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FORT PIERCE CENTRAL COBRAS
FRIDAY NIGHT MOMENT
What happened: Central dominated Tallahassee-Leon 26-7 in a Class 2A state semifinal at Lawnwood Stadium to become the first Treasure Coast team to reach a state championship game. Why it mattered: A year earlier, Dan McCarty finished 7-3 and Lincoln Park Academy closed its all-black era with a 3-6 finish. Central, which replaced both schools, had opened 3½ months earlier. Leon, the defending Class 2A state champion, was ranked No. 1 and had a 25-game winning streak.
Key players: Halfback Randy Walker scored three first-half touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. The 190-pound halfback scored on a 47-yard option pass from Wonder Monds, a 1-yard run and a backbreaking 80-yard punt return. The defense twice stopped Leon’s potent Wishbone T offense inside the 10-yard line. Chappel Branch’s 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter capped a 93-yard drive.
Central boasts some of the best skill players on the Treasure Coast. Quarterback Marcus Sigmon is smart and an accurate passer, running back Marcus Levy is an emerging talent and the cornerbacks have good speed and athleticism. Fort Pierce Central also has a pair of solid linebackers in Stacey Noble and Freedom Whitfield.
September 2 at Fort Pierce Westwood 7 9 Palm Bay 7 16 at Sebastian River 7 30 at Vero Beach 7:30 October 7 Viera 7 21 at Martin County 7 28 Centennial 7 November 4 at Port St. Lucie 7 11 Hardee 7
Both lines will be under scrutiny early as the Cobras must replace Giorgio Newberry and Mikingson Marsaille. The special teams were barely used in the spring (they didn’t punt or punt return) and could show holes early on. It will be interesting to see how Central responds if it faces adversity early in the season against that tough early stretch of games.
OFFENSE Pos Name QB Marcus Sigmon RB Marcus Levy OL Garrett Smith OL Nic Padrick OL Bryce Hall OL Ron Clark OL Zerrie Patterson WR Josh Knight WR Alquan Vickers WR James Blackshell WR Jameel Jackson
No 15 14 50 53 54 68 72 4 7 16 18
Yr Ht Wt Sr. 6-0 175 Jr. 5-11 185 Jr. 6-4 243 Jr. 6-0 242 Sr. 6-4 267 Sr. 6-3 260 Sr. 6-3 340 Jr. 6-1 163 So. 5-9 160 Jr. 5-8 173 Jr. 6-0 170
DEFENSE Pos Name No Yr Ht Wt DE Rashawn Shaw 42 So. 6-2 211 DT Roger Clark 52 Jr. 6-1 220 DT Jerandious Works 32 Jr. 5-10 252 DE Elliott Jacobs 6 Jr. 5-10 180 LB William Daceaus 30 So. 5-9 180 LB Stacey Noble 44 Jr. 5-11 225 LB Freedom Whitfield 40 Sr. 6-3 191 CB Deeion Robinson 9 Jr. 5-10 155 CB Roody Cleriser 3 Jr. 5-10 141 S Joseph Figeroa 31 Jr. 5-10 175 S Carl Bess 35 Sr. 5-8 160
SPECIAL TEAMS Pos Name P/K Miguel Morales
KEY GAME OCTOBER 21 AT MARTIN COUNTY DEBORAH SILVER/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS
Fort Pierce Central High School quarterback Marcus Sigmon warms up during a practice scrimmage at the school.
No Yr Ht Wt 80 Sr. 5-11 150
RESERVES Sam Vaughn (2, So., QB), Derrick Williams (5,Sr., RB), Tyler Gaskin (8, Jr., CB), J.J. Stevens (10, Jr., WR), Anthony Gamble (11, So., CB), Demarcus Semer (12, Jr., QB), Michael Gladstein (13, Jr., LB), Quincy Price (19, Sr., RB), Mike Perceval (20, So., CB), Joe Crutchfield (21, Sr., CB), Luttere Eglaus (22, Sr., LB), Anthony Scott (24, Jr., RB/ LB), Brian Burritt (34, So., LB), Hunter Sciescente (41, So., DE), Jimmy Smiley (51, 6-2, 255), Alonzo Hippolyte (55, Jr., OL), Mardochee Thelusma (60, Sr., OL), Louis Saez (61, So., DL), Cameron King (62, Jr., DL), Jacky Eglous (63, Sr., OL), Brejnev Jean Charles (64, Jr., OL), Charles Ballard (65, Jr., DL), Donte Francis (74, Jr., DL), Robby Rudoff (77, So., OL), Tyler Shockley (78, Jr., DL), Alex Carrera (82, Jr., K), D’Vante Byrd (83, Jr., OL), Karus Hunter (84, Jr., WR), Brian Jenkins (87, Sr., DL), Robert Guignard (88, Jr., OL), Nate Robinson (90, Sr., DL), Donavan Robinson (95, Jr., DL), Maurice Campbell (90, Jr., DL)
Coach: Josh Shaffer (first year) Record: 0-0 2010: 8-2 (3-0 District 14-4A) Assistants: Dale Jacobs (offensive line), Keith Powell (wide receivers), Stacey Noble (running backs), Michael Digman (tight ends), Charley Matthews (defensive coordinator), Henry Scurry (defensive backs), Will Padrick (defensive line), Kimberry Lubin (linebackers)
STADIUM LAWNWOOD STADIUM (5,000)
Playing Surface: Grass Address: 1500 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce Directions: From Interstate 95: Take Exit 129, then Okeechobee Road east. Stay right at the fork when Okeechobee becomes Virginia Avenue. Take Virginia for 2 miles. The stadium is on the left. Main Office: 772-468-5888 On the web: www.stlucie.k.12. fl.us/fpc
■■ Fort Pierce Westwood ■■ Treasure Coast ■■ Martin County
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
We have four defensive linemen playing together with the linebackers. The offensive line comes down to chemistry and communication.” Josh Shaffer, head coach
