MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
The new football districts are pretty screwy (8A? Really?) and shake up some of the matchups we’ve come to know and love from the past few years. The next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at a district a day. First up: Class 2A, District 5
Admiral Farragut, Bradenton Christian, Calvary Christian, Cambridge, Canterbury, Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian, Keswick Christian, Northside Christian
Out with the old
Lakeland Victory Christian, which tormented teams in this district for years, not only moved into another district but is in a different region. Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic is the other team that moved out.
In with the new
Carrollwood Day and Northside Christian join the district after playing as independents last season. Bradenton Christian moves in from another district. …Canterbury’s Bill Jones is the only new coach in the district. He replaces Steve Dudley, who left to coach at St. Petersburg Catholic. …Calvary Christian will play its home games in a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility that will include field turf and a Jumbotron scoreboard. …Indian Rocks Christian quarterback Kyle Craichy has transferred to Admiral Farragut.
Five things to expect this fall
Beware the Blue Jackets: Admiral Farragut, which lost just three significant starters from last year’s team that finished as a runnerup in the district and advanced to the region final for the first time, is the clear favorite to win the district and could make a serious run at a state title.
Talented newbies: Carrollwood Day, playoff eligible for the first time, will immediately contend for the postseason with a skilled, veteran lineup.
A fine line: Some of the best recruits will be on the offensive line with three players — Bradenton Christian’s Josh Clark (6-6, 280 pounds), Indian Rocks Christian’s Devonte’ West (6-2, 285) and Northside Christian’s Patrick Tomlin (6-3, 285) — who either have offers or are receiving interest from colleges.
Double trouble: Calvary Christian’s Barnes twins, quarterback Allen and receiver Derek, should be one of the best passing tandems in the district.
Well seasoned: Indian Rocks Christian will benefit from playing in a higher classification the past two seasons and competing against area powers like Berkeley Prep, Clearwater Central Catholic and Fort Meade.
Players to watch
WR Sean Culkin, Indian Rocks Christian: Big target (6-foot-5) has offers from Iowa State and Liberty.
RB Robert Davis, Carrollwood Day: Hillsborough County-best 1,523 rushing yards in 2010.
RB Cortavious Givens, Admiral Farragut: Has the potential to rush for more than 1,000 yards.
ATH Rayshawn Jenkins, Admiral Farragut: USF commitment will line up as a safety and play receiver and quarterback.
RB Brent O’Neal, Canterbury: 1,000-yard rusher last season will be the focal point of the offense.
Mark your calendars
Admiral Farragut at Carrollwood Day, Sept. 30: Don’t be shocked if the Patriots, teeming with experience at the skill spots, pull this one off. Lane McLaughlin’s staff, which includes a guy named Gruden, will have its team ready for the biggest game in program history.
“Having so many teams in the district certainly creates more urgency because we’ll have more games that will mean something. I think there’s going to be good competition. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and there’s some familiarity with most of these teams.” — Admiral Farragut coach Chris Miller
1. Admiral Farragut
2. Carrollwood Day
3. Indian Rocks Christian
4. Bradenton Christian
5. Calvary Christian
8. Keswick Christian
9. Northside Christian
Bob Putnam and Joey Knight, Times staff writers