WR Sr.

82 Quincy Screen

WR So.

84 Kye Stokes

WR So.

99 Clyde Pinder Jr.

DT Sr.

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@brandonHSeagles Brandonfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Brock Craig (So., QB),

Wilson Chen (Sr., LB), Jaden Exume (Sr., DB), Tyler Gostomski (Jr., LB), Jalen Patty (Jr., DB), Malcolm Sams (So., LB), Antonio Soos (Sr., OL), Clifford Stewart (Jr., CB), Asante Watson (Sr., DL), Paul Watson (Sr., K/P), Kendall Whiteside (Jr., OL)

@CCSLancers ccslancers.com/athletics

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: Lennard SEP. 6: at Riverview SEP. 13: at King SEP. 20: Middleton SEP. 27: at Spoto OCT. 4: at Hillsborough NOV. 1: at Strawberry Crest


teady improvement is the goal for third-year coach Antonio Brown this season after a challenging rebuilding campaign a year ago. The goal may be helped by a favorable district realignment that leaves Brandon in District 6A-10. The quarterback spot is up for grabs although sophomore Brock Craig is getting strong consideration. The skill positions are open heading into the preseason, although several members of a small senior class (16 on the spring roster) call the position home, including Antonio Jones and Jalen Morris. A number of linemen who saw significant action return, led by senior Asante Watson, the top returning tackler on the line. Junior Kendall Whiteside and senior Antonio Soos are also back, although size will remain an issue for the units. Linebacker could be a strength: Senior Wilson Chen, junior Tyler Gostomski and Malcolm Sams saw significant playing time a season ago. Sams was just a freshman last season and could be poised for a breakout season. Juniors Jalen Patty and Clifford Stewart are likely to play key roles in the secondary. Senior Paul Watson gives Brandon an experienced kicker/punter.

CARROLLWOOD DAY PATRIOTS @CDS _ FBall carrollwooddayschool.org

KEY PLAYERS: Brendan Palamar (Jr.,

QB), Reidel Anthony Jr. (Sr., RB), Carlos Quarles (So., RB), Dominic Smith (Jr., DL), Nick Hallenback (Sr., DB)

KEY PLAYERS: Rhett Stiehl (Sr., DL),

Julian Suriel (Sr., RB), Mikal Willeke (Sr., QB), Titan Williamson (Jr., QB), Justice Williams (Jr., DL), Jaylen Scribne (Jr., LB), Kyle Pierre (Jr., LB), Gavin Martinez (Jr., WR), Preston Snider (Jr., WR), Jaiden Bivens (So., RB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Foundation Acad. AUG. 30: St. Stephen’s Epis. SEP. 6: at Lake Highland SEP. 13: Admiral Farragut SEP. 20: Bradenton Chr.S SEP. 27: Zephyrhills Chr. Acad. OCT. 4: at Seffner Christian OCT. 18: at Carrollwood Day OCT. 25: Melbourne Cntl. Cath.


ambridge Christian took a big step back last season, going from four consecutive seasons with at least eight wins to a 4-8 record. The Lancers will be counting on the experience those players received—the team returns nine offensive starters and 10 defensive starters—for an improved 2019. Senior quarterback Mikal Willeke returns after completing 53.2 percent of his passes for 2,124 yards and 23 touchdowns and will have a talented stable of running backs to turn to, a group that includes senior Julian Suriel (who averaged 6.6 yards per carry last year) and sophomore Jaiden Bivens (who averaged 7.8 yards per carry last year). Junior wide receiver Gavin Martinez had 457 receiving yards and two touchdowns a year ago. The defense will be led by senior defensive lineman Rhett Stiehl, junior defensive lineman Justice Williams, and junior linebackers Jaylen Scribne and Kyle Pierre. Lancers head coach Bob Dare, also the offensive coordinator, believes his team will have good leadership and a good group of freshmen.

CHAMBERLAIN CHIEFS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: St. Petersburg Cath. AUG. 30: Northside Christian SEP. 13: Seffner Christian SEP. 20: Admiral Farragut SEP. 27: Lake Highland Prep OCT. 4: at Calvary Christian OCT. 11: at Out-of-Door Acad. OCT. 18: Cambridge Christian OCT. 25: TBD NOV. 1: TBD


fter consecutive two-win seasons, Carrollwood Day won six games last fall in coach Mark Jones’s third season and reached the second round of the playoffs. The Patriots have some work to do if they hope to get back there. After collecting 855 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in the air, senior athlete Shelton Quarles Jr. has transferred to Calvary Christian. Quarterback Chris Butash, who threw for nearly 2,500 yards as a senior last season, has graduated. Senior running back Reidel Anthony Jr. and junior quarterback Brendan Palamar figure to be the centerpieces of the Patriots’ offense. Junior defensive lineman Dominic Smith, who had more than 40 tackles and four sacks last season, and senior defensive back Nick Hallenback, figure to be the team’s top players on defense. Even though roster numbers might be a question for Carrollwood Day this season, the Patriots have always proven to be a tough team and a team that can compete for a playoff spot in Class 2A.


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friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@ChamberlainHigh chamberlain.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Antony Guzman (Jr., RB),

Kaleb Long (Sr., WR), Cesar Reyes (Sr., OL), Johnny Walker (Sr., LB), James Ash (Sr., DL), Donte Taylor (Sr., LB), Vontreyvious Simmons (Sr., DB), Joe Hodge (Sr., ATH)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Tampa Bay Tech AUG. 30: East Bay SEP. 13: at Bayshore SEP. 20: at Armwood SEP. 27: Jesuit OCT. 4: Gaither OCT. 11: at Gibbs OCT. 18: Booker OCT. 25: at Robinson NOV. 1: at Steinbrenner

hamberlain coach Jason Lane has turned the program around as he enters his fifth season. The Chiefs have won 17 games over the past two seasons, the same number they reached the prior five. They lost quarterback Tyler Riddell, who threw for 23 touchdowns and 1,854 yards last season, to graduation, but still return a solid assortment of skill position players. Senior Bruce Jackson figures to take over the starting quarterback role after appearing in three games last season. Junior running back Antony Guzman is back after rushing for 1,046 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago, as is senior wide receiver Kaleb Long, who had 455 receiving yards and a team-high eight receiving touchdowns. Offensive lineman Cesar Reyes is one of the best in the area. The defense will be led by a number of seniors, a group headlined by linebackers Johnny Walker and Donte Taylor, defensive lineman James Ash and defensive back Vontreyvious Simmons. Walker was a wrecking ball last season, finishing with 48 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. Ash also had 45 tackles and 19 tackles for loss.



@Doorantfootball Durantcougarfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: David Haynes (Sr., RB/

SS), Marquies Gines (Sr., WR/CB), Sean Williams (Sr., QB), Wyatt Lawson (Jr., G/ DT), Tristan Nichols (Sr., G/LS), Matt Middleton (Sr., G/T)

EAST BAY INDIANS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: vs. King AUG. 30: vs. Riverview SEP. 6: at Blake SEP. 13: vs. Bloomingdale SEP. 20: at Newsome SEP. 27: at Kathleen OCT. 4: vs. Lennard OCT. 11: vs. Lakeland OCT. 18: at Strawberry Crest OCT. 25: at Plant City


urant underwent a 3-7 rebuilding season, dictated by youth, but is positioned to return to the program’s traditional winning ways now that more than 50 juniors and seniors are tested for coach Michael Gottman. Quarterback Sean Williams is expected to return and lead an offense looking to improve upon its yardage, time of possession and scoring numbers. Seniors David Haynes and Williams were among the top three rushers but combined for fewer than 1,000 yards. Senior Marquies Gines gives Williams a veteran target on the outside, but the receiving corps needs a couple of players to emerge. Haynes and Gines also turn around and play safety. All eyes will be on the linebacking corps, which looked to be a strength only to have two projected key cogs miss the spring. Both lines should be improved if the improved size and depth translate into results. Seniors Tristan Nichols and Mathew Middleton and junior Wyatt Lawson are among the offensive linemen best positioned to lead the units. Junior Cullen Hicks is also likely to play a key role on the line.


@TheFHSPatriots freedom.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Mason Edwards (Sr.,

QB), David Ballard (Sr., QB), Dontae Johnson (Sr., ATH), Tawfiq Thomas (So., DL), Hussein Hafiz (Sr., MLB), Tyler Paton (Sr., TE), Mikey Gonzalez (Sr., TE/DL)


@EB _ coachlo EastBay.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Javon Stephens (Sr., ATH),

Logan Webb (Sr., DB), Jaden Santos-Lopez (Sr., LB), Ethan Lyons (Jr., DL), Britton Pascoe (Jr., DB), Jayden Williams (Jr., ATH), Taj Williams (Sr., OL), Jon’Athon Dixon (Jr., LB), Keyaun Kinney (Sr., DL), Garrett Hines (Jr., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Lennard AUG. 30: at Chamberlain SEP. 6: vs. Jefferson SEP. 13: at Gaither SEP. 20: vs. Plant City SEP. 27: at Tampa Bay Tech OCT. 4: vs. Sickles OCT. 11: vs. Wiregrass Ranch OCT. 18: bye OCT. 25: at Armwood OCT. 25: vs. Bloomingdale


he Indians are poised for a breakout season after losing the smallest senior class in coach Frank LaRosa’s eight-year tenure. They return 31 letter winners and six starters on each side of the ball, including seven thrust into starting roles as sophomores. Among that group are linemen Ethan Lyons and Garrett Hines, as well as defensive back Britton Pascoe and linebacker Jon’Athon Dixon. Another reason for optimism: three of the four losses came by 17 total points thanks to a run-heavy offense (41 pass attempts) and a defense that averaged fewer than 14 points allowed per game. Seniors Keyaun Kinney, Logan Webb and Jaden Santos-Lopez are expected to lead on defense. East Bay must replace most of its top offensive skill players, although Cam Peternell, who played quarterback much of last season, is scheduled to return. The Indians are likely to try to get the ball in the hands of athletes Javon Stephen and Jayden Williams as much as possible. Hines and Taj Williams provide the foundation for the offensive line.

GAITHER COWBOYS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Steinbrenner SEP. 6: Robinson SEP. 13: at Spoto SEP. 20: at Wharton SEP. 27: at Land O’ Lakes OCT. 4: Middleton OCT. 11: at Fivay OCT. 18: at Alonso OCT. 25: Gaither NOV. 1: at Leto

oming off a 4-6 campaign in 2018, the Patriots feel they have big things in store for the upcoming 2019 season and Freedom has plenty of reasons to be optimistic. The Patriots’ four victories last year came against Spoto, Wharton, King and Leto. Though many might argue the bulk of Freedom’s victories from a year ago came against some below .500 clubs, the Patriots played some of the better teams on their schedule very tight. Freedom will have the talent to help them get over the .500 mark this fall and much of that starts with signal caller Mason Edwards at the helm. Edwards threw for over 250 yards last season as a backup and will get his shot as a full-time starter. Another player to watch out for on both sides of the ball for Freedom is senior playmaker Donate Johnson, who will see time at wide receiver and defensive back.

@GaitherFootball gaitherfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Tony Bartalo (Sr., QB), Hunter

Mintzer (Sr., DB), Robert Zanders (Sr., DL), Chance Coleman (Sr., LB), Jordan Oladokun (Jr., DB), Jake Karsen (Sr., OL), Sammie Lee (Sr., LB), Jayden Mendez (Jr., RB), Davion Knighton (Fr., WR), R.J. Chandler (Sr., WR)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Jefferson AUG. 30: Plant SEP. 6: at Plant City SEP. 13: East Bay SEP. 27: Fivay OCT. 4: at Chamberlain OCT. 11: Land O’ Lakes OCT. 18: at Tampa Bay Tech OCT. 25: at Freedom NOV. 1: Armwood


aither returns senior quarterback Tony Bartalo, who completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 1,613 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. However, the Cowboys will have some holes to fill in their offense after losing a number of talented players to graduation, though Cowboys coach Kirk Karsen is confident they’ll be able to. “Look for Tony Bartalo to be among the best quarterbacks in the whole Tampa Bay area,” Karsen said. “He is surrounded by a tough offensive line led by Jake Karsen and Nick Bartalo. There will be many playmakers to throw to that will surprise the county, with the likes of big man Davion Knighton, lightning fast R.J. Chandler and electric Jayden Mendez.” The defense returns senior defensive back Hunter Mintzer, senior linebackers Chance Coleman and Sammie Lee, and junior defensive back Jordan Olakokun. “The defense will be led by alpha dogs Chance Coleman and Sammie Lee and again should be very fast and physical and looking to repeat as one of the state’s leaders in sacks,” Karsen said.

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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Hillsborough Terriers @HHSFootball7 hhsterriers.com 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Robinson SEP. 6: Tampa Bay Tech SEP. 13: at Blake SEP. 20: at Steinbrenner SEP. 27: Jefferson

OCT. 4: at Brandon OCT. 11: Spoto OCT. 18: at King OCT. 25: Middleton NOV. 1: at Alonso

KEY PLAYERS: Caleb Pierce (So., QB), Jordan Bailey (Fr.,

WR), Erriyon Knighton (Fr., WR), Levaris Jackson (Sr., OL), Nigel Richardson (Jr., OL), Gerald Tribling Jr. (Jr., OL), Jordan Williams (Fr., DB), Jaiden Headen (Sr., OL/DL), Ah’xaviaus O’Neal (Sr., ATH).

Today’s Parks & Recreation kids are tomorrow’s athletes.


■■ Hillsborough coach Ruben Garcia has more wins than any other coach in Tampa Bay area history.

HEAD COACH: Earl Garcia Jr. ASST. COACHES: Earl Garcia III, John

Kelly, Joey Sipp, Steve Longfellow, Ken Russell, Daryl Meckley, Jon Benyon, Jimmy Sapp

illsborough lost its starting quarterback, five top rushers, nine top receivers, and six of its eight top tacklers from last season to graduation. But that doesn’t mean Terriers coach Earl Garcia is overly worried about who’ll replace those players this season. “I have nine (freshman) Division I prospects,” Garcia told the Tampa Bay Times following the team’s 14-0 two-quarter spring jamboree victory against King. “We’re very excited about it. Everybody that made a big play was a ninth-grader tonight. We’ve got a bright future.” The headliners among those future freshman stars include athlete Jordan Bailey, an exciting athlete that can play multiple positions and scored a 70-yard rushing touchdown in the spring game, and wide receiver Erriyon Knighton, who caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the spring. Freshman defensive back Jordan Williams is another player to watch in what Garcia described to the Times as his best freshman class ever, which isn’t faint praise. He’s the winningest coach in county history with 257 wins in 33 seasons. His teams have made 23 playoff appearances and won 10 district championships, and his 1996 Hillsborough team won the Class 6A state title. The Terriers will try to reverse their fortunes after a rare down season. They went 5-5 last season, just the second time they didn’t have a winning record since 2004. Of course, the team can’t completely rely upon inexperienced freshmen to win. They have several older players who will have to provide quality snaps. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Pierce, who threw that 20-yard touchdown to Knighton in the spring, is taking over the starting role. The Terriers will also have experience along their lines with senior Levaris Jackson and juniors Nigel Richardson and Gerald Tribling Jr. The Terriers should also receive quality play at outside linebacker with seniors Edson Edmond and T.J. Lewis Jr. The former had 59 tackles and three sacks in just eight games last season, and the latter had 40 tackles in just seven games. Another defensive player to watch is senior cornerback Vakarvery Scott, who had 27 tackles and two passes defended in 2018. Hillsborough is in a new district this year as the revamped 6A-10 includes Blake, Brandon, Jefferson, King, Middleton and Spoto. The Terriers faced four of these programs last season and went 4-0, outscoring them by a combined 155-18.

2019 ROSTER 4 Latarus Wanser 8 Edson Edmond 9 Jordan Bailey 11 Timothy Lewis Jr. 12 Jayvin Tyson 12 Tyler Thomas 14 Jordan Williams 15 Caleb Pierce 15 Herman James 20 Zion Wright 21 Martavious Hodge 22 Cashiem Woods 22 Ah’xaviaus O’neal 24 Demarion Hopkins 27 Keontae Brown 33 Joey Sipp 39 Jamarie McGee 45 Zach Long 50 Jaiden Headen 51 Victure White 53 Eric Martin 55 Marlon Tyler 57 Levaris Jackson 60 Gerald Tribling jr 62 Cedric Curry 63 Nicholas Jeffords 70 Nigel Richardson 71 Emmill Romeo 81 Kareem Chambers

ATH Sr. LB Sr. ATH Fr. LB Sr FS Sr. QB Sr. DB Fr. QB So. CB Jr. SB Jr. RB Jr. SB Jr. WR Sr. CB Jr. CB Jr. FB So. LB Jr. KS Jr. G Sr. C Sr. OL Sr. LB Sr. OL Sr. T Jr. OL Sr. T Sr. G Jr. T Sr. TE Jr.



@jboys _ Football dragonsathletics.net

KEY PLAYERS: Tyrone Howard (Sr.,

ATH), Jeremiah Burnett (Jr., RB/DB), Jordan Huff (Jr., LB), Gage Wilcox (Jr., TE), Jamarri Gassett (Jr., WR), Christian Laughlin (Jr., LB), Josean Ramirez (Jr., OL), Charles Williams (Sr., WR), Tyrik Thomas (Sr., DB), Ernest Williams (So., DL)

KING LIONS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Gaither SEP. 6: at East Bay SEP. 13: Middleton SEP. 20: at Spoto SEP. 27: at Hillsborough OCT. 4: King OCT. 11: Brandon OCT. 18: at Armwood OCT. 25: at Blake NOV. 1: Tampa Bay Tech

@LionPrideFB lionpridefb.com

KEY PLAYERS: Carson Mohler (So., QB),

Charles Robinson (Sr., OL), Donte Rushing (Sr., WR), Arion Forte (Jr., RB), Keyon Joyce (Sr., DL), Nate Martinez (Sr., LB), Damien Opitz (Jr., OL), Micah Lindsey (Sr., WR), Sam Mason (Sr., LB), Carlos Torres (Jr., DL)





ith seven starters returning from last year’s group, the ground is extremely fertile for the Dragons rising talent to blossom. Jefferson will rely on its speed to make plays on offense, defense and special teams. Jeremiah Burnett and Tyrik Thomas will be looked upon to anchor the Dragons secondary from their defensive back positions, and the built-up experience of Christian Laughlin and Jordan Huff at linebacker make this a position group to watch. Offensively, the goal will likely be leaning on the athleticism of Tyrone Howard and receivers Jamarri Gassett and Charles Williams to come up with game-breaking plays. Tight end Gage Wilcox is one of the top college prospects in the area for the Class of 2021 and is expected to have a breakout season. Burnett took on the role of running back during the Dragons’ spring jamboree and scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner against Robinson.

@lennardhigh lennard.mysdhc.org/Athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Tino Hunt (Sr., RB),

Michael Rankins (Sr., OL), Hayden Gondelman (Jr., OL), Davian Papius (Sr., LB), Josh Culpepper (Sr., DB), Xavier Mitchell (Sr., DB), Kourtland Mitchell (Sr., WR), Mike Covine (Sr., OL), Dax Corr (Jr., WR), Gavin Henley (So., QB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: East Bay AUG. 30: at Brandon SEP. 6: Wharton SEP. 13: at Newsome SEP. 27: Sarasota Riverview OCT. 4: at Durant OCT. 11: Ridge Community OCT. 18: at Haines City OCT. 25: at Riverview NOV. 1: Blake

ennard has doubled its student-body size since the program’s last winning season (2015), moving up to Class 8A this season. The team, which embarked on a youth movement two years ago under coach Matt Kitchie, has experienced growing pains as well. Now, the payoff may be at hand. Michael Rankins, Mike Covine and Hayden Gondelman lead an offensive line that largely has been together for four seasons; all are drawing college interest. Tino Hunt rushed for Hillsborough County-best 1,607 yards, spearheading an offense that averaged 25 points per game. Though high-scoring, the offense has been run-heavy. The Longhorns turn to sophomore Gavin Henley, whom Kitchie says has all of the tools, at quarterback in a bid to get the ball to receivers more frequently and add needed balance to the offense. The biggest offseason target for improvement has been the 3-4 defense: improved tackling, fewer late-game scores and improved physicality. Linebacker Davian Papius, who had 21 tackles for loss, and senior defensive backs Josh Culpepper and Xavier Mitchell are being counted on to drive that improvement.

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Durant AUG. 30: vs. Strawberry Crest SEP. 6: at Leto SEP. 13: vs. Brandon SEP. 20: vs. Blake SEP. 27: vs. Wharton OCT. 4: at Jefferson OCT. 11: vs. Middleton OCT. 18: vs. Hillsborough OCT. 25: at Spoto

fter back-to-back winless seasons in 2016 and 2017, King got back in the win column last season, going 3-7 under first-year coach Jon Thompson. The Lions return a solid nucleus of players with seven starters on offense and four starters on defense. “You can either jump on a bandwagon or you can build one,” said Thompson, who cited former University of Florida star Jacquez Green as his coaching mentor. “We established a foundation of success during the 2018 season after going 0-20 under the previous coach.” Consistency will be key for King, and that’s already in place with Thompson, who was the Lions’ third head coach in four seasons when he was promoted from offensive coordinator to the top spot. King’s strength starts up front on both sides of the ball, with 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior offensive lineman Charles Robinson and 6-4, 170-pound defensive end Keyon Joyce both returning. Sophomore quarterback Carson Mohler could be a factor this season and junior running back Arion Forte is a potential breakout star.