High expectations Fort Pierce Central returns talented backfield, strong linebackers By Jon Santucci Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers
FORT PIERCE — Expectations usually are pretty low for a first-year coach. Josh Shaffer has no such luxury at Fort Pierce Central, nor do his players. “At Central, we expect our kids to be great no matter what,” said Shaffer. “And we’re expecting them to be great off the field, expect them to be great in the classroom and we expect them to be great on the field. The expectations never change based on who left or who went on to college or who we’re left with.” Central started last season 8-0 under coach Chris Hutchings but lost the final two games — including a regional quarterfinal vs. New Smyrna Beach. Hutchings would later resign. “Chris (Hutchings) did a great job building the program to the point where it could compete week in and week out and year in
and year out,” said Shaffer, an assistant in 2010. “It was disappointing last year for us. ... (the final game) you had the seniors who played their last game and then you had the younger guys who were more hungry than ever to get back to work. “They saw success and they saw it all taken away from them in a matter of two weeks.” There are plenty of Cobras returning, especially on offense. The key players back for Central include 2010 Scripps All-Area quarterback Marcus Sigmon and running back Marcus Levy. Sigmon threw for 1,318 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2010, while Levy averaged 6.5 yards per carry. While the skill position players are experienced, the biggest question for Shaffer is who will fill his trenches, where Central must replace linemen Giorgio Newberry (now at Florida State) and Mikingson Marsaille (Florida Atlantic). Newberry was considered by ESPN to be one of the top
Senior quarterback 2010 Stats: 1,318 passing yards, 12 touchdowns Coach Josh Shaffer: “Marcus is a competitor and he’s tough. Those are two qualities right off the bat that you want at the quarterback position. He shows those and the rest of the team follows suit.”
30 players in the nation last year. “You can’t replace a player like that,” Shaffer said. “But the key to make sure your play doesn’t drop is to make sure the team play is good at those positions. We have four defensive linemen playing together with the linebackers. The offensive line comes down to chemistry and communication.” Fort Pierce Central’s defense is coming off a season in which it made key plays when it needed to. Central surrendered a respectable 16 points per game, and allowed just two touchdown passes all season. The strength of this Cobra defense will be its linebacker corps, headlined by Stacey Noble and Freedom Whitfield. “Those are two guys that D-1 schools are looking at,” Shaffer said. “Both of them are very good kids to be around, but they’re tough kids who love to hit. “And at linebacker, that’s the best part.”
Senior Linebacker 2010 Stats: 65 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks Coach Josh Shaffer: “He’s a very versatile kid and a very smart kid and when he gets to the football, he can hit, too. He’s developed into a very good pass defender. He gets into good position, he reads the quarterback’s eyes.”
No game looms larger than its District 12-7A matchup with Martin County. Both teams reached the playoffs last year, and the Cobras won 21-16. Marcus Sigmon threw a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and Central held on. The winner of this game should have the inside track to the district crown.
PREDICTION 7-2, 2-1, DISTRICT 12-7A
It will be very difficult for the Cobras to repeat last year’s 8-0 start. Central starts with city rival Fort Pierce Westwood — always an emotional game — then gets perennial playoff teams Palm Bay and Vero Beach, all in the first month. Fort Pierce Central certainly has the talent to be a playoff team, but the Martin County game will be a tough test on the road.
SEASON OF MEMORIES 1975 (10-1)
Why it was special: Fort Pierce Central became the first Treasure Coast team with two 10-0 regular seasons in a five-year span. The Cobras won their fourth district title in just the sixth season for the program. By the numbers: The Cobras won four games by six points or less and wrapped up their fifth Suncoast East championship. Playmakers: Tight end Eddie Poole, tackle Carl Prince, fullback Roosevelt Duncan, defensive end Ralph Morrison, defensive tackle Dock Luckie, linebacker David Spaulding and defensive back Vinson McCarty were named to the all-Suncoast East team.
Junior defensive back 2010 Stats: 46 tackles, 2 tackles for loss Coach Josh Shaffer: “He didn’t miss a day in the summer. He would be one of our better ball carriers, but we have so many running backs. He’s something special with the ball in his hands. He loves to come down from the safety position and hit you.”
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