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Mon. October 19, 2009 | Keith Niebuhr

Joey Lombardi is the kind of football player whose name doesn’t show up on any list of statistical leaders.

But at Countryside, he’s invaluable.

“He plays everywhere,” Cougars coach John Davis said. “Last (Thursday), he came in at fullback. He’s normally a receiver. He’s also our third-team QB, and plays a lot of special teams. We call him ‘Slash’ because he plays just about every position.”

This week, Lombardi might not play at all.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound junior sustained a broken nose and a slight concussion last week against Tarpon Springs, according to Davis. It happened on the fourth-quarter play in which RB Alton Taylor scored with a 27-yard run.

“I didn’t see him, but people say he was gushing blood when he came out,” Davis said.

 Lombardi was taken to the hospital after the game, but Davis said he should be fine. The coach will know soon whether Lombardi can play Friday against Palm Harbor University.

“You can’t do without him, but people in the stands may not notice him all the time,” Davis said. “He’s a hard-nosed gritty football player.”

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