@MiddletonTigers middleton.mysdhc.org/Athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Tyreke Telfair (So., QB),

Darrick Jackson (Sr., RB), Daunte Harris (Sr., RB), Josh McDonald (Sr., OL/DL), Edward Williams (Jr., LB), Dashon Strawder (Jr., WR), Tico Allen (Sr., ATH), David Dor (Sr., DB), Jason Cornwall (So., DB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Alonso SEP. 6: Sickles SEP. 13: at Jefferson OCT. 4: at Freedom OCT. 11: at King OCT. 18: at Spoto OCT. 25: at Hillsborough


he Tigers, who have hovered around the .500 in recent years, enter the season with a heavy heart following the death of one of their own in the offseason. Freshman Hezekiah Walters died during summer workouts. Middleton now seeks to honor their fallen teammate while also playing in one of the area’s toughest districts which includes Jefferson, Hillsborough, Blake, Brandon, King and Spoto. The Tigers, who’ll forge ahead without the services of top defensive lineman Johnnie Brown after he transferred, will look to Josh McDonald for leadership on the offensive and defensive lines and talented junior linebacker Edward Williams. He won’t be Middleton’s only two-way player. Darrick Jackson and Daunte Harris should be focal points on the Tigers offense at the running back position as well as on defense. With the transfer of Gabe Weldon to Venice, Middleton will hand the quarterback duties to Tyreke Telfair. He will lead a young offense that will be reliant on speed.

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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Jesuit Tigers @jesuit_tigers_football jesuittampa.org/football HEAD COACH: Matt Thompson ASST. COACHES: Joe Gerena, Jason Odom, Tony Mayberry, Gary Givens,

Bob Roddenberry, Derek Bachman, Darrell Palmer, John Telfer, Petey Smith, Kyle Jones, Tristen Owusu-Yaw, Mike McEnany KEY PLAYERS: Brett Gerena (Sr., LB), Kiael Kelly (Jr., QB), Ricky Parks (Jr., RB), Nick

Spurlin (Sr., RB), Junior Vandeross (So., CB), Connor McLaughlin (Sr., OL), Jonathan Odom (Sr., TE), Lex Capitano (Sr., WR), Jordan Young (Jr., CB), Emy Okeke (Jr., LB), Raleigh Oxendine (Sr., OL/DL), Greg Gyenis (Sr., OL), Spencer Williams (Sr., CB).

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Plant City AUG. 30: at Immokalee SEP. 6: at Clearwater SEP. 13: Booker SEP. 27: at Chamberlain


OCT. 4: at Clearwater Ctl. Catholic OCT. 11: at Robinson OCT. 18: Gibbs OCT. 25: Bayshore NOV. 1: Tampa Catholic

he work that goes into making deep state playoff runs on a yearly basis unfolds largely behind the scenes. The gains in the weight room. The summertime 7-on-7 sessions. The spring practices. It is all part of an unbelievable grind. The results unfold in a much different way – in public, for all to see and pick apart. No program understands this better than Jesuit and seventh-year head coach Matt Thompson, who has led the Tigers to the Class 5A semifinals three of the last four years, losing to the eventual state champion each time. Last year, the Tigers went 13-2 and lost to eventual state champ Cardinal Gibbons. “That’s a long season, a lot of games each one of those years,” Thompson said. “You get to that 14th and 15th game and guys start to get a little dinged up and injuries become a factor. But our kids … they’re overachievers. They won’t ever back down from anybody. They always keep coming back.” That resiliency makes it easy to see why Jesuit continues to count itself among the state’s elite programs. One look at this year’s team makes it easy to see why a state title might not be too far out of its grasp. On offense, 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior tight end Jonathan Odom is back after catching 19 passes for 249 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns in 2018. Odom, the son of former NFL offensive lineman Jason Odom, is committed to the University of Florida. “He’s a big target and he runs really well,” Thompson said. “We’re primarily a run team, but a guy like Jonathan, you can put him in the box or flex him out and he presents matchup problems both ways. In my experience, a good tight end can really put a kink in your armor when you’re trying to scheme on defense.” When Odom does line up in the box, he has the


■■ Jesuit junior Kiael Kelly passed for 15 touchdowns in 2018.

skills to set the edge as a blocker and become a seamless part of what should be an elite offensive line. The Tigers have four returning starters led by 6-7, 260-pound senior offensive tackle Connor McLaughlin, a four-star recruit who has committed to Stanford. Sophomore Trequan Alexander, a transfer from Tampa Bay Tech, will be a nice addition to an already stout offensive line – one of the best in the state. Jesuit also has its whole backfield in place from 2018 – junior quarterback Kiael Kelly threw for 1,320 yards and 15 touchdowns, while junior running back Ricky Parks ran for 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns. “I don’t think we’ve had anything like this before (on the offensive line),” Thompson said. “Our offense is kind of predicated on power, so we will load up the box and run it right at you. With a mobile quarterback like we have, and with Ricky, it forces teams to make decisions.” On defense, Jesuit has perhaps the most talented secondary group in Thompson’s tenure – senior safety Spencer Williams had 40 tackles, two interceptions and a team-high four forced fumbles last season. Williams, who took an official visit to Army in June, also has an offer from Cornell. Junior cornerback Jordan Young (30 tackles) has offers from Alabama, Florida and Florida State and elite size for his position at 6-foot, 190 pounds. Sophomore cornerback Junior Vandeross led Jesuit with five interceptions as a freshman and already has offers from Iowa State, Kentucky and UCF. Several Division I schools have shown recruiting interest in Jesuit players, including Raleigh Oxendine (committed to Army West Point), Kelly (offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas) and Ricky Parks (Penn State, Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa).

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

2019 ROSTER 1 Jordan Young 2 Christian Jones 3 Rick Parks 4 Lex Capitano 5 Jaydn Girard 6 Kiael Kelly 7 Brett Gerena 8 JayDunn Walker 9 Carter French 10 Aiden Clark 11 Clark Wichman 12 Zion Jacobs 13 Ty Cabassa 14 Ethan Marquis 15 Nick Spurlin 16 Thomas Schweitzer 17 Junior Vandeross 19 Cade Freeman 20 Myles Coates 21 Spencer Williams 22 Tyler Corish 23 Ty James 24 Liam Conroy 25 Caleb Williams 26 Tyler Girsch 27 Hayes Greep 28 Emy Okeke 29 Carson Quick 30 J.P. Emslie 31 Wayne Quin 32 Livingston Roberts 33 AJ Cottrill 34 Jack Agliano 35 Jeremiah Sutton 36 Morgan Halme 38 Andrew Callahan 40 Raleigh Bulleit 41 Jason Kwo 42 Alex Thompson 47 Jack Mastandrea 50 Drew Carson 51 JoJo Ludovici 52 Charles Mcleod 53 Jonathan Dawson

Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. So. So. So. So. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr.

54 Cooper Lufkin Sr. 55 Raleigh Oxendine Sr. 56 Nick Mastrilli Jr. 58 Connor Anderson Jr. 60 Jack Dousann Jr. 61 Trevor Mayberry Sr. 64 Noah Tran Sr. 65 Max Huelsman So. 66 Marcos Uzdavinis Sr. 67 Bruce Butler Sr. 68 Brenton Budhoo Jr. 70 James Motta So. 71 Connor McLaughlin Sr. 74 Greg Gyenis Sr. 75 Gozy Okeke So. 76 Jonah Tran So. 77 Grayson Traber So. 80 Luke Davis So. 81 Ryan Overstreet So. 83 Xavier Lopez Jr. 87 Jonathan Odom Sr. 88 Kwame Semackor So. 89 Max Gonzalez Jr. 90 Jared Oates Sr. 94 Reagan Rohrabacher Jr. 97 Shane Beatty So. 99 Omarian Clark So. Trequan Alexander So. Todd Bowles Jr. Jr. Troy Bowles So. Wade Woodaz So. Connor Charest So.






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SportSmanShip is what counts

’s First Sports Ba a p m r Ta

fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Plant Panthers @PlantFootball plant.mysdhc.org 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Armwood AUG. 30: at Gaither SEP. 13: Tampa Bay Tech SEP. 20: Bloomingdale SEP. 27: at Gonzaga

OCT. 4: Steinbrenner OCT. 11: at Palm Harbor Uni. OCT. 18: at Wharton OCT. 25: Alonso ■■ In 2018, the Plant defense held five of NOV. 1: Robinson its 13 opponents to fewer than 7 points.

KEY PLAYERS: Tucker Gleason (Sr., QB), Dylan Barry (Sr.,

DB), Mekhi Bell (Sr., DB), Christian Carvajal (Sr., LB), Jackson Hacker (Sr., QB), Trevor Haire (Sr., P), Frank Murphy (Sr., WR), Zae Gillespy (Jr., DB), Ben Hestorff (Sr., LB), Judah Norwood (Sr., WR), Jaedon Anderson (Jr., OL), Ty Love (Jr., OL), Hayden Reed (Jr., RB), Nathan Powell (So., DB), Nick Powell (So., LB).

I Est. 1978

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n early June, Plant High head coach Robert Weiner stepped away from the wedding of one of his greatest players, former University of Georgia star and NFL quarterback Aaron Murray, to talk about his team’s upcoming season. That talk begins, understandably, with another great quarterback in Plant senior Tucker Gleason, who committed to Georgia Tech in March, picking the Yellow Jackets over Georgia, Duke, Illinois and Cincinnati, among others. “I think we know what a good (quarterback) looks like, and (Gleason) is as good as anybody in the country,” Weiner said. “We can talk a lot about the physical attributes and about how he has the most concise throwing motion I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t really get to his best trait, which is the ability to absorb, process and apply information.” One thing the Panthers can count on in 2019 that was a huge question mark headed into 2018 is their defense. Weiner’s affinity for how his defensive group performed last season – and for the ones that return – is easy to see. “We lost 10 out of 11 starters on the defensive side of the ball headed into 2018,” Weiner said. “We knew we really liked the kids we had, but they were so inexperienced. Every week they got a little better and a little better … and now we have eight of them back this year on defense. So we went from being in a famine to now we’re in a feast, and they have experience and great leadership coming back.” Leading the way for that group is junior safety Zae Gilliespy, who already has offers from Wisconsin and Colorado State after racking up a team-high 103 tackles, 12 pass deflections and two fumble recoveries in 2018. He’s joined by senior linebackers Christian Carvajal (102 tackles, 14 tackles for loss) and Ben Hestorff (98 tackles) and senior safety Dylan Barry (64 tackles, 10 pass deflections. Up front, Plant also has a game-changer in senior outside linebacker/defensive end Jackson Hacker, who led Plant with 15 sacks in 2018.

HEAD COACH: Robert Weiner ASST. COACHES: Bo Puckett, Greg

Meyer, Mike Walsh, Hank Brown, Josh Celerin, Mic Conteh, Scott Decamp, John Few, Sean Love, Billy Minahan, Tyler Rhodes, Alan Rothermel, Ty Thomas, John Toomer

2019 ROSTER 1 Frank Murphy Sr. 2 Christian Carvajal Sr. 3 Hayden Reed Jr. 4 Tucker Gleason Sr. 5 Jackson Hacker Sr. 6 Zaequan Gilliespy Jr. 8 Baldwin Barnes Jr. 13 Dylan Barry Sr. 14 Judah Norwood Sr. 15 Bryson Martin So. 18 Alex Munson Sr. 19 Elijah Cook Sr. 20 J. Fernandez-Mclean Sr. 21 Steve Vaillant Sr. 21 Fuller Saunders Jr. 22 Ray Desanto Jr. 23 Mekhi Bell Sr. 24 Ben Hestorff Sr. 25 Nicholas Powell So. 26 Nathan Powell So. 27 Migeon Mckinnis Sr. 29 Christopher Pisciotti Sr. 30 John Owens So. 31 Matthew Rogero Jr. 32 Larry Jackson Sr. 32 Malik Byrd Jr. 34 Jayson Reddick Jr. 35 Luca Caianiello Sr. 36 Miguel Torres Jr. 37 Rontavious Thomas Sr. 37 Ave’on Smith Sr. 38 Billy Capote Jr. 39 Sean Mcfadden Jr. 40 Tyreese Clark Sr. 41 Preston Lavine Jr. 43 Evans Taylor Jr. 45 Nick Gordon Jr. 48 Andrew Moore Sr. 49 Trevor Haire Sr. 50 Morgan Ross Sr. 51 Zack Antoniou Jr.

53 Aidan Lindsey Jr. 54 Elijah Sejour Jr. 55 Alex Cuervo Jr. 56 Ty Love Jr. 57 Brooks Bak Jr. 58 Campbell Gibson Sr. 58 Sonny Burnett Sr. 59 Dorian Ice Sr. 61 Kellen Reilly Jr. 64 Blake Mathenia Sr. 65 Rod Miller Jr. 66 Aidan O’dell Jr. 67 Cameron Trommater Jr. 68 Rashaad Mcleod Jr. 71 Aidan Giansante Sr. 74 Chad Staley So. 75 Matthew Sherer Jr. 76 CJ Lorences Jr. 77 Jaedon Anderson Jr. 78 Louis Alcala Sr. 80 Austin Johnson Sr. 81 Cole Cusmano Sr. 82 Quin Thomas Jr. 85 Frank Dolsak Sr. 86 Parker White Jr. 87 Marquise Jackson Jr. 87 Zack Taylor Sr. 88 Davis Versaggi Jr. 88 Ryon Perry Sr. 89 John Decaro Jr. 90 Prince Newsome Jr. 90 Erik Villalobos Sr. 91 Mario Gonzalez Sr. 92 Cyris Cintron-Soto Jr. 93 Philip Mcgrew Jr. 95 Justin Carlisle Sr. 95 Dom D’alessandro Jr. 95 Tyler Grubbs Jr. 97 Dylan Perrigault-Eng Sr. 97 Christian Maxie Jr. 98 Kyle Rodgers Sr.

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@newsomewolvesfb Newsomefootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Deandre Perez (Sr., WR),

Kyle Sellers (Sr., TE), Jason Albritton (So., RB), Kyle Hoerner (Sr., OL), Matt Rainey (Sr., OL), Patrick Lemelin (Sr., DL), Alex Judah (Jr., DL/LB), Caden Huffman (So., LB), Jack Arnone (Jr., DB), Ryan Eckley (So., K)

PLANT CITY RAIDERS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Bloomingdale AUG. 30: Spoto SEP. 6: at Alonso SEP. 13: Lennard SEP. 20: Durant SEP. 27: Riverview OCT. 4: at Robinson OCT. 11: Haines City OCT. 18: Sarasota Riverview OCT. 25: at Ridge Community


he Wolves’ strengths rest in the trenches: Four of five offensive linemen return and the defensive line should be at least 8 to 10 players deep. Seniors Kyle Hoerner and Matt Rainey anchor that offensive line. Patrick Lemelin, who started every game last season, and junior Alex Judah lead the defensive line. For the Wolves to improve on their 4-6 season a year ago the secondary and skill positions are key. Deandre Perez will add defensive back to his roles in a bid to strengthen a unit susceptible to the big play. Jack Arnone is expected to lead the unit’s development after starting as a sophomore. In addition to Perez, tight end Kyle Sellers provides a reliable target and is attracting college attention. The task is to get them the ball more in a hybrid offense that has, for years, been run-dominated. Nick Felice and Kamarii Austin are vying to start at quarterback: Consistency is the most coveted quality for coach Christian Yockey in his second season. That won’t be a problem at kicker: Ryan Eckley has established himself among the area’s elite.


@rvsharkfootball riverviewhs.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Barry Wyche III (Sr., QB),

Desmond Belser (Jr., Ath.), Cheyenne Graves (Jr., Ath.), Stazion Gage (So., Ath.), Gabriel Akpewero (Sr., WR), Kadeem Robinson (Jr. WR/S), Elmer Eubanks (Sr., Ath.), Christopher Duffy (Sr., LB), Aaron Smith (Sr., OT/G), Oliver Cushman (Sr., OG/T), Jason Albury (Jr., OT), Aidan Smith (Jr., DT/G), Ryan Peacock (Jr., MLB)

@PlantCityfb Plantcityfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Zamir’ Knighten (Sr.,

RB), Demario Williams (Jr., WR), Reagan Early (Jr., WR), Eric Mcleod (Sr., WR), Antron Robinson (Sr., DB), Keyshawn Green (Sr., LB), Emmanuel Baez (Sr., DE), D.J. Littles (Jr., DB), Jeren Bendorf (Sr., NG), John Lewis (Sr., NG), Raymundo Gonzalez (Sr., OT), Josiah Lancaster (So., OG/T), Andrew Walden (Jr., OT)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Blake AUG. 30: at Durant SEP. 6: Brandon SEP. 13: at Haines City SEP. 20: at Strawberry Crest SEP. 27: at Newsome OCT. 4: Leto OCT. 11: at SRQ Riverview OCT. 18: at Ridge Community OCT. 25: Lennard


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Jesuit AUG. 30: at Tampa Bay Tech SEP. 6: Gaither SEP. 13: Lakeland SEP. 20: at East Bay SEP. 27: at Bloomingdale OCT. 4: Armwood OCT. 11: at Strawberry Crest OCT. 18: Kathleen OCT. 25: Durant


lant City looks for back-to-back playoff berths, but key vacancies need to be filled. Senior running back Zamir’ Knighten returns and may face a heavier workload (168 carries, 1038 yards), since only one other returning player carried the ball in 2018. Knighten is also a top pass catcher. Leading receiver Demario Williams (950 receiving yards) is back for his junior season. Senior Eric Mcleod completes one of the best and deepest receiver corps in the area. Senior transfer quarterback Makenzie Kennedy must transition to an offense that threw the ball significantly more than it ran last year. Plant City recorded 133 tackles for loss, including 30 sacks, but seven of the top 10 tacklers must be replaced. Senior Antron Robinson leads returnees, and senior Emmanuel Baez recorded six sacks in 2018. Juniors D.J. Littles and Williams and senior Jeren Bendorf saw action in 10 games, recorded double-digit tackles and must step up. Seniors John Lewis and Raymundo Gonzalez, junior Andrew Walden and sophomore Josia Lancaster should play roles in the trenches.


avid Coffey, the Sharks third coach in four seasons, takes the reins of a program seeking its first winning season since 2007. And he has some key pieces to build around, though exactly what sets and philosophy he will use them in remains to be seen. Barry Wyche III passed for 1,503 yards and completed 52 percent of his passes a year ago, but senior Gabriel Akpewero is the only experienced receiver returning. Junior Kadeem Robinson will be counted on to step up in a larger receiving role. Junior Desmond Belser led the team in rushing and carries. Wyche likely will be looking to get the ball into the hands of athletes Cheyenne Greaves and Stazion Gage. The latter played in six games last season as a freshman. Riverview must replace most of its starting defense: Senior Elmer Eubanks is the leading returning tackler despite playing in only a handful of games. Seniors Aaron Smith and Oliver Cushman likely will need to play key roles in the trenches, as will juniors Jason Albury and Aidan Smith. Senior Christopher Duffy and junior Ryan Peacock anchor the linebacker corps.


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

@RHS _ FB _ Knights robinsonhs.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Steven Verdisco (Sr., K),

Paul Miller (Sr., OL), Louis Kirchgessner Jr. (Sr., DB), Jaymes Wilson (Jr., RB), Destin Tiburcio (Sr., DL), James Furlong (Sr., LB), Clayton Lee (Sr., WR), Destin Gainer (Sr., DL), Leviticus McAfee (Jr., DB), Joshua Wiliamson (Jr., QB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: Steinbrenner AUG. 23: at Hillsborough AUG. 30: Alonso SEP. 6: at Freedom SEP. 13: Gibbs SEP. 27: at Booker OCT. 4: Newsome OCT. 11: Jesuit OCT. 18: Bayshore OCT. 25: Chamberlain NOV. 1: Plant

obinson was looking to get on even ground when it hired Craig Everhart to be the head coach, and he delivered with a 5-5 record after back-to-back losing seasons. The Knights still have a long way to go if they want to achieve their first winning season since 2012. “Last season was all about setting a foundation and establishing the appropriate culture for our program,” Everhart said. “(2019) will be an important year for the continued growth of our football program.” That growth will need to come with an almost entirely new lineup, as the Knights lost eight starters on offense (including four offensive linemen) and seven starters on defense. There’s also a three-way battle to replace record-setting quarterback Kobe Copple. One thing Robinson can hang its hat on is a strong finish to last season – after a heartbreaking, 21-20 loss to Middleton, the Knights closed things out with back-to-back wins over Jefferson and Bloomingdale. “We are graduating 24 seniors (in 2019),” Everhart said. “I am looking forward to see how this team comes together and answers the call.”


