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District deconstruction: Class 3A-5

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Tue. July 24, 2012 | Times Staff

District deconstruction: Class 3A-5

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a football district a day. Today: Class 3A-5.

Teams
Listed in order of 2011 finish with overall/district record
1. Berkeley Prep (12-1, 3-0)
2. Clearwater Central Catholic (8-3, 2-1)
3. Tampa Catholic (6-4, 1-2)
4. St. Petersburg Catholic (2-8, 0-3)

Did you know?
Every team in this district has advanced to the state semifinals at least once in the past nine seasons. But none has ever won a state title.

Four things to expect this fall
It’s the Marauders’ time: Clearwater Central Catholic has a shiny new stadium, complete with an artificial-turf field. It also has a team good enough to win the school’s first district title since 2005. CCC has plenty of returners on both sides and benefits from the top contenders in their district, Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic, dealing with losses at key skill positions.

Or is it? Sure, Berkeley lost 14 seniors including USC signee Nelson Agholor and nearly every other skill player on its roster. But let’s see a show of hands for all who doubt Dominick Ciao. Berkeley’s veteran coach will have the Bucs ready.

QB derby: The recent bombshell dropped by Tampa Catholic 6-foot-5 QB Chivarsky Corbett, who said he’s giving up football to focus on hoops, leaves coach Bob Henriquez with an abbreviated battle for the starting job. Corbett’s 2011 backup, Mitchell Norden, will vie with Plant transfer Kyle Ploucher.

In a rush: SPC has the ultimate weapon in the running game in Ryan Green and plans to feature him in a ball-control offense. Green should benefit from an improved offensive line that gets a boost with Reilly Gibbons switching from tight end to tackle.

Players to watch
RB Ryan Green, St. Petersburg Catholic:
FSU recruit has rushed for 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons and is poised for even bigger numbers.

DB Michael Stevenson, Clearwater Central Catholic: Big-time prospect headlines one of the best secondaries in the area and could see time in the backfield as a running back.

ATH Diquan Walker, Clearwater Central Catholic: Rushed for 62 yards in spring against Hernando and will catch plenty of passes as a receiver.  

RB Chris Williams, Berkeley Prep: A blend of stockiness (5-5, 165 pounds) and speed, Williams projects as the every-down back in the Bucs’ ball-control scheme.

OL Corey Martinez, Tampa Catholic: Whomever wins the QB job has a far better chance of staying upright thanks to this 6-4, 305-pound Division-I prospect with two SEC offers.

Mark your calendars
CCC at Berkeley Prep, Oct. 19:
The Marauders have struggled in this series, losing the past three by a combined 100-21. But CCC is poised for a breakthrough with a veteran team in a game that will ultimately decide the district champion.

Projected finish
1. Clearwater Central Catholic
2. Berkeley Prep
3. Tampa Catholic
4. St. Petersburg Catholic

Also in this series
Class 2A, District 5

Joey Knight and Bob Putnam, Times staff writers

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