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Area football teams battling injuries

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Mon. August 25, 2014 | Bob Putnam | Email

After graduating several key contributors from last year's team that advanced to the Class 3A state title game, Clearwater Central Catholic coach John Davis said the team would have to avoid injuries this year because of a lack of depth.

So far, that has not happened.

Receiver CJ Cotman separated his shoulder three weeks ago, but an MRI on Monday cleared him for Friday's regular-season opener against Naples Lely. CCC already is without defensive back Demetri Royer, who sustained a concussion last week.

Other area teams also are dealing with injuries.

East Lake receiver George Campbell, who sprained his wrist at the USF Sling-'N-Shoot tournament last month, will play against rival Palm Harbor University. Campbell sat out the second half of last week's preseason game against Bradenton Manatee, though coach Bob Hudson said he made that decision before the start of the game.

"George will be fine," Hudson said.

Indian Rocks Christian coach Mark Buchanan said running back Jacquan Fuller will play against St. Peterburg Catholic, but will be limited in contact drills after sustaining a pinched nerve in his lower back  from a hit in last week's game against Orlando First Academy.

Steinbrenner receiver Kezio Snelling sustained "a lower extremity injury" vs. Sunlake and is day to day, according to coach Andres Perez-Reinaldo.

And at Tampa Catholic, athlete Bentlee Sanders, one of the young Crusaders coach Mike Gregory has raved about during preseaon, injured his knee last week in the loss to Sickles.

Sanders started at defensive back as a freshman, totaling 31 tackles and an interception while also helping out on kick and punt returns. This season, though, Gregory expects the sophomore to help out on offense. 

Gregory said Sanders seemed okay after the injury, but he planned to have an MRI today. 

"We're praying for him," Gregory said. 

Staff writer Kelly Parsons contributed to this report. 

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