SEFFNER CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS @crusadersSCA scacrusaders.com/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Isaiah Knowles (Sr.,

QB), Justin Stubbs (Sr., RB), Michael Trigg (Jr., TE/LB), Melek Ford (Jr., WR), Avante Morrison (Jr., ATH), Brandon Cleveland (So., LB), Isaiah Reed (Jr., DB), Tristan Kistler (Sr., LB), Cobey Quarterman (So., WR/DB)

SICKLES GRYPHONS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Orlando Chr. Prep AUG. 30: at Holy Trinity Epis. SEP. 6: Zephyrhills Chr. SEP. 13: at Carrollwood Day SEP. 27: at Tampa Bay Chr. OCT. 4: Cambridge Christian OCT. 11: at Master’s Acad. OCT. 18: Com. School of Naples OCT. 25: at Indian Rocks Chr. NOV. 1: Father Lopez


he Crusaders had an incredible turnaround in 2018, going undefeated in the regular season and earning a playoff win against Carrollwood Day before losing to Admiral Farragut in the Class 2A region final. Seffner Christian’s 11-1 season was a 10-game improvement over its disappointing 2017 campaign. The Crusaders are equipped for another strong season as head coach Travis Puleo has a roster filled with experienced talent and promising underclassmen. Knowles is going into his fourth-year starting at quarterback and will try to build on a season where he threw for over 2,100 yards and 34 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Many of Knowles’ top targets on offense are back including top rusher Stubbs (790 yards, 16 touchdowns), top receiver Ford (45 catches, 763 yards, eight touchdowns) and top two-way player Trigg (473 receiving yards, eight touchdowns, five sacks on defense). Kistler seemed to be everywhere on the field and led the Crusaders with 133 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. A player to keep an eye on this year is Brandon Cleveland, a 220-pound sophomore athlete.


@spotospartansfb spoto.mysdhc.org/Athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Darnell Hutchins (Sr., RB/

LB), Darius Gaffney (Sr, SB/LB), Lawiltaye Robinson (Sr., DB), Cai’re Anderson (Jr., WR), Julian Moore (Sr., DB), Jordan Guerad (Jr., QB), Anderson Aricy (Sr., OT), Jacob Wilson (Sr., OL), Joseph Williams (Sr., ATH), Alan Rangel (Sr., DE/LB), Colton Dougherty (Sr., OL), Corben Martin (Sr., TE/DE), Carlisle Johnson (Sr., WR)


@SHS _ Gryphons Sicklesfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Cole Kingsbury (Sr., LB),

Kohl Robertson (Jr., RB), Nohl Settlemire (Jr., OL), Luke Barrow (Jr., OL), Justin Kuhn (Sr., DL), Joseph Sandorf (Sr., K), Kingsley Akoto (Sr., DL), Matt Mendez (Sr., DL), Shavoughn Hodges (Sr., LB), Parker Snead (Sr., DB), Enzo Tedesco (Jr., QB), Luge Gage (Sr., DB), Brandon Dessi (Jr., QB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Spoto AUG. 30: Steinbrenner SEP. 6: at Middleton SEP. 13: Leto SEP. 20: Alonso SEP. 27: at Sunlake OCT. 4: at East Bay OCT. 11: East Lake OCT. 18: Pinellas Park OCT. 25: at Mitchell


ast year, the Gryphons turned their fortunes around, reversing a record of 3-7 to go 7-4. Now, with a stout defense and tenacious running game primed to lead the way, Sickles is looking for even bigger things as it moves to a new district that includes Leto, Pinellas Park, East Lake, Sunlake and Mitchell. The Gryphons will lean on one of the main ingredients of last year’s turnaround – leadership – to return to the form of 2013 and 2014 when they won back-toback district titles. This senior class will look to carry things forward. Having experience on a defensive unit returning eight starters, including three seniors on the defensive line – Justin Kuhn, Kingsley Akoto and Matt Mendez won’t hurt either. The defensive strength doesn’t stop there as linebacker Cole Kingsbury and defensive back Parker Snead are major contributors and will handle things that get past the front line. Sickles will lean on its ground game early. Junior Kohl Robertson is expected to be the primary ball carrier.

STEINBRENNER WARRIORS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Sickles AUG. 30: at Newsome SEP. 6: Steinbrenner SEP. 13: Freedom SEP. 20: Jefferson SEP. 27: Brandon OCT. 4: at Blake OCT. 11: at Hillsborough OCT. 18: Middleton OCT. 25: King

year ago, Spoto featured a veteran offense and a young defense. The script flips this year: 9 players return who saw action in at least five games on defense, including almost all of the team’s top-eight tacklers. Darius Gaffney is the spotlight player: active linebacker, likely featured back and dangerous return man. The challenge will be finding places to spell him. Carlisle Johnson recorded 49 tackles in five games and will anchor a deep secondary, and Ramon Davis, who played in five games as a freshman and Jonas Bethley, who played in four as a sophomore, may be poised for breakout seasons. Third-year varsity players Joseph Williams and Alan Rangel will be key pieces, and Colton Dougherty and Corben Martin anchor the lines. While Jordan Guerad returns at quarterback, Spoto starts over at the other skill positions. Only four ball carriers, who accounted for 83 total yards, return, and after Cai’re Anderson (10 catches, 262 yards) all other returning receivers combined for five catches. The offense has been run heavy in recent seasons and may be more balanced this season out of need.

@SteinbrennerFB steinbrenner.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Matt Adcock (Sr., OL), Haden

Carlson (Sr., QB), Deon Silas (Jr., RB), Jonathan Mallan (Sr., RB), Aidan Bitter (Sr., WR), Dean Patterson (Sr., WR), Jett Law (Jr., WR), Austin Brannen (Jr., LB), Jose Bautista (Sr., DB), Desmond Mamudi (Jr., DL), T.J. Hubbell (Jr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Freedom AUG. 30: at Sickles SEP. 6: at Spoto SEP. 13: Alonso SEP. 20: at Hillsborough OCT. 4: at Plant OCT. 11: at Blake OCT. 18: Palm Harbor Uni. OCT. 25: at Wharton NOV. 1: Chamberlain


fter improving by four wins last season, Steinbrenner hopes to take another step forward and have a deep run in the playoffs behind a young team that’s growing older. The offense will be led by senior quarterback Haden Carlson, who threw for 1,418 yards and 10 touchdowns last season; senior offensive lineman Matt Adcock; junior running back Deon Silas, who rushed for 499 yards and eight touchdowns; and Aidan Bitter, who had 568 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Other skill position players to watch include senior running back Jonathan Mallan, senior wide receiver Dean Patterson and junior wide receiver Jett Law. The Warriors return defensive stud and junior linebacker Austin Brannen, who had 130 tackles and 12 tackles for a loss last fall. He’ll be joined by senior defensive back Jose Bautista (70 tackles last season), junior defensive lineman Desmond Mamudi (61 tackles, four sacks) and junior linebacker T.J. Hubbell (55 tackles).

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STRAWBERRY CREST CHARGERS @theschschargers strawberrycrest.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: Jose Gonzalez (Sr., T),

Isaac Ysasi (Sr., T/G), Daquan McDonald (Sr., DL), Cayden Knipp (Jr., T/G), Kevin Claudio (Jr., NG/C), Andre James-Williams (Jr., RB), Kadin Durgan (Jr., QB/S), Jaydn Girard (So., WR), Joseph Witherington (Sr., DE/TE), DJ Brannon (Sr., LB/RB), Bryant Lazare (Sr., DE/LB)

TAMPA BAY CHRISTIAN RAMS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Leto AUG. 30: at King SEP. 13: Kathleen SEP. 20: Riverview SEP. 27: at Lakeland OCT. 4: at Wharton OCT. 11: Plant City OCT. 18: Durant OCT. 25: at Bloomingdale NOV. 1: Brandon


he offseason featured a quarterback battle among senior Caleb Goodson, juniors Kadin Durgan and Hunter Wilkinson and sophomore Dylan Peeples. Don’t be surprised if more than one of them takes snaps during the season, and for a team looking to establish offensive consistency all four will likely see significant playing time somewhere for coach Ron Hawn. Durgan was a key member of the secondary a year ago, and he and sophomore Jaydn Girard ranked among team receiving leaders. Girard was the team’s primary deep threat. The Chargers are also looking to establish a couple of running backs. Junior Andre James-Williams was the second leading rusher a year ago and will be looked to for a breakout season. Joseph Witherington is part of the small senior class and the only returning player among the top six tacklers a year ago. Junior linebacker Jake Craig showed promise as a sophomore and could be poised for a breakout season. D.J. Bannon provides a veteran presence at linebacker and will again contribute at running back. Senior Bryant Lazare is poised to be a key performer on defense as well.

TAMPA BAY TECH TITANS @TBTFootball tbt.mysdhc.org

KEY PLAYERS: David Wright (Jr., QB),

Bobby Moore (Sr., ATH), Osmanis Aguilera (Sr., RB), Marcus Daye (Sr., LB), Michael Moment (Sr., OL), Jaxon Smith (Sr., OL), Greg Gaines (So., WR), Trequaun Alexander (So., OL), Chris Davis (Jr., DL), Matthew Myles (Jr., DL), Armone Harris (Jr., DB), Damarhi Pettaway (Sr., DB), Rkahi Kinsey (Jr., DL), Sir Gorgio Evan (Sr., LB)


KEY PLAYERS: Leejah Johnson (Sr., RB),

Justin Dixon (Sr., QB), Josiah Davis (Sr., ATH), Jahki Daivs (Sr., WR/DB), Ricky Jackson Jr. (Sr., WR/DB), Troy Werking (So., DB), Nicholas Robinson (Sr., LB), R.J. Burrage (Jr., LB), Bryce Webb (Jr., LB/DB), Stephen Werking (So., DB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: New Smyrna Beach SEP. 6: at Dunedin SEP. 13: Superior Collegiate SEP. 20: at Four Corners SEP. 27: Seffner Christian OCT. 4: at Lakewood Ranch OCT. 11: at Northside Chr. OCT. 18: at Admiral Farragut OCT. 25: Keswick Christian NOV. 1: Southwest Florida Chr.


ot much is known about the Tampa Bay Christian program in 2019. The Rams went 4-6 under William McDonald last season. Johnson is a returning 1,000yard rusher and the 5-foot-8 athlete has become a solid college prospect with offers from programs like Charlotte and New Mexico. Dixon will provide a dual threat at quarterback after amassing over 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns running and passing. Sophomore Jahki Davis is one of the budding prospects in the area and is in line to have a breakout season after receiving significant playing time as a freshman. The defense is young but many of the underclassmen have at least a year of experience like Webb and Burrage, both of whom were among the team’s leaders in tackles. Stephen and Troy Werking will provide both youth and experience in the secondary while Robinson will be a calming influence in the middle of the front seven. The schedule is tough but the Rams have enough experience return to be in contention for a winner record.

WHARTON WILDCATS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Chamberlain AUG. 30: Plant City SEP. 6: at Hillsborough SEP. 13: at Plant SEP. 27: East Bay OCT. 4: at Bloomingdale OCT. 11: Armwood OCT. 18: Gaither OCT. 25: at Wiregrass Ranch NOV. 1: at Jefferson


ampa Bay Tech looks to reach double-digit wins again this fall under coach Jayson Roberts after doing so in 2017 before dropping to 7-4 last season. The Titans return junior quarterback David Wright, who threw for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns last fall. They lost their top two rushers from 2018, but senior running back Osmanis Aguilera and senior athlete Bobby Moore return. The former had seven rushing touchdowns last fall, and the latter had three receiving touchdowns a year ago. They’ll be working alongside an offensive line that includes senior Michael Moment and Jaxon Smith. Sophomore offensive lineman Trequaun Alexander is another player to keep an eye on. Senior linebacker Marcus Daye will be the team’s big presence on defense, where he’ll be joined by junior defensive linemen Chris Davis, Matthew Myles and Rkahi Kinsey and defensive backs Armone Harris and Damarhi Pettaway. “We have a very young but talented team,” Roberts said. “Our leadership starts with our QB, who started all 11 games last season for us as a sophomore. Defensively, we will be as fast as we’ve ever been and dominant in our front seven.”


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@FootballWharton wharton.mysdhc.org/Athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Ed Marcelin (Sr., LB), Mike

Zellem (Sr., DE/TE), Emery Floyd (Jr., QB), Steven Joseph (Sr., LB), Daveon Crouch (So., WR), Khalil Richardson (Jr., DL)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: Leto SEP. 6: at Lennard SEP. 13: at Palm Harbor Uni. SEP. 20: Freedom SEP. 27: at King OCT. 4: Strawberry Crest OCT. 11: at Alonso OCT. 25: Steinbrenner

he Wildcats hope that the growing pains of the past few seasons are coming to a close, having won seven games in three years. That said, they may have found themselves a defensive spark plug in Ed Marcelin at linebacker, who had three sacks, a forced fumble and blocked punt in Wharton’s spring game. If Wharton can get efforts like that and strong play from Mike Zellem at linebacker, odds to a solid defensive foundation are good despite a couple of transfers that will force head coach David Mitchell to play a lot of underclassmen. If the defense can keep the points down, the Wildcats will be competitive. At quarterback, junior Emery Floyd aims to continue his progression within the Wildcats offense and rely on a bevy of young skill players to move the ball with the hope that a few playmakers emerge from the roster. With a lot of youth on offense expect Wharton to keep things simple on offense to keep games close.

Tampa Catholic Crusaders @TC _ Football tampacatholic.org/athletics/sports-teams/football

■■ Tampa Bay Catholic seniors Gatean Louistant, Tim Young and Marcellus Crunchfield

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Palmetto Ridge AUG. 30: Cardinal Mooney SEP. 6: at CCC SEP. 13: at Land O’ Lakes SEP. 20: North Port

KEY PLAYERS: D.J. Taylor (Sr., ATH), David Hoyt (Sr.,

OL), Mikey Gonzalez (Sr., LB), Dylan McCain (Sr., QB), Jalen Williams (Sr., LB), Tyler Burkes (Sr., ATH), Jordan Sandlin (Jr., OL), Gatean Louistant (Sr., DB), Jayden Bethea (Sr., DL), Jaden Sandlin (Jr., ATH), Tim Young (Sr., WR), D.D. Synder (Jr., DB), Marcellus Crutchfield (Sr., WR)


SEP. 27: OCT. 11: OCT. 18: OCT. 25: NOV. 1:

at Berkeley Prep Winter Haven at Bishop Verot George Jenkins at Jesuit

HEAD COACH: Jeris McIntyre ASST. COACHES: David Lewis,

Richard Wood, Bob Henriquez, Ron Myrick, Kerry Bender, Steve Costa, Mark Tate, Demond Snyder, Zach Grant, Steve Cash, Tim Young Sr., Austin Tolley

he perfect fit to lead Tampa Catholic’s football program proved to be one of its own as former Auburn star and NFL wide receiver Jeris McIntyre showed he was more than up to the task in his first season, going 8-4 in 2018 after three seasons as an assistant for the Crusaders. McIntyre, one of the Tampa Catholic’s three NFL Draft picks since 2000 along with former University of Florida stars Chaz Green and Darrell Jackson, has as compelling a backstory as any high school football coach in the country – he also grew up with and was high school teammates alongside movie star Channing Tatum. “I’m figuring some things out as we go, but I’m really enjoying everything about it,” McIntyre said. “A lot of people have helped me out through this first year while we’ve been extra busy, some old coaches especially, but it’s been fun. And we do have a lot of good, talented kids back, which is a blessing.” Leading the way for nine returning starters on offense and seven returning starters on defense is 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior D.J. Taylor, who has over 30 Division I offers and did a little bit of everything for the Crusaders last season as a running back/wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist. Senior quarterback Dylan McCain also returns after throwing for 1,142 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions last season. He also ran for 282 yards and three touchdowns. “(Taylor) is just very versatile,” McIntyre said. “Some schools want him as a slot receiver. Some schools want him as a safety, some schools want him as a corner … so just pick your poison.” Senior offensive lineman David Hoyt, 6-5 and 290 pounds, is an Army commit. Junior offensive lineman Jordan Sandlin (6-6, 300 pounds) and twin brother Jaden Sandlin (6-5, 240 pounds), who plays multiple positions, also look like potential Division I players. “We do have a lot of size,” McIntyre said. “Jaden can play tight end or offensive tackle or be a rush defensive end, so he’s just as talented as his brother. They’ve all had some experience on the varsity, along with Hoyt, so now is there time to step up.” Senior linebacker Mikey Gonzalez, 6-3 and 240 pounds, led the Crusaders with 97 tackles in 2018 to go with 17 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. “(Gonzalez) is so versatile,” McIntyre said. “With his ability and talent and speed I’ve told him I want to see him in the backfield more this year, and he’s doing what he’s supposed to do in order to take that next step.”

2019 ROSTER 2 Dylan McCain 3 Raphael Ekechi 4 Jalen Williams 5 DeAngelo Taylor 6 DD Synder 7 Xavione Washington 8 Gatean Louissant 9 Mikey Gonzalez 10 Dominic Reaves 11 M. Crunchfield 12 Isiah Elmore 14 Lewis Carter 15 Tim Young 17 Jaquise Alexander 18 Aj Williams 19 Jamie Smiley 20 Adrian Ramsey 21 Kenneth Covington 22 Antoine Hill 23 Jamai Rutherford 24 Jacory Demps 25 Jacob Chellew 27 Evan Fernandez 28 Jermaine Swain 31 David Dedek 34 Kentrell Covington 35 Nick Navarro 37 Anthony Frederique 39 Jordan Haywood 40 Avery New 42 Kenny Suarez 44 Edward Zanato 51 Jayden Bethea 54 Carson Elsner 55 Sean Little 57 Johnnie McNair 60 Leo Gonzalez 64 Caleb Karol 71 David Hoyt 74 Jaden Sandlin 75 Jordan Sandlin 77 Max Quevedo 78 Aaron Smith 80 Kyle Weidman 81 Cole Essek 99 Baraka Andrews

QB Sr. RB, Jr. SS Sr. DB Sr. CB Jr. QB Fr. DB Sr. LB Sr. WR So. WR Sr. WR Sr. RB Fr. WR Sr. DB So. WR So. WR So. CB So. RB So. RB Fr. WR Fr. RB So. WR Jr. ATH Sr. CB So. LS Sr. OL So. K Jr. P Sr. TE So. LB So. FB Sr. LB Jr. DL Sr. LB So. LB Sr. LB So. DL Jr. C Jr. OT Sr. OL Jr. OL Jr. DL Sr. OG Sr. ATH Sr. OL Jr. OL Fr.


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ADMIRAL FARRAGUT BLUEJACKETS @FarragutFB farragut.org/tag/football

KEY PLAYERS: Jacob Laravie (Sr., DL/

OL), Kamel Ajlouni (Sr., DE), Avontrell Hazzard (Jr., LB/DE), Tanner Coad (Sr., OL/LS), Ty Vongvenekeo (Sr., QB), Percy Speights (Jr., OL/DL/), Raymond Walker (Jr., RB/LB), Gerald Creadon (Sr., SS/WR)


BOCA CIEGA PIRATES 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at St. Stephen’s Epis. AUG. 30: at Frostproof SEP. 5: West Oaks Academy SEP. 13: at Cambridge Chr. SEP. 20: at Carrollwood Day SEP. 26: Victory Christian OCT. 11: at Hudson OCT. 18: Tampa Bay Christian OCT. 25: at Dunedin NOV.1: Village Academy


aying that Admiral Farragut and second-year head coach Rick Kravitz defied expectations doesn’t quite do justice to what the Blue Jackets were able to accomplish in 2018. Kravitz, a former Division I assistant at the University of South Florida and Youngstown State, led Admiral Farragut to a two-win improvement over the previous season by going 5-7 in 2017, his first year. Last year, the Blue Jackets went 10-2 and made it all the way to the Class 2A state semifinals before losing a 24-20 heartbreaker to Champagnat Catholic. And while the numbers for the Blue Jackets aren’t going to jump off the page – only 16 players were listed on the team’s roster before an expected influx of players heading into summer workouts – they have impressive size up front, led by 6-foot6, 280-pound senior Jacob Laravie and 6-5, 285-pound junior Percy Speights, who can be a dominant player on the offensive line. The Blue Jackets also return their breakout star from last season – 6-2, 235-pound defensive end Kamel Ajlouni, who led the team with 14 sacks and three forced fumbles.



friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@BogieFootball pcsb.org/Page/4099

KEY PLAYERS: Julius Hawkins (Sr., DL), Ben

Pridemore (Sr., OL), Kuylen Johnson (Sr., DB), Jason Washington (Sr., WR), Chris Phillips (Jr., RB), Taffrey Peterman (Jr., QB), Evan Graham (Jr., LB), Zavion Rogers (Jr., OL), Jayden Woody (Jr., LB), Savion Hawkins (Jr., LB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Gibbs AUG. 30: at Largo SEP. 6: at Tarpon Springs SEP. 13: Lakewood SEP. 20: Seminole SEP. 27: at St. Petersburg OCT. 4: at Countryside OCT. 11: Northeast OCT. 25: at Dixie Hollins NOV. 1: Clearwater

oca Ciega took a big step forward last season, improving from three wins in 2017 to 7-3 and just missing the playoffs. A difficult stretch to open season will determine whether the Pirates can continue progressing. Pirates coach Max Smith believes the team’s lack of experience—it returns just four starters on offense and four on defense—could be a weakness in 2019. The Pirates return junior quarterback Taffrey Peterman, who completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,264 yards last season, and junior running back Chris Phillips, who rushed for 946 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2018. They’ll be working behind an offensive line that features senior Ben Pridemore and junior Zavion Rogers. Senior wide receiver Jason Washington produced a team-high seven receiving touchdowns last season despite having just 13 catches, making him a valuable target for Peterman. The defense will be led by senior defensive lineman Julius Hawkins (73 tackles last season), junior linebacker Savion Hawkins (72 tackles last season), and senior defensive back Kuylen Johnson.


CALVARY CHRISTIAN WARRIORS @SportsCalvary cchs.us/Football.aspx

KEY PLAYERS: Michael Lofton (Sr., OL),

Harold Cook (Sr., QB), Richie Ilarraza (Jr., WR), David Crossan (Sr., DL), Kai Martin (Jr., RB), Kellyn West (Jr., WR), Nadeem Ayoub (Sr., OL), Isaiah Washburn (Jr., ATH), Jacob Ford (Jr., OL), Aidan Shahriari (Sr., K)

CANTERBURY CRUSADERS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Palm Glades Acad. AUG. 30: Berkeley Prep SEP. 6: at Fort Meade SEP. 20: The First Academy SEP. 27: at Cardinal Mooney OCT. 4: Carrollwood Day OCT. 11: at Victory Christian OCT. 18: at Hudson OCT. 25: Trinity Catholic NOV. 1: Oasis


alvary Christian hopes to qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season, and the Warriors will be counting on their offense to help get them there. Senior quarterback Harold Cook is back after completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 2,430 yards and 27 touchdowns, and he’ll be counting on junior running back Kai Martin and junior wide receivers Richie Ilarraza (63 receptions for 912 yards and 10 touchdowns) and Kellyn West (13 receptions for 252 yards and four touchdowns). The offensive line will be led by senior Michael Lofton, who holds scholarship offers from Marshall, UCF, and Western Kentucky, among others. The Warriors only return four starters on defense but are adding defensive coordinator Adam Waugh, who has previously coached at Army, LouisianaLafayette, and Louisiana-Monroe. The defense will be led by senior defensive lineman David Crossan. “Our team has had an outstanding off-season,” Warriors coach Reggie Crume said. “We want to take pride in everything we do. We want to be the team that everyone knows will be prepared every week.”

CLEARWATER TORNADOES @CHS _ Tornadoes tornadostrong.org

KEY PLAYERS: Rent Montie (Sr., QB),

Keedrik Murray (Sr., WR), Tim Williams (Jr., DL), Marcus Jeter (Jr., WR), Marquavion Jeter (Jr., WR), Chendrik Cann (Sr., DB), Damon Dennis (Sr., DL), Zedrick Givins (Sr., OL), Matthew Nieves (Sr., DL), Tyreese Wright (Sr., LB), Latrezz Bradley (Sr., RB), Ricky Anderson (Sr., OL)


@CSFAthletics canterburyflorida.org/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Keshawn Fuller (Sr., QB),

Connor Pizzo (Sr., WR), Steven Johnson Jr., (Sr., DL), Kaya Gezen (Sr., RB), Jordan Luper (Jr., OL), Brendon Perry (Jr., OL), Ian Mathis (Jr., LB), Christian Brunetti (Sr., KS), Joseph Garcia (So., DL), Rohan Patel (Sr., DB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: Bell Creek Academy SEP. 6: at Real Life Christian SEP. 13: TBA SEP. 20: at Oasis Christian SEP. 27: at City of Life Chr. OCT. 4: Int’l. Community OCT. 11: City of Life Christian OCT. 18: Harvest Academy OCT. 25: TBA


t’s been three years since Canterbury dropped from 11-man football to the 8-man conference and the move paid off last season when the Crusaders made it to the state semifinals for the first team in school history. Fuller will take over the starting quarterback spot after serving as a backup last season and leading the Crusaders with 698 receiving yards. He’s a mobile athlete and will provide a threat running and passing. Gezen rushed for 763 yards last season and will look to hit the 1,000-yard mark as a senior. Pizzo will likely be the top target for Fuller in the passing game. Canterbury will need some players to step up on defense after last season’s leading tackler Ayers Layman transferred to Clearwater Central Catholic. Johnson was second on the team with 66 tackles and two sacks and he’ll be asked to lead less experienced group on that side of the ball.

CLEARWATER ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL KNIGHTS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Heritage AUG. 30: at East Lake SEP. 6: Jesuit SEP. 13: at Largo SEP. 27: Clearwater Ctl. Cath. OCT. 4: at Pinellas Park OCT. 11: at Countryside OCT. 18: Seminole OCT. 25: Osceola NOV.1: at Boca Ciega

hen Don Mesick took over as Clearwater’s head coach before the 2015 season, he left little to the imagination about what needed to change after four straight losing seasons, including a winless season in 2013. “Complete re-build,” Mesick said. “Change in attitude, participation and expectations.” Entering his fifth season, Mesick and the Tornadoes now have their sights set on a fifth consecutive playoff appearance, and it’s impossible to argue that the culture around the team hasn’t changed. Leading the way this season will be 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior quarterback Rent Montie, who threw for 2,485 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Montie, who has already been offered by Lousiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss, has his top target back in senior wide receiver Keedrick Murray, one of the most productive wide receivers in Florida with 58 receptions, 1,006 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. On defense, 6-2, 250-pound junior defensive tackle Tim Williams (49 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks) is part of a defensive line that returns all four starters. “We return all the starters on the defensive line, and all the backups,” Mesick said.

@CAIKnightsFB clearwateracademy.org

KEY PLAYERS: Ajou Ajou (Sr., WR), Ludovick

Choquette (Sr., RB), Akheem Mesidor (Sr., DE), Geri Thodore (Sr., DE), Luca Stanzani (So., QB), Jejuan Sparks (Sr., DT), Jevaun Jacobsen (Sr., DB), Elijah Sybblis (Sr., DE/TE), Johari McGregor (Sr., LB), Austin Menaul (Sr., WR), Tyrell Lawrence (Sr., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Immokalee AUG. 30: at Atlantic SEP. 6: Lehigh SEP. 13: at Elder (OH) SEP. 20: at Superior Collegiate SEP. 27: GTCE OCT. 4: at Venice OCT. 18: at Madison County OCT. 25: at McCallie (TN) NOV. 1: at Braden River


he Knights have one of the most interesting stories in football. The program started out as a six-man outfit and would eventually win an FCAPPS state championships in that division (2009). Then they would move to the seven-man division and enjoy similar success, winning the FCAPPS championship in 2012. Cleawater Academy International continued to move up and won the FCAPPS 8-man title in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 the Knights decided to start playing 11-man and are currently coming off an undefeated regular season as an FHSAA independent program. While the Knights aren’t eligible for the FHSAA playoffs it doesn’t mean that they won’t attract a fair share of college coaches on the sidelines this fall. The Knight have roughly 10 major FBS prospects with Ajou leading the way. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound wide receiver has offers from all the top programs in the nation. Choquette, Mesidor, Lawrence, Sparks and Jacobsen are all heavily recruited. Head coach Jesse Chinchar has tried to put together an aggressive schedule to showcase his team and will travel to Venice, Madison County and out-of-state powers Elder and McCallie.

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Clearwater Cent. Catholic @CCCMaraudersFB ccchs.org/athletics/sports/boys-sports/boys-football 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Berkeley Prep AUG. 31: Brentwood Acad. SEP. 6: Tampa Catholic SEP. 13: St. Petersburg Cath. SEP. 20: at Sebring

SEP. 27: at Clearwater OCT. 4: Jesuit OCT. 11: at Cardinal Mooney OCT. 18: University NOV. 1: vs. Booker

KEY PLAYERS: Jerzhan Newton (Sr., DL), Melvin Jordan

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(So., LB), Jordan Niles (Sr., RB), Cade Richards (Sr., OL), Giancarlo Margarejo (Sr., DB), Jack Del Rio (Sr., WR), Harrison Thomas (Sr., LB), Jared Pratt (Sr., DL), Zac Elam (Sr., OL), Kayson Romaelle (Sr., OL)


■■ Clearwater Central Catholic should have a strong rushing attack behind a skilled offensive line.

HEAD COACH: Chris Harvey ASST. COACHES: Richard Shockley,

Brian Bruch, Jerry Wunsch, Bart Roberson, Rod Williams, Brian Cooper, Greg Handsel, Matt Elam

learwater Central Catholic went 12-1 last season despite having just eight seniors. The Marauders will now see what they can do with 15 returning starters and 33 returning lettermen. “We were a very young team,” Marauders coach Chris Harvey said. “In 2019, we enter the season as a veteran team with 22 seniors and a good underclass behind them.” The Marauders will be built around a defense that allowed an average of just 11.9 points per game last season and only allowed 20 points once. The group will be led by senior defensive lineman Jerzhan Newton and sophomore linebacker Melvin Jordan but will also have senior linebacker Harrison Thomas and senior defensive back Giancarlo Margarejo. Newton is a three-star defensive tackle with multiple Power 5 scholarship offers, despite his missing the majority of last season because of a leg injury. Teams like his athleticism, which was on display when he rushed for 1,700 yards during his sophomore year. Jordan is another highly recruited player, a Florida State commit with nine Power 5 scholarship offers. The outside linebacker had 74 tackles (10.5 tackles for a loss) and three sacks in addition to averaging 4.5 yards per carry and rushing for nine touchdowns as a freshman. The Marauders face something of an overhaul on offense after losing their starting quarterback, three of their top four rushers and their two top wide receivers. They expect senior running back Jordan Niles, a transfer from Calvary Christian who rushed for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago, and senior quarterback Zach Burrill to pick up the slack. The offense also returns senior wide receiver Jack Del Rio. Those players will be working behind what figures to be a quality offensive line led by Zac Elam, Cade Richards and Isaiah Edwards. “The strength of the team will be the offensive line,” Harvey said. “This is a senior-loaded offensive line. Each player on the offensive line holds at least one valid offer to play college football.” All of these talented players give the Marauders hope they can make history this fall, which is saying something for a team that’s won two consecutive Class 3A-Region 3 championships and six of the past seven and has achieved double-digit wins in six of the past seven seasons. “CCC is 92-18 since 2010,” Harvey says. “If the program can attain eight wins in 2019, we would be the first team to finish with 100 wins in a decade in Pinellas County history. While Pinellas County has never won a state championship in football, there have been programs that have won 87-plus games in a decade that are highly regarded throughout Florida.”

2019 ROSTER 2 Quintarius Davis 3 G. Margarejo 5 Jack Del Rio 6 Harrison Thomas 7 Zach Burrill 8 Jerzhan Newton 10 Caden Douglas 12 Tyler Barnett 13 Grant Douglas 14 Kim jae Manapin 15 Travis Roberson 16 Brandon Kennedy 17 Luke Martin 18 Terrion Williams 19 Tyler Ferguson 21 TJ Phelps 22 Jordan Niles 23 Corbin Bair 24 Ethan Dufala 25 Caden Coletti 28 Brad Seale 30 Andrew Miley 33 Claudio Cosenza 40 Trever Dorris 42 Alex Boreman 44 Melvin Jordan 45 S. Przytula 50 Cade Richards 51 Nathan Cox 52 Jared Pratt 54 Isaiah Edwards 55 Zac Elam 58 Sunia Maafu 59 Anthony Fox 60 Matthew Hannon 64 Cole Thomas 66 Angelo Colucci 68 Lucas Barnes 72 Cade Wunsch 73 Will Maafu 74 Kayson Romaelle 77 Ethan Murphy 81 Mason Munoz 82 Cade Bright

WR Sr. WR Sr. WR Sr. LB Sr. DB Sr. DE Sr. RB Jr. LB Sr. WR So. QB Jr. SB Sr. CB So. QB Jr. RB Fr. DB So. RB Sr. RB Sr. SS So. LB Jr. WR Sr. CB Sr. LB So. K So. LB Sr. LB So. LB So. K/P Sr. T Sr. C So. DT Sr. TE Sr. C Sr. DT Jr. DL So. C Sr. DL So. C So. G So. OL Sr. DE So. DE Sr. T Jr. WR Fr. DE Sr.


COUNTRYSIDE COUGARS @Csidefootball csidefootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Eli Barron (Sr., OL), Damon

Byrnes Mitchell (Sr. ATH), Sean Youngblood (Sr., OL), Mekhi Turner (Sr., DL), Kamden Truong (Sr., DL), Hunter Burnett (Sr., DL), Taurus Dorsey (Sr., DL), David Tibbs (Jr., OL), Matthew Sattinger (Jr., LB), Collin Kroger (Jr., DL), Leroy Lopez (Jr., WR), Greg Hall (Sr., WR), Jaedon Griffin (So., WR)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Southeast AUG. 30: Land O’ Lakes SEP. 6: at Dixie Hollins SEP. 13: at Osceola SEP. 20: at Palm Harbor Uni. SEP. 27: Largo OCT. 4: Boca Ciega OCT. 11: Clearwater OCT. 18: at Northeast OCT. 25: at Seminole NOV.1: East Lake


ne part of the game plan for facing Countryside this season can be underlined twice in opposing team’s playbooks – if you want to win this battle, you better start up front. That’s because the Cougars and sixth-year head coach Eric Schmitz have a unit on both the offensive line and defensive front that can reckon with anyone they face. “Offensive and defensive line are going to be the strength,” Schmitz said. “We’re averaging about 6-foot-3 across the board and (one goal) is to lead the county in sacks.” That’s a very doable goal, especially with senior defensive end Mekhi Turner back after leading the team with 10 sacks in 2019. On the offensive line, 6-4, 245-pound senior Sean Youngblood graded out at 94 percent in pass protection and led the team in pancakes in 2018 and is joined by seniors Eli Barron and David Tibbs up front. Damon Byrnes Mitchell is a dynamic playmaker at either cornerback or safety and had 58 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and eight sacks last season. Junior linebacker Matthew Sattinger had a breakout season in his first year as a starter with 54 tackles.


@DunedinFalconFB pcsb.org/domain/7740

KEY PLAYERS: Daniel Galarza (So.,

ATH), Evan Winoski (Sr., OL), Austin Taguiam (Sr., DL), Miguel Galarza (Sr., LB), Lance Miller (So., DB), Ismael Reynoso (Sr., DB), Davious Haywood (Sr., RB), Nate Witherspoon (Sr., OL), Roman Weldon (Sr., OL), Sam Mahoney (Jr., DL)


DIXIE HOLLINS REBELS @DHRebels _ Fball pcsb.org/Page/5367

KEY PLAYERS: Fernando Monroe (Jr., QB/

DB), River Wood (Sr., RB/SS), Garion Young (Sr., WR/DB), Jameire West (Jr., DE/LB), John Lathan (Jr., OL/DL), Angel Serrano (Sr., DE), Josh Carter (Sr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Palm Harbor Uni. AUG. 30: at Tohopekaliga SEP. 6: Countryside SEP. 20: Pasco SEP. 27: Northeast OCT. 11: at St. Petersburg OCT. 18: at Lakewood Ranch OCT. 25: Boca Ciega NOV. 2: at Tarpon Springs


redit third-year Dixie Hollins head coach Dale Caparaso and his players for bringing some shine back to the program in 2018 – their 4-6 record matched the Rebels’ highest win total since 2008 and was a two-win improvement on 2017. Pulling themselves out of those losing ways, including two winless seasons and two one-win seasons. What the team has its sights on now is putting together its first winning season since going 9-3 in 2005. Dixie Hollins has talent back at the skill positions – junior quarterback Fernando Monroe threw for 1,566 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season and leading receiver Garion Young is back after catching 38 passes for 714 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Senior River Wood had 918 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns and can impact games running or catching the ball. The breakout star for the Rebels could be 6-foot-2, 230-pound junior linebacker/defensive end Jameire West. West could be a potential Division I prospect and led the team with 104 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks last season.

EAST LAKE EAGLES 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Keswick Chr. AUG. 30: Osecola SEP. 6: Tampa Bay Chr. SEP. 13: at Seminole SEP. 20: Gulf OCT. 4: at Northeast OCT. 11: at Cypress Creek OCT. 18: Citi Christian OCT. 25: Admiral Farragut NOV. 1: Palm Harbor Uni.

t’s been 42 games since Dunedin has enjoyed win and head coach Mitch Disney is focused on snapping the longest losing streak in the area. The Falcons made the decision over the off-season to make the change to independent status in order to re-establish themselves. One of Disney’s goals was to build numbers and the Falcons currently have 50 players within the program and that’s before taking in any freshmen so far. Disney has also brought in former Gibbs’ defensive coordinator Robert Tirado, who was also an assistant over at Carrollwood Day School. Sophomore wide receiver Daniel Galarza is the team’s top returning offensive player, as he hauled in 11 passes for 150 yards and also made 18 tackles in 2018. Dunedin will have experience back on both sides of the ball, with seven starters back on offense and four on defense. With a more manageable schedule, promising roster numbers and experience on both sides of the ball Dunedin is hoping to get back in the win column.

@eastlakefball elhs-football.com

KEY PLAYERS: Matt Trotto (Sr., QB),

Rayshaun Williams (Sr., WR), Joshua Dupree (Sr., OL), Dylan Rosiek (Jr., LB), Jake Lang (Jr., LB/DE), Cade Cameron (Sr., OL), Jared Pratt (Sr., DL), Hunter Swetokos (Sr., FB/TE)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Nature Coast Tech AUG. 30: Clearwater SEP. 6: at Palm Harbor Uni. SEP. 13: Sunlake SEP. 20: Tarpon Springs OCT. 11: at Sickles OCT. 18: Leto OCT. 25: Pinellas Park NOV. 1: at Countryside


ast Lake has its eyes on re-affirming itself as a regional power after backto-back seasons in which the Eagles have gone 5-5 and 6-5 and missed the state playoffs both years. With head coach Bob Hudson still leading the way in his 17th season it’s not hard to imagine East Lake reclaiming the form that has brought the program 11 state playoff appearances, six district championships and back-to-back state semifinal appearances in 2013 and 2014. Offensively, East Lake returns 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior quarterback Matt Trotto after he threw for 1,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2018. The Eagles’ have a force on the offensive line in 6-3, 250-pound senior offensive lineman Joshua Dupree, who led the team with 32 pancake blocks last season. Senior fullback/tight end Hunter Swetokos showed he had a knack for finding the end zone last season with three touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving. On defense, a pair of junior linebackers return after putting up solid numbers -- Dylan Rosiek (53 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles) and Jake Lang (34 tackles, four sacks).

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@GibbsFootballFL pcsb.org/Page/25259

KEY PLAYERS: Jacquay Dunbar (Sr.,

ATH), Zy’Quan Cason (Sr., WR), Alan Stokes (So., WR), Jamon Garrett (So., RB/LB), Malik Golden (Sr., DT), Lerodrick James (Sr., ATH)

INDIAN ROCKS CHR. GOLDEN EAGLES 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Boca Ciega AUG. 30: Northeast SEP. 6: Lakewood SEP. 13: at Robinson SEP. 20: at St. Petersburg SEP. 27: Bayshore OCT. 11: Chamberlain OCT. 18: at Jesuit OCT. 25: at Booker NOV. 1: at Pinellas Parl


ibbs hopes to turn around its recent struggles—the Gladiators have won just six games combined over the past three seasons and have only been better than .500 once in the past nine seasons—this fall. They didn’t get a strong start, with more than a dozen players being ineligible for their spring game loss against Pinellas Park. Head coach Jay Trotter is building a solid staff, recently adding former Superior Collegiate Academy head coach B.J. Hall as the team’s offensive coordinator. Senior athlete Jacquay Dunbar, who plays both running back and linebacker, and senior wide receiver Zy’Quan Cason will be counted upon heavily to provide much of the playmaking on offense. The Gladiators face a difficult six-team district that includes Jesuit and Chamberlain, as well as Bayshore, Booker, and Robinson. If the Gladiators can get their roster numbers up with the returning players and incoming freshmen, there’s usually enough talent in the program for this revamped coaching staff to get the most out of.

KESWICK CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS @KCS _ Athletics keswickchristian.org/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Silas Schoel (Sr., QB),

Tylon Thompson (Sr., LB), Maverick Fulvi (Sr., SB), Caleb Rogers (Jr., WR/CB), Austin Berringer (Sr., WR), Max Melcher (Jr., LB), Carter Casko (Sr., LB), Anthony Weaver (So., LB), Caleb Tacia (Sr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: at Out of Door Acad. AUG. 23: Dunedin AUG. 30: at Cornerstone SEPT. 6: First Academy SEPT. 13: Indian Rocks SEPT. 20: at Santa Fe Acad. SEPT. 27: at Marco Isl. Acad. OCT. 4: All Saints Acad. OCT. 18: at Northside Chr. OCT. 25: at Tampa Bay Chr. NOV. 1: Ocala St. John


fter five decades as a high school football coach, Keswick Christian’s Phil Hayford has learned there is one question that will always eventually come his way: How have the kids changed over the years? “The thing is, I don’t think they’ve changed too much,” Hayford said. “They have Netflix and video games and stuff like that, obviously, but when it comes to teaching and coaching them, if you show them exactly what you expect, they’ll do exactly what you ask.” Hayford, in his fourth season, has players who know what he expects, and they could lead the Crusaders to their first winning season since 2014. Senior quarterback Silas Schoel is a three-year starter, and senior middle linebacker Tylon Thompson is a four-year starter. “We’re going to have some tests early in our schedule, but I think that’s a good thing,” Hayford said. “(Schoel) is someone, at practice, who knows where everybody needs to be and what they need to do and that’s such a benefit for us. Same with Tylon … they can both be leaders for us this year.”


friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@ircsfootball ircs.org/athletics/fall-sports

KEY PLAYERS: Bryson Johnson (Sr., QB),

Brett Stallo (Sr., WR), Chris Kotsiviras (Sr., OL), Drew Stockton (Sr., OL), Athan Avitia (Sr., K), Solomon Weller (Sr., P), Javon Krampert (So., RB), Tommy Smith (So., OL), Joseph Spinola (So., DL), Tyler Frost (So., DL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Bradenton Christian AUG. 30: Southwest Florida Chr. SEPT. 6: Northside Christian SEPT. 13: at Keswick Christian SEPT. 20: at Out of Door Acad. OCT. 4: Shorecrest Prep OCT. 11: at Kingdom Prep OCT. 18: at Holy Trinity OCT. 25: Seffner Christian NOV. 1: at Village Academy


fter taking a big step forward in 2017, Indian Rocks Christian won just two games last season, scoring an average of 11.7 points and giving up an average of 37.6 points per game. First-year head coach Nathan Spate hopes his Golden Eagles can right themselves behind a large group of seniors, especially on offense. That unit will be led by senior quarterback Bryson Johnson and wide receiver Brett Stallo. The Golden Eagles also have depth at offensive line. Look for seniors Chris Kotsiviras and Drew Stockton to be the team’s top offensive linemen, with sophomore Tommy Smith contributing. The Golden Eagles’ defensive line could be a position group to watch with sophomores Joseph Spinola and Tyler Frost each being 6-3 or bigger and weighing at least 220 pounds. Kicker Athan Avitia and punter Solomon Weller will handle special teams duties. “Indian Rocks Christian School is a great school with a wonderful environment,” Spate said. “It is a privilege to serve as the new head coach. I am very excited to work with this team and coaching staff to build IRCS into a competitive program.”



KEY PLAYERS: Devin Gagnon (Sr., QB),

Destin White (Sr., WR), Nick Rivera (Jr., RB), Grant Neilson (Sr., LB), Bradley McClane (Jr., LB), Braxton Thomas (Sr., WR), Easton Lanier (Jr., OL), Carlos Brown (So., WR), Antonio Soriano (Jr., OL), Angelo Monroig (Fr., OL)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: at Seacoast Christian SEPT. 6: Duval Charter SEPT. 13: St. Lucie Christian SEPT. 16: at First Baptist Acad. SEPT. 27: at Masters Academy OCT. 4: Citrus Park Christian OCT. 18: Eastland Christian OCT. 25: Solid Rock NOV. 1: at Acad. at the Lakes

akeside Christian has been one of the most successful 8-man teams in the area under the 13-year tenure of head coach James Coffman. The Lions have reached the FCAPPS state championship game on four occasions and are 90-41 under Coffman. Lakeside came out the gate strong last year winning their first eight games but they lost their final three games including a playoff game against Duval Charter. If the Lions are to get back to the championship game, they will have to break the win streak of rival Academy at the Lakes. The passing combination of Gagnon and White will be a big part of the Lions offense. White is a big-play talent, averaging over 30 yards per catch and scoring eight touchdowns in 2018. Rivera added seven touchdowns on the ground and Thomas will also contribute to the offensive. Neilson is the top returning player on defense, logging 62 tackles and nine tackles for loss last season.

Lakewood Spartans @LHS _ SPARTANS1 pcsb.org/Page/5625

■■ Quarterback Gregory Spann rushed for 883 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018.

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: St. Petersburg AUG. 30: Pinellas Park SEP. 6: at Gibbs SEP. 13: at Boca Ciega SEP. 20: Braden River

KEY PLAYERS: Tre’von Riggins (Sr., DL), Gregory

Spann (Sr., QB), Cortez McKenzie (Jr., LB), T.J. Tampa (Sr., WR), Marques Alexander (Sr., DE), Andarius Wilson (Sr., DL), Artez Hooker (Jr., WR), Kareem Grant (Jr., TE), Irvin Lawrence (Sr., OL)


SEP. 27: Madison County OCT. 4: Sebring OCT. 11: at Osceola OCT. 25: Largo NOV. 1: Dunbar

HEAD COACH: Cory Moore ASST. COACHES: Hassan Lang,

Torryan Gammage, Thomas Williams, Robert Spann, Tarus Horne, Dobie Moore, Justin Smith, Tim Jackson, Marcellus Scantling, Ross Carnovale

aving loads of talent is one thing – putting it to good use is another entirely. Longtime Lakewood head coach Cory Moore is quick to point this out as a starting point for what his team might accomplish this season. The Spartans went 6-6 in 2018, thanks in no small part to an early-season altercation against Lehigh that led to six players suspended, with five of them out for six games. “You learn from those things, learn what’s acceptable and unacceptable,” said Moore, who is in his 12th season. “We look at that (6-6) record as a glass half-full sort of thing … look what we were able to do when we were short-handed for most of the year. Now think about what we might accomplish this year with everybody in the fold.” On offense, everything begins with 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback Gregory Spann, who threw for 1,860 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season. He’s as effective running the ball and led the team with 883 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Spann has offers from Florida State, Duke, Illinois, Louisville and Ole Miss, among others. “(Spann) comes from a great background and has a great family foundation,” Moore said. “That sets the foundation for what kind of kid he is. It makes it easy to coach him because he’s a young man who listens, and he has an unbelievably athletic skill set. We want him to be the trifecta, to be able to throw and run and also control the mental aspect of the game.” Junior wide receiver Artez Hooker, who holds an offer from Virginia Tech, will be one of Spann’s main targets. Senior Irvin Lawrence, 6-5 and 280 pounds, will anchor the offensive line. Moore thinks junior tight end Kareem Grant, 6-4 and 240 pounds, could end up being a national recruit. On defense, 6-4, 265-pound senior defensive end Tre’von Riggins is a University of Miami commit who can set the tone up front and it could be a potent mix with Riggins and defensive end/outside linebacker Cortez McKenzie, who has offers from Miami and USF. Another defensive end, Marques Alexander, is committed to the University of Connecticut. Lakewood will also move down one class this year, from 5A to 4A. “I tell my kids that you’ve got ballers in 4A and you’ve got ballers in 5A,” Moore said. “At the end of the day, you’re still going to have to take care of business. You’re still going to go up against talent. The only difference is we’ll play different people in the second part of the season.”

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2019 ROSTER 1 Greg Spann II 2 Samari Smith 3 Avion Maybell 4 Marques Alexander 5 Jaylen Shazell 6 Cortez Mckenzie 7 Jocolbi Morgan 8 Artez Hooker 9 Patrick Mooney 10 Cornelius McKenzie 11 D. Maxwell-Black 12 Jayden Rucker 13 Jarquez Green 14 Emmanuel Warren 16 Camari Berry 17 T.J. Tampa 24 Aumhryaun Brown 25 Jeremiah Wise 27 Jalen Stubbs 28 Derrel Kelly III 31 Lincoln Rosenthal 32 Travon Lanier 33 Andrew Belice 41 Aubray Chevannes 44 Jordan Brown 46 Jaquez McCray 50 Zyquavious Scruggs 52 Ka’won Reedy 53 Damien Daniels 55 Jabriel Jackson 56 Earvin Ealy 57 Travis Brooks 60 Zachary Wiseman 62 Irvin Lawrence 71 Aaron Williams 75 Isaiah Cooper 80 Derric Turner 83 Phillip Pierre 88 Kareem Grant Jr. 92 Trevon Riggins 99 Andarius Wilson


Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. So. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr.





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@LargoFootball pcsb.org/Domain/6352

KEY PLAYERS: Jayion McCluster (Sr.,

LB), Keylen Gulley (Sr., DB), Khaishef Edwards (Sr., WR), Keion Dunlap (Sr., DL), Andre Bell (Sr., RB), Jaydan Harris (Jr., OL), Colin Shaw (Jr., OL), Smash Lopez (Sr., DL), Quavon Matthews (Sr., WR), Zuri McClary (Sr., LB)

NORTHEAST VIKINGS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 15: Lake Wales AUG. 23: at Braden River AUG. 30: Boca Ciega SEPT. 6: at Pinellas Park SEPT. 13: Clearwater SEPT. 20: Palmetto SEPT. 27: at Countryside OCT. 11: Seminole OCT. 18: at Osceola NOV. 1: Wiregrass Ranch


argo enters the sixth season of head coach Marcus Paschal’s tenure coming off back-to-back district titles, but the program wants more. Which means deep playoff runs. The Packers lost in the second round of the playoffs in 2017 and lost in the first round in 2018 thanks to a 24-17 heartbreaker to North Fort Myers. “We look forward to continuing to move forward as a program and try to start making some deep playoff runs,” Paschal said. “It starts upfront, where we return the majority of our starting offensive line and defensive line.” Paschal has good reason to be optimistic as Largo returns seven starters on offense, led by quarterback Keylen Gulley. On defense, Largo has one of the top linebacker recruits in the state with 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior Jayion McCluster. McCluster, a four-star recruit, had 129 tackles in 2018 and has committed to play college football at Florida State. “(There is) good skill depth on bosh sides of the ball,” Paschal said. “It’s a great recipe to compete against a very talented football schedule.”


KEY PLAYERS: Caleb Yawn (Sr., WR/

OLB), Alec Johnson (Sr., WR/SS), Joel Bolds (Jr., WR/CB), Vladimir Johnson (Jr., ATH), Cam Salter (So., WR/CB), Louis Maresca (Jr., OL/DL), Zack Early (Jr., OL/DL), Logan Brown (Jr., WR/OLB)

@NEHI _ Football Pcsb.org/domain/1411

KEY PLAYERS: Dunstan Levein (Jr., OL),

Jaquez Welch (Jr., LB), C.J. Richardson (Jr., ATH), Brandon Lee (Jr., OL), Jake Spencer (Jr., QB), Antorio Willis (So., ATH), Hunter Layne (Jr., DL), Kevonte Leland (Jr., LB), Darius Bacon (So., DB), Luke Compton (So., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Tarpon Springs SEP. 20: Osceola SEP. 27: at Dixie Hollins OCT. 4: Dunedin OCT. 11: at Boca Ciega OCT. 18: Countryside OCT. 25: St. Petersburg NOV. 1: Weeki Wachee


he Vikings, who went 4-6 a season ago, like to keep defenses on their heels with their high-volume, spread offense, and that’s a good thing for Northeast as seven starters return for this group. The returning starters include Jake Spencer at quarterback and Dunstan Levein up front at center to set a physical presence. Head coach Jeremy Frioud is high on sophomore playmaker Antorio Willis and he will look for various ways to try to get him the ball. Over on defense, the ever-running motor of startling linebacker Jaquez Welch and his ability to make plays sideline to sideline will be the foundation when Northeast’s defense is on the field. Welch will be part of a front seven that figures to be the strength of the unit with fellow linebackers Kevonte Leland and Luke Compton also being counted on to set the tone. Junior defensive lineman Hunter Layne will try to do the same up front.

OSCEOLA WARRIORS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Shorecrest Prep AUG. 30: at Carrollwood Day SEP. 6: at Indian Rocks Chr. SEP. 13: at Foundation Acad. SEP. 20: at St. Stephen’s Epis. OCT. 4: Out-of-Door Academy OCT. 11: Tampa Bay Chr. Acad. OCT. 18: Keswick Christian OCT. 25: at SW Florida Chr. NOV. 1: St. Petersburg Cath.


fter back-to-back losing seasons, Northside Christian has another uphill battle in 2019 trying to replace quite a bit of its offensive output. The Mustangs went 2-8 in 2018 – their second consecutive two-win season following a 10-3 campaign in 2016, which has been the highlight of former NFL running back Mike Alstott’s seven seasons as head coach. On offense, Northside Christian showed it’s capable of passing the ball and returns two top wide receivers in junior Joel Bolds (380 receiving yards, six touchdowns) and senior Caleb Yawn (341 receiving yards, three touchdowns), but will need to find someone to get them the ball after losing quarterback Andrew Roberts to graduation. Sophomore Bradford Saxon might be the man to step up and take over that role after going 5-of-6 passing for 53 yards and one touchdown in a backup role last season. Bolds and Yawn will probably have to pull double duty again this year as well – Yawn had two sacks in his outside linebacker role last season and Bolds had a breakout season at cornerback with two interceptions and a team-high three fumble recoveries.


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

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KEY PLAYERS: Riley Allan (So., QB), Garrett

Pete (Jr., SB/WR), Christian Quinn (Sr., TE/ WR), Cortland Mitchell (So., MLB), Kaleb Harrold (So., DB/WR), Xander Jerkins (Sr., OL/ DL), Miguel Tosado IV (Jr., DT)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Gulf AUG. 30: at Dunedin SEP. 13: Countryside SEP. 20: at Northeast SEP. 27: at Seminole OCT. 4: Palm Harbor Uni. OCT. 11: Lakewood OCT. 18: Largo OCT. 25: at Clearwater

coring points was a major issue for Osceola last season. The Warriors were shut out five times last year and if Osceola looks to inch themselves a little closer to the .500 mark in 2019 they’ll need to score more points. The Warriors picked up narrow victories over Dunedin and Seminole in 2018 and can build on that heading into the 2019 campaign. Osceola fell to Northeast 38-0 in its spring football game and will have to find playmakers in what looks to be a very busy summer for head coach Kevin Smalley and crew. The Warriors will adjust to a new district, 6A-7, and will face the likes of Clearwater, Countryside, Largo and Seminole. Smalley will be breaking in a new quarterback in sophomore Riley Allan, who is 5-foot-9, 155 pounds and looks to be more of a mobile signal caller. A big target for Allan in the passing game will be 6-foot-4 tight end Christian Quinn, who also plays on the Warriors’ varsity basketball team.



Pinellas Park Patriots @PP _ BigRed pcsb.org/Page/14664



Basketball League

Highland Recreation Complex Aug 27-Oct 29 | Ages: 9-17

Southwest Recreation Complex Sep 17-Oct 24 | Ages: 5-12

Basketball Cheer

Southwest Recreation Complex Sep 17-Oct 24 | Ages: 5-12

Flag Football League Highland Recreation Complex and Southwest Recreation Complex Nov 5-Dec 19 | Ages: 5-14

Flag Football Cheer

Southwest Recreation Complex Nov 5-Dec 19 | Ages: 5-8

LOCATIONS Highland Recreation Complex 400 Highland Ave NE Largo, FL 33770 (727)518-3016

Southwest Recreation Complex 13120 Vonn Rd Largo, FL 33774 (727)518-3125


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Palmetto AUG. 30: at Lakewood SEP. 6: Largo SEP. 13: Mitchell SEP. 27: at Leto

OCT. 4: Clearwater OCT. 11: Sunlake OCT. 18: at Sickles OCT. 25: at East Lake NOV. 1: Gibbs

KEY PLAYERS: Lawrance Toafili (Sr., RB), Derek Bryant

(Sr., ATH), Devante Penny (Sr., OL), Nug Castellanos (Sr., OL), Robert Kelly (Sr., OL), One Williams (Jr., WR), Donovan Dello (Sr., TE), Jarves Scruggs (Sr., LB), Brenyen Scott (Sr., DB), Cody Willoughby (Sr., DB), Nicholas Syms (Sr., DL)


■■ Tailback Derek Bryant had 1,744 total yards from scrimmage in 2018.

HEAD COACH: Kenneth Crawford ASST. COACHES: Shawn Austin, Keith

Powers, Devon Gales, Marcus Floyd, Shannon Brooks, Alex Powers, Josh Estremera, Elvis Pierce, Travis Weaver Tony Nesbitt, Garrett Nevitt

here is one important lesson from his time as an assistant coach under legendary St. Petersburg Northeast coach Jerry Austin that Pinellas Park’s Kenneth Crawford may need to draw on more than others this season. “Coach the kids that show up.” In the decade since taking over at Pinellas Park, Crawford coached the “kids that showed up” to some pretty amazing heights. That includes last season’s 10-2 record, which matched the best mark in the Crawford era from 2013. When the Patriots went 7-4 in 2011, Crawford’s third season, it was the school’s first winning season since 1997. “I learned tons from (Austin),” said Crawford, who was named Tampa Bay Buccaneers High School Coach of the Year in 2018. “I also learned about always doing what is best for the kids when making decisions.” Crawford’s biggest decision headed into this season will be how to restructure his team after senior linebacker A.J. Mathis, a University of Miami commit, and senior quarterback Brandon Coppola, who threw for 24 touchdowns last season, transferred to Largo. Mathis, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, led the Patriots with 101 tackles and two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns in 2018. He also had four sacks. “We will have some youth on defense,” Crawford said. “Our defense is fast and aggressive, but we are undersized on both lines.” Senior defensive lineman Nick Syms, 5-11 and 260 pounds, dominated up front last season to the tune of 75 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Senior linebacker Jarves Scruggs (98 tackles) and senior defensive back Cody Willoughby (16 interceptions over last two seasons) also return. Offensively, Pinellas Park has one of the top rushing attacks in the state. Senior running back Lawrence Toafili is a nationally-ranked prospect and preseason All-American with over 1,500 rushing yards in each of the last two seasons. In all, nine starters return on offense. Senior running back Derek Bryant is dangerous running and catching the ball – he had 1,100 rushing yards and 644 receiving yards in 2018. Juniors Brandon Brearley and A.J. Boyd will compete for the starting quarterback spot. Up front, massive offensive lineman Devante Penny (6-4, 320 pounds) returns alongside seniors Nug Castellano and Robert Kelly. “When we took over, the program was 0-10 (the previous year),” Crawford said. “Hadn’t had a non-losing season in over a decade. Since taking over we have not had a losing season and have been to the postseason 7 out of 10 years.”

2019 ROSTER 2 Lawrance Toafili RB Sr. 4 Jauntriell Jackson CB Sr. 5 Jarves Scruggs LB Sr. 6 Malique Gary WR Sr. 6 Eric Jackson CB So. 7 One Williams WR Jr. 8 Lamarkius Ward RB Jr. 9 Nathaniel Anderson RB Jr. 11 Brenyen Scott DB Sr. 12 Aj Boyd QB Jr. 13 Byron King DE Sr. 15 Cody Willoughby FS Sr. 16 Brandon Brearley QB Jr. 17 Malachi McCalip LB So. 18 Robert Myrick K/P Sr. 21 Alvontae Vance LB So. 21 Jordan Jimenez DB So. 23 Nate Pouliot WR Jr. 27 Ryan Brown DE Jr. 28 Ulysees Hampton RB Jr. 28 CJ Simons CB Sr 28 London Harper CB Sr. 30 Josh Carter DE Sr. 33 Michael Cory LB Sr. 35 Dreko Collins CB Jr. 40 Jason Hinton DE Jr. 44 Cameron Kier DE So. 47 Josh Hevel SS Sr. 55 Christian Rodriguez G Sr. 57 Nathaniel Castellanos G Sr. 58 Robert Kelly G Sr. 61 John Womble C Sr. 66 Jacob Johanning C So. 67 Logan Cook OT Sr. 76 Devante Penny T Sr. 82 Zachary McCown LB Sr. 88 Donovan Delio FB Sr. 91 Dimitri Gibson DT So. 99 Nicholas Syms NG Sr.

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PALM HARBOR U HURRICANES @PhuhsF palmharborfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Zack Allen (Sr., LB),

Dray’sun Bonney (Jr., LB), Grant Gelazin (Jr., OL), Joe Hair (Jr., LB), Connor Homa (So., OL), Zach Kolettis (Sr., LB), Kosmas Margaris (Sr., DB), Jack McMaster (Sr., LB), Jordan Moon (Sr., DB), Eddie Schmid (Sr., WR)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: Strawberry Coast AUG. 23: at Dixie Hollins AUG. 30: Seminole SEPT. 6: East Lake SEPT. 13: Wharton SEPT. 20: Countryside SEPT. 27: at Alonso OCT. 4: at Osceola OCT. 11: Plant OCT. 18: at Steinbrenner NOV. 1: at Dunedin


alm Harbor University needed consistency when they hired Michael Mullaney, its third head coach in as many seasons, and that’s what they got. Mullaney stuck with the Hurricanes through a 3-7 season in 2018 that showed what the team was made of at the end, when they snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Dunedin in the regular-season finale. “We have a small senior class, but they are a hard-working group that we will rely on this season,” Mullaney said. “There is a group of talented 11th and 10th graders that will be counted on to perform at a high level.” Mullaney has brought back former head coach Matt LePain to be Palm Harbor’s defensive coordinator. LePain guided the Hurricanes to the only two state playoff berths in school history, in 2011 and 2012. With just 42 players on the roster, avoiding injuries will also be critical. “The key to this season is being able to stay healthy,” Mullaney said. “(It’s) something we were unable to do last season.”

SHORECREST PREP CHARGERS @ChargersBeMore shorecrest.org/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Max Stover (So., QB),

Jake WIlsey (Sr., WR/DB), Dominic Murillo (So., DE/LB), Henry Davis (Sr., OL/DL), Luke Goldman (Sr., OL/DL), Anthony Vivio (So., DB), Sebastian Acuna (Sr., OL/DL)


@WarhawksFB seminolewarhawksfootball.com

KEY PLAYERS: Garrett Kline (Jr., QB),

Kellian Simpson (Jr., RB/CB), Bailey Purcell (Sr., WR), Tre’son Everett (So., WR), Justin Cervoni (Sr., FS), Trey Alderman (Sr., OL/DL), Delton Hall (Sr., DT), Bruno Boyens (So., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: at Palm Harbor Uni. SEP. 6: at Northeast SEP. 13: Dunedin SEP. 20: at Boca Ciega SEP. 27: Osceola OCT. 4: Dixie Hollins OCT. 11: at Largo OCT. 25: Countryside NOV. 1: Lakewood Ranch


t has not been an easy build for Chris Miller since taking over the Seminole job in 2013 and last year was no exception as the young Warhawks went 1-9. The Warhawks will be young again in 2019 but there is some experienced youth and legitimate building blocks that could possibly lead the Warhawks to their first winning season since 2005. Seminole’s biggest strength would seem to be the offensive line where the Warhawks will have one of the biggest lines in the area led by 6-5, 285-pound senior Trey Alderman and a couple of younger 300-pounders in Bruno Boyens and Papa Ayers. Quarterback Garrett Kline and running back Kellian Simpson are returning juniors in the offensive backfield. Even though the Warhawks are a run-focused team, Purcell and Everett will figure out ways to get touches either through the passing game or situationally in the backfield. The 6A-7 district is arguably the toughest in the county with Largo, Clearwater, Countryside and Osceola on the slate.



2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: at Bradenton Chr. AUG. 23: at Northside Chr. AUG. 30: Marco Island Acad. SEP. 6: Bayshore Christian SEP. 20: at Bishop McLaughlin SEP. 27: at Canterbury OCT. 4: at Indian Rocks Chr. OCT. 11: at Santa Fe Catholic OCT. 18: Ocala Christian


horecrest will have a new coach in 2019 as Anthony McCall replaces Steve Dudley, who amassed a 19-23 record in five seasons but went 5-3 in 2018 and had winning seasons in three of the past years. The Chargers made the SSAC 11-man playoffs last season and won a first-round game against Bishop McLaughlin before being eliminated by Saint Stephen’s Episcopal. McCall will have to replace a lot of talent on offense but Stover is expected to return after throwing for 551 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. Shorecrest had been a run-dominant team but the Chargers graduated their top four rushers and top two receivers from last season. Wilsey and Vivio will be two of the players expected to fill in some of those voids. Many defensive starters from 2018 have also graduated but Goldman and Davis are among the leading tacklers that will be back in 2019.


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

KEY PLAYERS: Chase Gorecki (So., RB),

Chris Moore (Jr., ATH), Bradley Howe (So., QB), Levi Colgate (Sr., TE/DL), Dontrell Payne (Fr., WR), Christian Scheidt (So., OL), Caleb Smith (So., WR), Carson Little (Sr., DB), Michael Barberi (Fr., OL), Payton Beasley (Fr., OL)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 30: Masters Academy SEP. 6: Citrus Park Christian SEP. 13: at Duval Charter SEP. 20: Eastland Academy SEP. 27: at Old Plant Academy OCT. 4: First Baptist OCT. 18: at Acad. at the Lakes OCT. 25: at Lakeside Christian NOV. 1: St. Lucie Christian

he Crusaders bounced back from a winless 2017 season to go 4-6 last year and should compete for a playoff position in the FCAPPS 8-man conference this season. Solid Rock still has a very young roster, but it’s a group that’s got plenty of experience under its belt. Gorecki is the catalyst for the Crusaders on offense. The sophomore did a little bit of everything on offense last season, including quarterback. He led the Crusaders in rushing, receiving and touchdowns in 2018. Howe will be a first-year starter at quarterback after playing wide receiver and linebacker as a freshman. He will have Smith and Colgate as receiving options to complement Gorecki. Solid Rock is big up front with Scheidt and Barberi going over 230 pounds. Colgate will also be the leader on the defense. Solid Rock made the 8-man playoffs for the first six years of this decade and head coach Paul Eckley believes that the Crusaders are ready for a return to the postseason. With the right breaks they can challenge Academy at the Lakes and Lakeside Christian at the top of the conference.



KEY PLAYERS: Cornelius Denmark Jr.

(So., QB), Keyon Hayes (Jr., RB/DB), Marcus Cook (So., RB/CB), Desean Henry (Jr., WR/ FS), D’Angelo Hutchinson (So., WR/FS), Andrew Fievet (Jr., OLB), Evan Grabkowski (Jr., OL/DL), Sam Bartholomew (Sr., DL), Mac Wiand (So., OL), Deion Burns (Jr, TE/DE)

SUPERIOR COLLEGIATE LEGION 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Carrollwood Day AUG. 30: Foundation Acad. SEP. 6: St. Stephen’s Epis. SEP. 13: at C.C.C. SEP. 27: at Hudson OCT. 4: at First Baptist OCT. 11: at Lake Highland OCT. 18: Lakeland Chr. OCT. 25: St. John Neumann NOV. 1: at Northside Chr.


t didn’t take long for Jay Davis to get things going in the right direction at St. Petersburg Catholic, leading the Barons to a 6-4 record in his second season for the program’s first winning season since 2013. Davis’ reclamation project was no easy sledding – in the three years prior to his arrival St. Petersburg Catholic went 2-28. It’s not a stretch to think the Barons will continue to have an upward trajectory thanks to the talent they’ve got coming back. Leading the way for that group is sophomore quarterback Cornelius Denmark Jr., who passed for 1,093 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first season as a starter, along with 239 rushing yards and one touchdown. Denmark’s prime target returns in junior wide receiver Desean Henry, who had a breakout season in 2018 – he led the team with 26 receptions, 549 receiving yards and five touchdowns. On defense, the Barons can lean on junior outside linebacker Andrew Fievet (26 tackles, four sacks) and defensive end Deion Burns (35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks) to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

@SC _ Academy _ superiorcollegiateathletics.com

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Champagnat Catholic AUG. 30: at Lakeland SEP. 6: St. Frances Academy SEP. 13: Tampa Bay Christian SEP. 20: Clearwater Acad. Int’l OCT. 4: GTCE OCT. 11: at Sebring OCT. 18: at American Heritage OCT. 25: at Coral Springs Chtr. NOV. 1: Chiles

KEY PLAYERS: Keyvone Lee (Sr., RB/LB),

Amari Niblack (So., WR). Demetrius Davis (Sr., QB), James Smiley (So., RB), Nicolas Caldwell (Sr., WR), Jeremiah Fergerson (Sr., DB), Jarrod Briscoe (Sr., LB), Laregos Williams (Jr., OL/DL)


he Legion will have a new coach this season as Steven Brown takes over for B.J. Hall, who opened the program three years ago. Lee is considered to be one of the top rushers in the state and he’s entertaining offers from such programs as LSU, Florida State, Penn State and Florida. He had over 900 yards last season through seven games before an injury sidelined him late in the season. Niblack is one of the top Class of 2022 players in the state and could be in line for a breakout season. Davis will have the task of getting the ball to both players. He experienced some growing pains as a junior but threw for nearly 1,000 yards. Defensively the Legion will have to replace Tyler Brown-Wllliams, who led the team in tackles (116) and tackles for loss (12). Look for Briscoe and Williams to build on their seasons from 2018 and become the experienced players on that side of the ball.

TARPON SPRINGS SPONGERS @SpongerNation _ pcsb.org/Page/26659

KEY PLAYERS: Adam Hardy (Sr., QB/FS),

Tony Hendrix (Sr., WR), Anthony Fowler (Sr., OL/DL), Ilias Skanaliaris (Sr., LB/RB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Northeast SEP. 6: Boca Ciega SEP. 13: River Ridge SEP. 20: at East Lake SEP. 27: at Zephyrhills OCT. 4: at St. Petersburg OCT. 11: at Gulf OCT. 18: Anclote OCT. 25: Wesley Chapel NOV. 2: Dixie Hollins

he season won’t be without its challenges with Cedric Hill taking over as head coach with the Spongers seeking to go from good to the pretty good and into the postseason. Tarpon Springs takes on a grueling district with a new alignment setting them up against the likes of Wesley Chapel, Boca Ciega, River Ridge, Gulf and Zephyrhills. If the Spongers control the line of scrimmage, it’ll begin with Anthony Fowler on the defensive line but he’ll also do his best to hold things down on the offensive line. He has attracted college attention and was second on the team a season ago in tackles for a loss with ten. When Tarpon Springs has the ball, it’ll bank on experience within the passing game with senior quarterback Adam Hardy and senior wide receiver Tony Hendrix returning to the offense. It’s always a tough adjustment for a team with a new coach and Hill will have to bring the Spongers together quickly to stay competitive against a challenging schedule.

Men of Vision Inc. Brotherhood Service organization

Men of vision inc. & the Walters Family partnered with the hillsborough education Foundation to offer a 2-year prepaid scholarship in honor of hezekiah Walters. the ScholarShip iS called

The hezekiah WalTers Family memorial scholarship

this scholarship will honor hezekiah’s legacy and will be given to a deserving student in hillsborough county public schools that embodies what hezekiah stood for. hezekiah’s legacy will live on in all of us and this scholarship will help other students fulfill their dreams. There are two donation options for the hezekiah Walters Memorial Scholarship fund. opTion 1 Make checks payable to the hillsborough education Foundation

opTion 2

For online & credit card donations go to:

www.educationfoundation.com direct link:

(Memo: hezekiah Walters Memorial Scholarship Fund)


Mail to address:

take Stock in children

Select restriction:

hillsborough education Foundation, 2306 n. howard ave., tampa, Fl 33607

add Scholarship name in comments:

hezekiah Walters Memorial Scholarship Fund

“Vision without action is merely a dream. action without vision just passes the time. Vision and action can change the world”

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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

St. Petersburg Green Devils @St _ PHS greendevilsfootball.com 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Lakewood AUG. 30: at Venice SEP. 6: at Wiregrass Ranch SEP. 20: Gibbs SEP. 27: Boca Ciega

OCT. 4: OCT. 11: OCT. 18: OCT. 25: NOV. 1:

Tarpon Springs Dixie Hollins at South Sumter at Northeast Palmetto

KEY PLAYERS: Tonio Shavers (Sr., QB), Derrel Kelley (Sr.,

RB), Tyler Barnett (Sr., ATH), Jeremiah Richardson (Sr., DL), Jake Cataldo (Sr., DL), Zay Williams (Sr., LB), Seyvion Scott (Sr., WR), Jervon Hinton (So., DB), Noah Jackson (Sr., DL), Austin Kurmay (Sr., KS), Malik Williams (Jr., ATH)


■■ St. Petersburg senior running back Derrel Kelley

HEAD COACH: Joe Fabrizio ASST. COACHES: Shawn Davis,

Brandon Reliford, Dusty Boylson, Ron Hemingway, Mike Rosendale, Joey Fabrizio, Steve Woods, Robert Woodard, John Winiecki, Leonard Williams

he key to running an old-school offense like St. Petersburg’s Wing-T is precision – down to every step all 11 players on the field take the moment the ball is snapped. In the dozen years that the Green Devils have thrived under head coach Joe Fabrizio – with just one losing season in that stretch – there’s never been a question as to how precise his teams would be. And when the Green Devils have as much talent and speed as they do coming back for the 2019 season, that precision is amplified. Start with 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior quarterback Tonio Shavers, who developed into an efficient passer in limited opportunities in 2018, throwing for 965 yards and seven touchdowns to go with seven rushing touchdowns. “(Shavers) has evolved into an extremely good quarterback,” said Fabrizio, who is 81-36 at St. Petersburg. “His decision-making and techniques have greatly improved.” Shavers isn’t the only one back with experience – senior running back Derrel Kelley led St. Petersburg with 10 touchdowns in 2018 and racked up 1,243 all-purpose yards, including two kickoff returns for touchdowns. “Kelley has track speed,” Fabrizio said. “He runs, catches the ball like a receiver and is a high-profile returner. Brown is quickly becoming a force as a running back and as a blocker.” Kelley has competition for being the Green Devils’ top special-teams threat returning this season. Senior Austin Kurmay handled all of the kicking duties in 2018, including averaging 36.0 yards per punt and placing eight punts inside the opposing teams’ 20-yard line. He also converted 26 of 28 PATs and 4 of 5 field goals, including a long of 37. On defense, St. Petersburg returns seven starters, led up front by a pair of senior defensive linemen in Jeremiah Richardson and Jake Cataldo, who led the team with four sacks in 2018. One notable addition to the program this season won’t be a player or a coach, either. Starting in 2019, St. Petersburgh High will be the first public school in Pinellas County to have a state-of-the-art artificial turf playing surface. Construct began on the stadium during the spring and forced the Green Devils to conduct practices elsewhere and play their intrasquad game at Gibbs High School. Despite the inconvenience Fabrizio was happy with the improvements he saw in spring practices. “We had a lot of kids that missed time because they were finishing other sports,” Fabrizio said. “But I loved our work and our effort. I think we’ll be in pretty good shape as everyone returns for the summer.”

2019 ROSTER 2 Seyvion Scott

RB Sr.

3 Tonio Shavers

QB Sr.

4 Derrel Kelley

RB Sr.

5 Omarie Sherrod

WR Jr.

6 Keandre Cohen

LB Sr.

6 Jeremie Robinson

FS Jr.

6 Malik Williams

RB Jr.

8 Jervon Hinton

RB So.

9 Nazavious Williams RB Sr. 10 Tyler Barnett

LB Sr.

12 Marquavion Hunter WR Sr. 12 Brooke Crawford

QB Sr.

14 Austin Kurmay

K/P Sr.

17 Brion Scales

WR Sr.

18 Jeremiah Richardson DE Sr. 20 Tafari Major

RB So.

20 Andre Dixon

CB Sr.

22 Montero Garrett

CB Sr.

23 Gavin Morse

WR So.

23 Aaron Hand

WR Sr.

24 Michael Derrick

FS Sr.

25 Brian Scales

CB Jr.

27 Alfred Copeland

RB Sr.

28 C.J. Simons

CB Sr.

34 Treyon Wilborn

RB Sr.

54 Bryan Rolon

LB Sr.

55 Noah Jackson

DL Sr.

57 Benjamin Cash


58 Jacob Cataldo

DL Sr.

59 Desmon Marshall

LB Sr.

62 Alex Linkogle





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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by





@AATLfootball academyatthelakes.org/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Jalen Brown (Jr., QB),

Caleb Yann (Jr., WR/CB), Adrian Leverette (RB/WR/DB), Dwight Downing (Jr., C/ DL), Elijah Freedman (Sr., OL/DL), Denzyl Downing (Sr., LB), Tayshawn Pendelton (Jr., WR/DB), Cole Lallanilla (Sr., WR/DB)

@anclotefootball ahs.pasco.k12.fl.us

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: St. Lucie Christian SEP. 6: at Seacoast Christian SEP. 20: Master’s Academy SEP. 27: at Eastland Christian OCT. 4: Old Plank Christian OCT. 18: Solid Rock Comm. OCT. 25: at First Baptist Chr. NOV. 1: Lakeside Christian


he Wildcats are on a 20-game win streak and have captured the FCAPPS 8-man state championship in the past two seasons. They are well-equipped to continue their historic run under head coach Shawn Brown. His son, Jalen Brown, will be in his fourth-year starting at quarterback and accounted for nearly 1,800 total yards and 28 touchdowns last season. Yann and Leverette will be the two offensive weapons that Brown will look to often. Yann, a dynamic two-way player that grabbed five interceptions last season, is in line to see a lot of targets in the passing game. The Wildcasts have good size up front between Freedman and Dwight Downing. Pendleton is a new addition to the team but the multi-sport athlete should be able to contribute on both sides of the ball for the Wildcats. Although Shawn Brown wants to take things one game at a time, all signs point to a potential three-peat.



friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

KEY PLAYERS: Breon Jackson (Sr., DL),

Daionta Reynolds (Jr., ATH), Chris Rahm (Sr., OL), Thomas Crawford (Jr., ATH), Michael Carter (Jr., RB), Alvin Williams (Sr., DL), Rickey Hall (Sr., DB), Jabari Taylor (Jr., DB), Colin Harrington (So., WR), Matt Watkins (Jr., OL)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Mitchell AUG. 30: Cypress Creek SEP. 6: Hudson SEP. 20: at Fivay SEP. 27: Wesley Chapel OCT. 4: Weeki Wachee OCT. 11: Zephyrhills OCT. 18: at Tarpon Springs OCT. 25: at River Ridge

t’s a transition period currently for the Anclote Sharks, as Matt Kingsley stepped down as the school’s coach and former Gulf High School head coach Jason Messamore has since taken over. Messamore was the lead man for the Buccaneers for a couple seasons, with his most notable coming in the 2014 campaign when he guided Gulf to a 8-3 record and a playoff berth. Messamore has a task ahead of him, turning around an Anclote program that won just two games last season. The Sharks will be a part of a newly constructed District 5A-11 which includes Gulf, River Ridge, Tarpon Springs, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills. The Sharks’ defense will be their strength, behind a solid secondary led by senior Rickey Hall and junior Jabari Taylor. Junior running back Michael Carter should see the bulk of the carries this fall. Anclote was low on bodies this spring and fielded a roster of around 20 when they played Sunlake in their spring game.




@FootballBishop bmchs.com/athletic-teams/football

KEY PLAYERS: Garrett Field (Sr., TE),

Adam Berry (Sr., RB), Marcus Bezerra (Sr., OL), Scott Stalter (So., QB), Andrew Patterson (Sr., LB), Brandon Glenn (Sr., DB), Tres McMahon (So., WR), John Meyer (Sr., QB), Jack Rossi (Sr., OL), Jase Flournoy (So., LB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Christ’s Church AUG. 30: Out-of-Door Acad. SEP. 6: Cypress Creek SEP. 20: Shorecrest Prep SEP. 27: at Bradenton Chr. OCT. 4: Santa Fe Catholic OCT. 11: St. Stephen’s Epis. OCT. 18: at Bayshore Chr.


ishop McLaughlin is looking to head to the Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and head coach Tico Hernandez believes he’s got the experienced roster to do it. The Hurricanes will be working in Stalter and Meyer at quarterback this season. Meyer has the experience, appearing in seven games last season. Berry will get a lot of work on offense after rushing for 841 yards and ten touchowns as a junior. The Hurricanes do most of their offensive damage in the running game and graduated their other top three rushers from a year ago so finding depth behind Berry will be important. Bishop McLaughlin returns seven starters on defense and will look to two-way players like Field and Flournoy to build off of strong efforts last season. Flournoy, in particular, showed a ton of potential as a freshman with 40 tackles and leading the Hurricanes with four sacks. Hernandez will continue to challenge with tough out-of-conference games like Cypress Creek.

CYPRESS CREEK COYOTES @StayHowlin cmhs.pasco.k12.fl.us

KEY PLAYERS: Jehlani Warren (Sr., QB),

Jalen Warren (Sr., WR), Jovanni Addison (Sr., RB), Hunter Slusher (Jr., OL/LB), Brody Grommier (Sr., LB), Carson Samanka (Sr., DB), Gabriel Kolakoff (Jr., OL)


KEY PLAYERS: Kaleb Morrison (Sr., LB),

C’ontae Cason (Jr., RB), Logan Hickey (Sr., QB), Jaylon Hall (Jr., WR), Zach Carmack (Sr., OL), Jesse Sorrensen (Sr., OL), Darrion Kyler (So., DB), Kolby Oudeans (So., LB), Adrian McFadden (So., DL), CJ Tolbert (So., DL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Umatilla AUG. 30: Gulf SEP. 6: at Belleview SEP. 13: Lecanto SEP. 20: Nature Coast Tech SEP. 27: at Citrus OCT. 11: Crystal River OCT. 18: at Hernando OCT. 25: at Weeki Wachee NOV. 1: Springstead


fter suffering through a winless season in 2018 the Central Bears were looking for good news anyway they could find it. A 34-8 win over Dunedin in the spring game has given Central a fresh start and brought upon an aura of confidence for a Bears team looking to make some major strides this fall. Secondyear head coach John Warren has some solid pieces back on both sides of the football. Quarterback Logan Hicksey returns to the offense and he’ll lean on wide receiver Jaylon Hall and running back C’ontae Cason to provide the playmaking and productive. The good news for the skill players is that the offensive line is an area of strength and experience for Central, as seniors Zach Carmack and Jesse Sorrensen will pave the way up front. On the defensive side of the ball, look for linebackers Kaleb Morrison and Kolby Oudeans to shore up Central’s front seven. The Bears might be a little young in the secondary but there are players to be excited about like sophomore Darrion Kyler.

FIVAY FALCONS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Wesley Chapel AUG. 30: at Anclote SEP. 6: at Bishop McLaugh. SEP. 13: Pasco SEP. 20: Mitchell OCT. 4: at Mulberry OCT. 11: Dunedin OCT. 18: Fivay OCT. 25: Hudson NOV. 1: Gulf

ypress Creek may be heading into its third season of varsity play, but they’re still considered the new kid on the block when it comes to Pasco County prep football. The Coyotes made improvements in 2018, finishing 3-7 and picked up wins over Bishop McLaughlin, Pasco and Mulberry. Head coach Michael Johnson is hopeful the Coyotes can build off those wins and secure the program’s first winning season. Cypress Creek will be playing out of Class 4A, Region 2, which includes 11 schools in total. Quarterback Jehlani Warren returns after a solid junior year when he threw for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. Jalen Warren will return as the top receiver after he caught 32 passes for 498 yards and six touchdowns last season. Defensively the Coyotes will lean on seniors like linebacker Brody Grommier and defensive back Carson Samanka. With several players on the roster having three years of experience and a manageable schedule, a winning season will certainly be on the table for Cypress Creek.

@FivayHighSchool connectplus.pasco.k12.fl.us/fhs

KEY PLAYERS: Dion Denmark (Sr., OL),

Elijah Colon-Gotwalt (Sr., OL), Nick Manzi (Sr., OL), Austin Blandford (Jr., DB), Nicholas Iovino (Sr., K), Kenny Richards (Sr., DB), Juandarius Thompson (Jr., RB), Tre Brooks (Jr., OL), Angel Gonzalez-Gordon (Jr., DB), Melvin Rivera (Sr., DB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Lecanto AUG. 30: Citrus SEP. 6: at Gulf SEP. 20: Anclote SEP. 27: at Gaither OCT. 4: Wesley Chapel OCT. 11: Freedom OCT. 18: at Cypress Creek OCT. 25: Land O’ Lakes NOV. 1: at Hudson


ivay loses its top three rushers from last season, an enormous loss for its Pro-I offense. But the Falcons return several big-time offensive linemen, including seniors Dion Denmark, Elijah Colon-Gotwalt and Nick Manzi and junior Tre Brooks. They should provide junior running back Juandarius Thompson plenty of holes. The team’s defense will be led by its defensive backs, including star junior Austin Blandford. He finished last season with 70 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, four passes defended, and two fumble recoveries. Other names to watch in the Falcons defensive backfield include seniors Kenny Richards and Melvin Rivera and junior Angel Gonzalez-Gordon. The Falcons improved by three wins last season and hope to have their first winning season this fall since 2012. “We are a building program with a lot of experience coming back on the offensive and defensive lines,” Falcons coach Matt Durchik said. “We will have younger players ready to step up in starting roles at the skill positions.”

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fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Hernando Leopards @HernLeopardFB leopardsathletics.org/teams/2511137/football/varsity HEAD COACH: Rob Kazmier ASST. COACHES: Mark Griffith, Jonathan Malandrucco, Mark Lee, Shawn

Bingham, Dwayne Mobley, Pete Ruiz, Danny Revennaugh, Stephen Scire, Megan Platt

KEY PLAYERS: Isaiah Brown (Sr., TE), Qwenton Coney (Sr., DL), Jacob Batten (Sr.,

TE), Shavaris McNair (Sr., ATH), Jaquan Spry (Sr., DL), William Bartz (Jr., OL), Jordan Williams, (So., DB), James Perkins (Jr., QB), Kev’on WIlliams (Jr., LB), G’Koby Winn (Jr., LB), Austin McCombs (Sr., LB), Cordell Warthen (Sr., DL), Sam Fleming (Jr., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: Dunnellon (Classic) AUG. 23: Lake Gibson AUG. 30: at Eau Gallie SEP. 6: Lake Weir SEP. 13: at Crystal River

SEP. 20: Wildwood SEP. 27: at Weeki Wachee OCT. 4: at Springstead OCT. 11: at Citrus OCT. 18: Central OCT. 25: Nature Coast Tech


fter consecutive 7-win seasons, head coach Rob Kazmier is starting to see tangible growth for the Leopards and believes that it will lead to many more successful seasons over the long term. “I see more kids showing interest in our football program, I believe our numbers will continue to grow,” Kazmier said. “A couple of years ago we only had 15 players on our JV team. This season our JV numbers were up and we finished 5-1. “Improved numbers will help us continue to build the program and raise the bar as far as competing for positions. Iron sharpens iron, and we want all of our players to make each other better every single day.” Making Hernando football better goes beyond the field for Kazmier. Brooksville is a tight-knit community and Hernando football means a lot to the residents. That’s why it’s just as important to Kazmier that his players represent the program through various forms of community outreach with the same spirit and effort that they bring to the field on Friday nights. “I know how important this program is to the people of this community,” Kazmier said. “We want to be visible in the community as positive role models. When young kids see players wearing the Hernando jersey and doing positive things, they want to grow up to be part of that.”


Shavaris McNair

Isaiah Brown

Sam Fleming

Austin McCombs

Jaquan Spry

Cordell Warthen

Qwenton Coney

William Bartz

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

■■ Cordell Warthen had a great offseason leading up to his senior year.

One of the big community initiatives for Kazmier is the Jerome Brown Football Camp. The youth camp will be held on July 27 this year with Hernando coaches and players providing the coaching. Brown remains the most notable person involved with Hernando football on and off the field. The former NFL All-Pro defensive linemen’s name is still prominently associated with Brooksville 27 years after his death. “It’s a legacy you want to keep alive forever,” Kazmier said. “All the kids in the program and the future Leopards need to know who Jerome Brown was and what he stood for.” On the field if Hernando is to reach the heights that they did during Brown’s era, they will need to have success in the postseason. A 28-14 loss to Baker County ended the Leopards 2018 campaign but Kazmier believes the players on his 2019 roster have what it takes to get Hernando over the postseason hump. With eight returning starters on defense, Hernando will have the game experience to match the talent on that side of the ball. Three major contributors on the defensive line return and Kazmier believes that Warthen, Spry and Coney will terrorize offenses. “Cordell Warthen has hands-down become our best defensive player this offseason,” Kazmier said. “He has a relentless motor and works his butt off.” Coney, who has a scholarship offer from Florida Atlantic, had a team-high 17.5 tackles for loss last season and Spry had 12 tackles for loss, three sacks and three fumble recoveries. On the offense Brown has the potential for a breakout season after catching 27 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns last season. The Leopards were explosive on offense, averaging over 40 points in their wins. It’s easy to keep up with Hernando football during the football season and all year round. They are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow them for daily updates highlighting their program.

2019 ROSTER 2 Kev’on Williams 3 Shavaris McNair 4 Isaiah Brown 5 Jordan Williams 6 Perry Grant 7 Fred Scrivens Jr. 8 Blake Smith 9 Dominic Bowers 10 Austin McCombs 11 Jacob Batten 12 Kevin Izquierdo 13 Matthew Gillespie 15 Shawn Bingham Jr. 21 James Perkins 22 Gabriel Tafelski 24 Shayne Smith 32 Koby Winn 38 Jackson Way 41 Andre Woods 44 Samuel Sternberger 45 Zacchaeus Langley 48 Jaquan Spry 50 Cordell Warthen 54 Brenden Mitchell 55 Broc Valdez 56 Nathaniel Greene 58 Maddox Romain 60 Qwenton Coney 62 Wyatt Harrison 66 Johnathan Ahne 67 William Bartz 76 Samuel Fleming 77 Devin Williams 78 Gavin Nichols

Jr. Sr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. So. So. Sr. Sr. So. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Jr.

Don’t settle for average. Unless you’re in the market for it.


706-331-0464 www.JaredTannerHomes.com

SpringHillHill Dr Spring Hill, FL 34609 13127 Spring Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34609

© 2019 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo and C21® are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.



@gulfhighschool ghs.pasco.k12.fl.us

KEY PLAYERS: Kayn Clark (Sr., QB),

Dontrevius Jackson (So., ATH), Dougie Blanton (Sr., ATH), Ali Mumtaz (So., DL), Malik Giles (So., ATH), Elijah Carr (Sr., DB)

HUDSON 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Osceola AUG. 30: at Central SEP. 6: Fivay SEP. 13: Anclote SEP. 20: at Dunedin SEP. 27: at River Ridge OCT. 11: Tarpon Springs OCT. 18: Wesley Chapel OCT. 25: at Zephyrhills NOV. 1: at Cypress Creek


ulf hopes to turn around its tough stretch after winning just three games in the past four seasons since going 8-3 in 2014. The Buccaneers will have to try to turn things around with their eighth coach in the past ten years after Jason Grain announced his resignation in the middle of June. Senior quarterback Kayn Clark, who only appeared in four games last season, will be the full-time starter at the position this season. Senior athlete Dougie Blanton and sophomore athlete Dontrevius Jackson figure to be Clark’s biggest weapons. The defense will be led by Jackson and Blanton, both of whom play linebacker, as well as sophomore defensive lineman Ali Mumtaz, sophomore athlete Malik Giles, and senior defensive back Elijah Carr. With the late resignation of Grain and a lot of youth at key positions it looks like it might be an uphill battle for the Buccaneers this season for whomever is chosen to take the reins of the program.

MITCHELL MUSTANGS @JWMHS jwmhs.pasco.k12.fl.us

KEY PLAYERS: Tyler Williams (Sr., RB),

Nic Fairbank (Jr., DB), Rob Graham (Sr., WR/DB), Gary Shepard (Jr., OL), Johnny Fairbank (Jr., WR/LB), Ronnie Siumara (Jr., WR), Adrian Divcic (So., TE/DE), Andy Treto (So., RB/LB), Nick Garcia (Sr., OL), Ezra Brennan (Jr., QB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: at Weeki Wachee AUG. 23: Anclote AUG. 30: at River Ridge SEPT. 6: Land O’ Lakes SEPT. 13: at Pinellas Park SEPT. 20: at Cypress Creek SEPT. 27: East Lake OCT. 11: at Leto OCT. 18: Sunlake OCT. 25: Sickles NOV. 1: at Wesley Chapel


he expectations that come with winning four straight district titles make up no small part of what the future might hold for Mitchell and sixth-year head coach Andrew Schmitz. “I think the goal in the right program right now is figuring out what class will break through,” Schmitz said. “What class is going to be the first one that makes it to a regional final?” Since Schmitz led Mitchell to its first district title in school history in 2015, the Mustangs have gotten as far as a regional semifinal, but no further. If they want to do it this year, it’ll be likely on the backs of an elite offense led by eight returning starters and senior running back Tyler Williams, who set school records with 1,636 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in 2018. Only three starters return on defense. “We’ve got a lot of young kids on defense that will play important roles,” Schmitz said. “So early in the season we’re going to have to rely on the offense more while the defense finds their way.”


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@cobrafball2017 hhs.pasco.k12.fl.us/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: William Akossou-Harvey (Sr.,

DL), Joe Brown (Jr., QB), Emmanuel Lewis (So., LB), Adam Pedersen (Sr., RB), Shane Schull (Sr., OL), Ricky Stoffer (Sr., OL), Tyler Gauci (So., WR), Ladamian Starks (So., DB), Zach Lewis (Jr., LB), Max Ford (Sr., DL), Dougie Blanton (Sr., ATH), Brad Kidwell (Sr., DB), Kaylum Uribe (Jr., OL), Josh Wood (Sr., LB), Timothy Harris (Jr., OL)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Tenoroc AUG. 30: at First Baptist Acad. SEPT. 6: at Anclote SEPT. 13: Chiefland SEPT. 27: St. Petersburg Cath. OCT. 4: at Zephyrhills Chr. OCT. 11: Admiral Farragut OCT. 18: Calvary Christian OCT. 25: at Cypress Creek NOV. 1: Fivay


fter five consecutive seasons with at least five wins, Hudson took a step back with a 2-8 record last season. Cobras head coach Tim Hicks sees a lot of optimism that his team will turn it around. “Our top players are also our hardest workers, which will help us when we get into the long season and we need leaders,” he said. “If the kids buy in, we will be competitive week in and week out and should have a successful season.” The team’s biggest strength will be its defensive front, which will be led by senior defensive linemen William AkossouHarvey and Max Ford and sophomore linebacker Emmanuel Lewis. Junior quarterback Joe Brown and senior running back Adam Pedersen will be counted upon heavily as they step into the starting jobs. They’ll be playing alongside a veteran offensive line that includes seniors Shane Schull and Ricky Stoffer and juniors Kaylum Uribe and Timothy Harris. Hicks believes the Cobras’ kicking game and leadership will need improvement for his team to have success this season.


@Coast _ fb hernandoschools.org/Page/5434

KEY PLAYERS: Anthony Houston (Sr., LB)

Fabian Burnett (Sr., QB), Isaac Edwards (Jr., RB), Kinyatah Morgan (Jr., ATH), Andre Dillard (Sr., LB), Lenkel Smith (Sr., ATH), Cai Teauge (Sr., TE), Jordan Elbert (Sr., DL), Andreas Pantouvakis (Sr., DL), John Haley (Jr., DL), Mike Shaw (Sr., DL)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 16: at Sarasota AUG. 23: vs. East Lake AUG. 30: vs. South Sumter SEPT. 6: vs. Springstead SEPT. 13: at Wiregrass Ranch SEPT. 20: at Central SEPT. 27: vs. Crystal River OCT. 4: at River Ridge OCT. 11: vs. Weeki Wachee OCT. 18: at Citrus OCT. 25: at Hernando

or a team that is 38-4 over the last four seasons, including an unbeaten record at home in that time, Nature Coast is still chasing greatness and finding motivation at every turn. Which could mean trouble for the Sharks’ opponents in 2019. “We have talent and these kids will continue to prove that, day in and day out,” said head coach Cory Johns, who led his team to an 11-2 record and the Class 5A quarterfinals in 2018. “The big question will be up front on (offense), and who will step up and be the next guy. I expect huge things out of this senior class.” The Sharks return 18 starters from last year’s team and also get back senior athlete Lenkel Smith, who could be one of the team’s best players. “(Smith) tore his ACL and still never missed a practice, never missed a workout,” Johns said. “He was with his brothers the whole way and we’re excited to have him back.” Last year’s record-setting defense has 10 starters back, including linebacker Anthony Houston, who led the Sharks with 129 tackles.



@CoachStokes1975 phs.pasco.k12.fl.us/athletics

KEY PLAYERS: Darrion Robinson (Sr.,

ATH), Desmin Green (Sr., ATH), Cody Rand (Sr., OL), Rubin Pickett (Sr., ATH), Jordan McLaughlin (Sr., ATH), Devin Jernigan (Jr., ATH), Amir Burgess (Jr., LB), Malcolm Gibbs (Jr., RB), Manuel Torres (Jr., LB), Gabriel Barnes (Jr., LB), Jabrounze Cooley (So., ATH), Alden Spooner (So., DL)

RIVER RIDGE ROYAL KNIGHTS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Land O’ Lakes AUG. 30: Sunlake SEP. 6: Auburndale SEP. 13: Cypress Creek SEP. 20: at Dixie Hollins SEP. 27: at Springstead OCT. 4: at Forest OCT. 11: Lake Minneola OCT. 25: at Lecanto NOV. 1: at Zephyrhills

@RRHSKnightsFB rrhs.pasco.k12.fl.us/football

KEY PLAYERS: Travis Hawks (Jr., QB),

Quinton Stedman (Jr., ATH), Connor Finer (Jr., DL), Ben Smith (Jr., RB), Anthony Roussos (Jr., RB/LB), Takota Goodell (Jr., OL)





ith a new coaching staff led by Jason Stokes, the Pirates have an aim to build a culture of physical toughness and get the program on the upswing. Stokes got his tenure off to a good start with a 35-14 spring victory over Weeki Wachee. “We had a really good spring with great energy and a great turnout,” Stokes said. “The kids put in a lot of work and they were rewarded in that spring game. Now we want to build off it.” Players such as Darrion Robinson at wide receiver and Cody Rand on the offensive line should go a long way toward establishing that tenacity both on and off the field. Any turnaround needs big plays to help fuel it, and the Pirates feel that they may have just that in Jabrounze Cooley, a proven playmaker with an ability to do just that all over the field. Combine multiple players with athletic ability to be utilized on both sides of the ball and returning experience in linebacker with Manuel Torres and Amir Burgess, the pieces are being put in place for the Pirates to forge ahead.

@SpringsteadFB springsteadathletics.com

KEY PLAYERS: Adrian Cabrera (Sr., LB),

Colby McMilan (Sr., OL), Max O’Rourke (Sr., QB), Toby Rahman (Sr., RB), Logan Crossley (Jr., OL), Anthony Alexis (Sr., RB), Shawn Fribbley (Sr., RB), Anthony DiGiacomo (Sr., TE), Kyle Curl (Jr., DL), Makenxo Maysonet (Sr., LB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Sunlake AUG. 30: at Weeki Wachee SEP. 6: at Nature Coast Tech SEP. 20: Crystal Rivers SEP. 27: Pasco OCT. 4: Hernando OCT. 11: Lecanto OCT. 18: at South Lake OCT. 25: at Lake Minneola NOV. 1: at Central

pringstead a 7-3 season in 2018, the Eagles’ third consecutive winning season under head coach Mike Garafano. With quarterback/running back Nathan Sims graduated, the Eagles will attempt to continue their success on offense with quarterback Max O’Rourke and running back Shawn Fribbley. “We have a great culture at Springstead,” Garofano said. “The players really buy into the system, they put the team’s goals and best interests in front of their own. They are committed and hold each other accountable.” Springstead’s culture of hard work and running the football derived from Garofano’s mentor Bill Vonada, who is currently the athletic director at Weeki Wachee High School. “Class acts on and off the field,” Garafano added. “They play hard, play fast, and do their job and that’s all we can ask. I’m extremely proud of our guys.” The Eagles will once again play primarily a single-wing system and show triple option looks in the run game, a staple of Garofano’s offense.

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Crystal River AUG. 30: Mitchell SEP. 13: at Tarpon Springs SEP. 20: at Wiregrass Ranch SEP. 27: Gulf OCT. 4: Nature Coast Tech OCT. 11: at Wesley Chapel OCT. 18: Zephyrhills OCT. 25: Anclote NOV. 1: at Key West

or the first time since the 2014 season, River Ridge failed to reach the postseason under the watch of head coach Ryan Benjamin. However, the Royal Knights have re-loaded in preparation for a revamped District 5A-11 that includes Wesley Chapel, Gulf, Anclote, Tarpon Springs and Zephyrhills. Last season struggles came in part because of Instability at the quarterback position but the Royal Knights shouldn’t have those problems this fall under new starting quarterback Travis Hawks. Hawks was able to complete 12-of-22 passes for 105 yards against Berkeley Prep in the spring game. River Ridge will implement a short passing game with returning receiver Quinton Stedman expected to get a lot of targets. Leading the run game for the Royal Knights will be the backfield of junior Anthony Roussos, a two-way player who led River Ridge in tackles at linebacker last season, and fellow junior Ben Smith. If the Royal Knights’ promising group of juniors can perform at the level expected don’t be surprised to see River Ridge back in the postseason.

@SunlakeFootball slhs.pasco.k12.fl.us

KEY PLAYERS: Anthony Daher (Sr., WR/

CB), Cayman Wiseman (Sr., OL/DL), Maguire Anderson (Jr., WR/QB), Josh Iglesias (So., QB), Jonathan Wallace (Jr., RB/DE), Damian Riewold (Sr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Springstead AUG. 30: at Pasco SEP. 6: Wesley Chapel SEP. 13: at East Lake SEP. 20: Land O’ Lakes SEP. 27: Sickles OCT. 4: at Zephyrhills OCT. 11: at Pinellas Park OCT. 18: at Mitchell OCT. 25: Leto


unlake didn’t have to look far to find the replacement for Bill Browning, the only head coach in program history. Enter Trey Burdick, a Sunlake assistant since 2008 who knows the ins and outs of the roster – and will be called upon to right the ship after back-to-back 4-6 seasons in 2017 and 2018. Burdick, who has also been Sunlake’s track and field coach for six years, has coached tight ends, linebackers and special teams along with being Sunlake’s recruiting liaison. Burdick’s task is to get the Seahawks back to the form they were in for most of the last decade, where they posted seven consecutive winning seasons and made four playoff appearances from 2010-2016. There are building blocks in place for Sunlake, with sophomore Josh Iglesias taking over at starting quarterback with a key target back in senior Anthony Daher, who put up 403 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in 2018. Up front, senior Cayman Wiseman will set the tone on both offense (10 pancake blocks) and defense (27 tackles, seven tackles for loss).

Purchase a print copy of this magazine at fnfmagazine.com/buy



fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

Land O’ Lakes Gators @LOLGatorsFB lolgatorsfootball.com HEAD COACH: Chad Walker ASST. COACHES: Trac Baughn, Stefan Zapata, Anthony Hendrix, Tyler Farr,

Alan Crump, Aveion Cason, Kelvin Kinney, Chad Hudson

KEY PLAYERS: Ethan Forrester (Sr., QB), E.Z. Williams (Sr. ATH), Isaac Tavo

(Jr., OL), Zavian McKinon (Jr., DL), Reggie Simmons (Jr., LB), Nick Kleoppel (So., WR), Hunter Sullivan (So., WR), Trent Gilbert (So., DL), Kyle Malone (So., ATH), Jaiden Mayerschoff (So., TE), Garret Hendriksen (Jr., LB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Pasco AUG. 30: at Countryside SEP. 6: at Mitchell SEP. 13: Tampa Catholic SEP. 20: at Sunlake

SEP. 27: Freedom OCT. 11: at Gaither OCT. 18: Wiregrass Ranch OCT. 25: at Fivay NOV. 1: Zephyrhills Chr. Acad.


he decade before Chad Walker’s arrival as head coach at Land O’Lakes provided little evidence that a turnaround might be in the cards. In that decade, there were seven losing seasons, including back-to-back winless seasons in 2010 and 2011 that saw the Gators go 0-21. Before Walker was hired, Land O’Lakes was on a streak of four straight losing campaigns. But when you hire a good coach with good ideas then good things will happen. And that’s what Land O’Lakes found it had in Walker, who led the Gators to a 7-3 record in 2018, including the first win over rival Sunlake in eight seasons. “Our focus last spring was really just on making the transition from the old system to the new one,” Walker said. “We had a few kids that we thought were out of position, so it was a matter of us using their strengths to fit the team.” Walker will have a different challenge in his second season – the Gators lose 24 seniors from last year’s team and will take the biggest hit on offense at the skill positions and on defense, where it will be almost an entirely new unit. “I think what I’ve tried to across to our guys now is that we’ve graduated a lot of guys in key positions and the time to step up is right now,” Walker said. “I feel like we had some guys who

EZ Williams

Reggie Simmons


Garrett Merideth

Ethan Forrester

Isaac Tavo

Nick Kleoppel

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

■■ Land O’Lakes will look to improve on its 7-3 record in 2018.

got complacent throughout spring ball … if we want to continue to develop as a young program and continue the success we had we need them to understand that being complacent is the absolute worst thing we can have happen.” What the Gators do have back is a proven leader in 6-foot3, 215-pound senior quarterback Ethan Forrester. He’s a three-year starter who threw for 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions to go with 155 rushing yards and three touchdowns in 2018. “There’s not a better leader I could ask for as far as being a mentor to a young group of players,” Walker said. “[Ethan] can show them how it’s done on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom. Technically, his overall mechanics and sense for the game have continued to improve. I think he’s been underrecruited but he’s beginning to pop on a lot of radars (of college coaches). I think he’s a diamond in the rough when it comes to recruiting.” The receiving corps will be young. The Gators will need to get production out of sophomore Nick Kleoppel, who was the team’s best blocking receiver. On the offensive line, junior Isaac Tavo is back as well. On defense, Land O’Lakes lost its top five tacklers to graduation, including safety Nate Howard, who signed with NCAA Division II powerhouse University of West Florida. Leading the way for the returners is 6-2, 228-pound junior defensive end Zavian McKinon. “(McKinon) continues to develop, continues to impress us as a player,” Walker said. “He’s another kid who is a lot like Ethan in that he does everything we ask. McKinon racked up 42 tackles and five tackles for loss in 2018. He also led the team with three sacks. Junior linebacker Reggie Simmons is also being counted on to step up after spending much of last season as a reserve and playing special teams. “Reggie has worked himself into a significant role with his hard work and with his play,” Walker said. “We will move some kids around but we think they’re all moves that will help us.”

2019 ROSTER 3 Reggie Simmons

LB Jr.

4 Hunter Sullivan

WR So.

5 Kyle Malone


8 E.Z. Williams

WR Sr.

9 Garret Hendriksen

TE Jr.

10 Nick Kleoppel

WR So.

11 Caleb Ames

WR Jr.

12 Tyler Adcock

WR Jr.

14 A.J. Lewis

QB So.

15 Ethan Forrester

QB Sr.

16 Mike Demas

WR So.

17 Logan Santucci

WR So.

18 Justin Lasala

WR So.

19 Miles Garcis


21 Caden Lansford

RB Sr.

22 Jade Mayerschoff

TE So.

23 Reggie Marcel

RB So.

24 Eddie Greskowiak

RB Sr.

26 Zachary Garcia

WR Jr.

29 Justien Nguyen


32 Tim Charlton

TE So.

33 David Alejandro

TE So.

34 Brian Ratliff

LB Jr.

35 Thomas Settle

LB Jr.

50 Nick Curbelo

DE So.

52 Steven Resina

OL Jr.

53 Zavian McKinon

OL Jr.

54 Ronnie Stanton

OL Sr.

55 Johanny Rodriguez

OL So.

57 Isaac Tavo

OL Jr.

60 Trent Gilbert

OL So.

61 Hunter Westbrook

DL Sr.

62 Isaiah Tavo

OL So.

64 Owen Lowry

OL So.

65 Garrett Meredith

OL Jr.




Q&A with Land O’ Lakes quarterback Ethan Forrester Ethan Forrester took over as the starting quarterback at Land O’Lakes High as a freshman in 2017 shortly after transferring from Tampa Catholic. He has since established himself as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the Tampa region. BY DAN GUTTENPLAN


s a junior last fall, Forrester accumulated 1,429 passing yards,

12 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. Forrester also gets it done in the classroom, where he maintains a 3.5 GPA. At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, the rising senior has the size to play at the next level. FNF Tampa Bay recently caught up with Forrester for a Q&A.

How did you get introduced to the game of football? “I started playing flag football around 4 years old. I started playing tackle around 5. I’ve been playing ever since.”

Is playing high school football part of your family’s tradition? “No one in my family besides my dad played in high school. My dad got me into it when I was young. He played center and linebacker at Tampa Catholic for three seasons and transferred to Chamberlain for his senior year.”

Have you always played quarterback, or did you start at another position? “I started playing quarterback in my second year of football.”

Did it come pretty naturally to you? “I was always a bigger kid. I was better than most of the other quarterbacks pretty early on. I was more developed. I always knew I’d be able to play since I was little.”

Were you also good at other sports? “I played basketball growing up. I also played tee-ball when I was really little, but I missed all of the games to play football.”

Why did you decide to transfer to Land O’Lakes? “I played for the Tampa Catholic JV team my freshman year. I felt that I didn’t fit at that school. I left there halfway through my freshman year and went to Land O’Lakes. I’ve started ever since I got here in the spring of my freshman year.”

What has the recruiting process been like for you? “It’s been a little slow. My sophomore year wasn’t the best year. I picked it up a lot during my junior year.”

What did you improve? “My throwing motion and how I go through reads on the field. The speed of the game has slowed down.”

What other quarterback would you compare yourself to? “I’ve always idolized Tim Tebow. We have a lot in common in terms of how we can run downfield. Neither of us is trying to get around the edge. We don’t have as much in common with the throwing motion.”


7-3 last fall despite having several key players miss time due to injuries. Despite the injuries to his supporting cast, Forrester led Pasco County in passing yardage. “He can run the ball, he’s a big, physical kid. We’ve got some things planned with him offensively this year,” Land O’Lakes head coach Chad Walker said. “This is his team, he’s going to take the reins, and all of our trust is in that kid to do the right thing.”



PRO PLAYER: Tom Brady ROUTE: “I love throwing 10-

yard outs and corner balls. I also like to throw Cover 2 hole shots.”

What are your goals for your senior season? “I want our team to move into the playoffs and win the district. I felt like last year, we were good enough to make it to the playoffs, but we fell short due to the new points system. This year, we want to win districts and play in the playoffs.” Purchase a print copy of this magazine at fnfmagazine.com/buy




KEY PLAYERS: David Richards (Jr., WR),

Perry Nation (Jr., CB), Omari Forde (Jr., CB), Trenton Pisarski (Sr., LB), John Mangarillo (Sr., OL/DL), Jonathon Higgins (Sr., DL), Michael McMurray (Sr., TE/DE)

WESLEY CHAPEL WILDCATS AUG. 23: at South Lake AUG. 30: Springstead SEP. 6: at Lecanto SEP. 13: Citrus SEP. 27: Hernando OCT. 4: at Anclote OCT. 11: at Nature Coast Tech OCT. 18: at Crystal River OCT. 25: Central NOV. 1: Northeast


he task ahead of first-year Weeki Wachee head coach Chris Cook is nothing short of historic – trying to bring the program the first winning season in school history. The Hornets, who began playing football in 2012, matched the best season in school history by going 4-6 in 2018. Weeki Wachee ended last season playing some of its best football, winning two out of its last three games including a 50-14 win over Crystal River in the regular-season finale. Cook has the benefit of some experienced, talented players returning, led by junior wide receiver David Richards, who had 18 receptions for 511 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 for an impressive 28.4 yards per catch. On defense, Weeki Wachee has a player who can control a game in senior linebacker Trenton Pisarski, who had 85 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks. The Hornets also have two returning starters on the defensive line in John Mangarillo (two sacks) and Jonathon Higgins (30 tackles, 13 tackles for loss). Junior cornerback Perry Nation was also strong in the return game, averaging 17.1 yards per kick return.


@ZHSBulldogs zhs.pasco.k12.fl.us/football

KEY PLAYERS: Nick Novo (Jr., QB),

Demetris Wright (Sr., DL), Tre Gallimore (Jr., RB), Zyre Roundtree (Jr., ATH), Chris Weeks (Sr., OL), AJ Mathis (Sr., DL), Ja’Bari Mention (Jr., TE/DL), John Melosky (So., OL), Elijah Lyons (Jr., LB)

@WCHS _ Wildcats wesleychapelathletics.com

KEY PLAYERS: Jelani Vassell (Sr., ATH),

Isaiah Cole (Sr., RB), Steven Mira (Sr., WR), Brenden Maddox (Sr., LB), Quay Jones (Sr., DB/WR), Kaleb Rivera Jr., OL/DL), Jon’Tavius Anderson (Jr., CB)

2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Cypress Creek AUG. 30: Wiregrass Ranch SEP. 6: at Sunlake SEP. 13: Zephyrhills SEP. 27: at Anclote OCT. 4: at Fivay OCT. 11: River Ridge OCT. 18: at Gulf OCT. 25: at Tarpon Springs NOV. 1: Mitchell


esley Chapel is hoping to bounce back from a .500 season last year and the Wildcats have the players to do it. The offense has considerable depth and talent. Senior athlete Jelani Vassell, who rushed for 541 yards and eight touchdowns and had 597 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions a year ago, will be a major part of the offense again this season. Vassell will be joined by other promising playmakers including senior running back Isaiah Cole figures to get some carries after rushing for 332 yards and two touchdowns in 2018, and senior wide receiver Steven Mira, who averaged 21.7 yards per catch a year ago. Kaleb Rivera Jr. might be the Wildcats best lineman and he’ll play on both sides of the ball. The defense will be led by senior linebacker Brenden Maddox, who led the Wildcats with 95 tackles and 17 tackles for loss last season. Other players to watch include senior defensive back Da’querean Jones and junior defensive back Jon’Tavius Anderson, each of whom had 31 tackles last season.

ZEPHYRHILLS CHRISTIAN WARRIORS 2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: at Wiregrass Ranch AUG. 30: Ponte Vedra SEP. 6: at Lake Gibson SEP. 13: at Wesley Chapel SEP. 27: Tarpon Springs OCT. 4: Sunlake OCT. 11: at Anclote OCT. 18: at River Ridge OCT. 25: Gulf NOV. 1: Pasco


he Bulldogs are coming off of one of the school’s best seasons in history, with Zephyrhills reaching the region semifinals of the Class 5A postseason before falling 40-21 against North Marion. Despite losing several top contributors from the successful 2018 squad, Zephyrhills will most certainly have the talent once again to make another deep run in Class 5A. Zephryhills’ head coach Nick Carroll will have a new starting quarterback this season in 6-foot-3 Nick Novo. Novo was impressive in the team’s spring game against Clermont East Ridge. One of the most impactful players on the Bulldogs is lineman Demetris Wright, who is receiving interested from Division I schools. Wright will see time on both the defensive and offensive line. Another key player for Zephryhills is running back Tre Gallimore, who has had a nice off-season so far. With players like Novo, Wright and Gallimore leading the way, Zephryhills looks to make another deep run into the postseason.


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

friday night football tampa bay 2019 fnfmagazine.com

@ZCA _ FB4 zcawarriors.us/menu/id/61/Football

KEY PLAYERS: Malik Jones (Sr., OL/DL),

Tyler Davis (Sr., RB), Antonio Spencer (So., RB/ DB), Austin Henderson (Jr., OL), Jose Martinez (Sr., OL), Nick Whittington (Sr., WR), Caleb Gaskin (So., QB)


2019 SCHEDULE AUG. 23: Faith Academy AUG. 30: West Oaks Academy SEP. 6: at Seffner Christian SEP. 13: Florida A&M SEP. 27: at Cambridge Christian OCT. 4: at Hudson OCT. 11: Avon Park OCT. 18: TBD OCT. 25: Evangelical Christian NOV. 1: at Land O’ Lakes

ephyrhills Christian faces a rebuilding project after returning just three offensive starters and three defensive starters. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Gaskin figures to take over the starting role after playing in six games last season, completing 55.9 percent of his passes. The Warriors lose their top two rushers but return sophomore running back Antonio Spencer, who averaged 10.1 yards per carry and rushed for three touchdowns a year ago. Senior offensive linemen Malik Jones and Jose Martinez, junior offensive lineman Austin Henderson and senior running back Tyler Davis should be other players to watch on the Warriors’ offense. Jones, after recording 88 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three sacks last year on the Warriors’ defensive line, figures to be the centerpiece of their defense again. The Warriors have won at least seven games in three consecutive seasons under coach Mike Smith, who believes the team’s chemistry, toughness and discipline will be strengths this fall but says the Warriors need to improve upon their execution, strength and film study.

Wiregrass Ranch Bulls @WRHSBULLSFBALL wrhs.pasco.k12.fl.us/wiregrass-bulls-football

■■ Wiregrass Ranch linebacker Dylan Ridolph takes down Plant quarterback Tucker Gleason.

2019 SCHEDULE AUG 23: Zephyrhills AUG 30: at Wesley Chapel SEP. 6: St. Petersburg SEP 13: Nature Coast Tech SEP 20: River Ridge

KEY PLAYERS: Cam Johnson (Sr., OL), Demetrius Knox

(Sr., RB), Myrone Williams (Jr., WR), Dylven Covington (Jr., RB), Anlonte Littles (Sr., WR), Francois McFall (Sr., OL), Kijana Johnson (Sr., DL), Demenquiz Wilson (Sr., DL), Terrence Ocean (Sr., DL), James Johnson (Sr., DB)


SEP 27: at Armwood OCT 11: at East Bay OCT 18: at Land O’ Lakes OCT 25: Tampa Bay Tech NOV 1: at Largo

HEAD COACH: Mark Kantor ASST. COACHES: Robbie Mahler,

Brandon Tanner, John Grone, Rey Urquiola, Lance Roberts, Andy Martin, Rick Oliver, Ed Worvie, Corey Lenczden, Alan Beer, Doug Wood, Dan Chellew

he pieces didn’t fall into place for Wiregrass Ranch the moment Mark Kantor became the program’s head coach almost five years ago. The consistence and excellence the Bulls have played with in the ensuing years had to be earned. Now, what Kantor has on his hands is a burgeoning power. It’s a team seeking its fourth straight playoff appearance and ready to do so with talent all over the field. While Kantor has a similar refrain as most coaches do this time of year – he listed “depth, depth and depth” as the three things his team needs to improve – most coaches would salivate at the thought of the team he’s about to put on the field. And you don’t have to have too long of a memory to recall that when Kantor took over as coach, the Bulls had suffered through four straight winless seasons, including a 20-game losing streak. On the field, the firestarter for Wiregrass Ranch is 6-foot, 220-pound senior linebacker Dylan Ridolph, who led Class 7A with 22 sacks and was second on the team with 82 tackles in 2018. Ridolph is already the Pasco County and Wiregrass Ranch career leader with 37 career sacks and has been named North Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons. “Our 2019 football team has the opportunity to continue to carry the torch that the previous teams have developed,” said Kantor. “The opportunity to reach the playoffs four straight years in a row is in front of them as long as they can handle the business at hand each and every week.” The Bulls went 7-4 in 2018 and ended the year with a first-round playoff loss to Lakeland and have won at least seven games each of the last three seasons. All that’s missing has been a deep playoff run – the only postseason win in Kantor’s tenure so far has been a 2017 first-round win over Lake Nona. That being said – Wiregrass Ranch didn’t even open until 2007. This season, they return eight starters on offense and eight starters on defense among 35 returning lettermen. On defense, that group is led by Ridolph and fellow senior linebacker Tyler Hayes. Hayes had his own breakout season in 2018 with 58 tackles, including 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks. On offense, senior Hunter Helton will be counted on to take over at quarterback and will have plenty of experience protecting him up front, led by 6-7, 270-pound offensive lineman Connor Lenczden. “Helton, Ridolph, Lenczden and Hayes must lead and guide this bunch,” Kantor said. “Into the promise land and continue the playoff streak.”

2019 ROSTER 2 Noah Biglow 4 Larry Gibbs 5 Julian Gonzalez 6 Hunter Helton 7 Keith Walker 8 Jonavon Tillis 9 Tyler Stinson III 10 Tyler Brueckner 11 Dalton Roberts 12 Grady Clower 14 Alex Thomas 15 Andrew Salum 17 Tamaurean Mizell 18 Rocco Becht 20 Myles Coates 21 Evan Hwu 22 Nick Gaziano 23 Chris Pressley 24 Nate Miller 25 Samer Nasser 26 Raquan Dieffenbacher 27 Tyler Hayes 28 Zack Odom 30 Hunter Hoehn 31 Jacob Chellew 32 Wyatt Ervin 33 Tyler Mesnekoff 34 Corneil McCrary 35 Zachary Santiago 40 Dylan Ridolph 42 Mark Kieper 44 Chris Daniel 45 Ian Alford 51 Barit Dhungana 52 Ernest Walker 53 Robert Gibb 54 Isaiah Miller 55 Josh Hood 60 Noah Wiseman 61 Quincy Elliott 62 Connor Lenczden 64 Tabari Ali 66 Andres Jimenez 70 Hans Elmeus

Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr.


fnf tampa bay 2019 presented by

HIGH SCHOOL DIRECTORY SCHOOL COUNTY PAGE Academy at the Lakes Hernando-Pasco 110 Admiral Farragut Pinellas 98 Alonso Hillsborough 82 Anclote Hernando-Pasco 110 Armwood Hillsborough 84 Bell Creek Academy Hillsborough 83 Berkeley Prep Hillsborough 83 Bishop McLaughlin Hernando-Pasco 111 Blake Hillsborough 83 Bloomingdale Hillsborough 83 Boca Ciega Pinellas 98 Brandon Hillsborough 86 Calvary Christian Pinellas 99 Cambridge Christian Hillsborough 86 Canterbury Pinellas 99 Carrollwood Day School Hillsborough 86 Central Hernando-Pasco 111 Chamberlain Hillsborough 86 Clearwater Pinellas 99 Clearwater Central Cath. Pinellas 100 Clearwater Int’l Academy Pinellas 99 Countryside Pinellas 101 Cypress Creek Hernando-Pasco 111 Dixie Hollins Pinellas 101 Dunedin Pinellas 101 Durant Hillsborough 87 East Bay Hillsborough 87 East Lake Pinellas 101

SCHOOL COUNTY PAGE Fivay Hernando-Pasco 111 Freedom Hillsborough 87 Gaither Hillsborough 87 Gibbs Pinellas 102 Gulf Hernando-Pasco 114 Hernando Hernando-Pasco 112 Hillsborough Hillsborough 88 Hudson Hernando-Pasco 114 Indian Rocks Christian Pinellas 102 Jefferson Hillsborough 89 Jesuit Hillsborough 90 Keswick Christian Pinellas 102 King Hillsborough 89 Lakeside Christian Pinellas 102 Lakewood Pinellas 103 Land O’ Lakes Hernando-Pasco 116 Largo Pinellas 104 Lennard Hillsborough 89 Middleton Hillsborough 89 Mitchell Hernando-Pasco 114 Nature Coast Hernando-Pasco 114 Newsome Hillsborough 94 Northeast Pinellas 104 Northside Christian Pinellas 104 Osceola Pinellas 104 Palm Harbor University Pinellas 106 Pasco Hernando-Pasco 115 Pinellas Park Pinellas 105

SCHOOL COUNTY PAGE Plant Hillsborough 92 Plant City Hillsborough 94 River Ridge Hernando-Pasco 115 Riverview Hillsborough 94 Robinson Hillsborough 94 Seffner Christian Hillsborough 95 Seminole Pinellas 106 Shorecrest Prep Pinellas 106 Sickles Hillsborough 95 Solid Rock Community Pinellas 106 Spoto Hillsborough 95 Springstead Hernando-Pasco 115 St. Pete Catholic Pinellas 107 St. Petersburg Pinellas 108 Steinbrenner Hillsborough 95 Strawberry Crest Hillsborough 96 Sunlake Hernando-Pasco 115 SuperiorCollegiate Acad. Pinellas 107 Tampa Bay Christian Hillsborough 96 Tampa Bay Tech Hillsborough 96 Tampa Catholic Hillsborough 97 Tarpon Springs Pinellas 107 Weeki Wachee Hernando-Pasco 118 Wesley Chapel Hernando-Pasco 118 Wharton Hillsborough 96 Wiregrass Ranch Hernando-Pasco 119 Zephyrhills Hernando-Pasco 118 Zephyrhills Christian Hernando-Pasco 118

Career in in aa Year Year Career NO LOANS LOANS TO TO REPAY! REPAY! NO Available programs: programs: Available Computer Systems Systemsand and Computer Informational Technology, Technology, Informational EMT, ESOL, ESOL, Firefighter FirefighterI/II, I/II, EMT, Veterinarian Assistant Assistant Veterinarian Hillsborough HillsboroughCounty County Public Public Schools Schools Technical TechnicalColleges Colleges Aparicio-Levy.edu Aparicio-Levy.edu CONTACT CONTACT(813) (813)740-4884 740-4884


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