For all of Hillsborough County’s transplants and commuters, it remains a bedrock of Friday night family tradition. To this day, local rosters remain dotted with last names that have become synonymous with some schools, and each program seems fastened by at least one distinct family tie. Probe hard enough, and you’re bound to find the county’s most disparate areas (like Citrus Park and Seffner) are divided by mere degrees of separation. In that spirit, we’ve assembled a hodgepodge of assorted family matters for your preseason perusal. Enjoy.
The county’s top five football families (We’re only talking immediate families here because, well, this list gets way too unwieldy if you toss in cousins, uncles, etc.)
Dalvin (Armwood, 2000-01)
Kalvin (Armwood, 2001-04)
Alvin (Armwood, 2009-present)
Talvin (Armwood, 2011-present)
For sheer volume, in terms of siblings and state titles, no one can touch LaFonda Bailey’s boys. Kalvin, of course, was the burly cornerstone of the Hawks’ triple-option running attack that steamrolled its way to a pair of state titles. Alvin turned in one clutch playoff effort after another last year to will Armwood to the Class 6A crown (which it later had to forfeit). Dalvin, the eldest, was a flashy cornerback/receiver in his day. And Talvin? Well, the two older brothers agree he ultimately may be the best in the family.
Reche (Jefferson, 1994-97)
If not for their birth certificates, one might presume these two are twins. Both played quarterback for the Dragons out of necessity before evolving into dazzling receivers at the University of Florida and ultimately reaching the NFL. As a Dragons senior, Reche collected more than 3,600 yards and led Jefferson to the Class 5A state semifinals. Five falls later, “Bubba” amassed more than 2,500 yards, leading the Dragons to the 4A title game.
Leon (Blake, 1965-67)
Leon Jr. (King, 1985-87)
Khiry (Hillsborough 2006-08, Armwood 2009)
Leon III (Armwood,
The elder McQuay would go on to a legendary University of Tampa career and later bounce around the NFL — where Leon III just might land one day. Currently, he’s the nation’s 40th-ranked senior prospect according to ESPN. Leon Jr. was a versatile all-Western Conference performer for King in the Cosby Show era, and Khiry starred for Armwood’s 12-1 team in 2009 after transferring from Hillsborough.
Greg (Jesuit 1986-89)
George (Jesuit, 1993-96)
Gary (Jesuit, 1995-98)
Greg won a Golden Helmet Award as a Tigers guard, while George threw for more than 3,700 yards and led Jesuit to a pair of district titles. Gary, a 6-foot-8 force of nature, played on both lines before ultimately settling in at quarterback, where he earned the Guy Toph Award as a senior. All three would go on to play Division I football.
Shawn (Tampa Bay Tech, 1985-86)
Eric (Armwood, 2005-07)
Petey (Armwood, 2005-08)
Shawn’s boys win the body-of-work debate in this family. Eric (a downhill tailback) and Petey (a head-stalking linebacker) carved out prep careers that would lead to abbreviated stints at Auburn and Alabama, respectively. But in terms of single-game glory, neither can touch their old man. Shawn, a 195-pound tailback in the day, ran for 501 yards -- still a state record -- in a 1985 win against East Bay.
The next generation
Area’s top players with “Jr.” or “III” after their name
Richard Bisaccia Jr.
Son of former longtime Bucs assistant
Zain Gilmore Jr.
Prolific QB is son of 1998 Florida Mr. Football
Vernon Hargreaves III
Arguably nation’s top college CB prospect
Kim Jackson II
Dad played in same Lions backfield with Leon McQuay Jr.
Leon McQuay III
Has potential to be second family member to reach NFL
Next of kin
Other local family connections we’ve discovered
• Two of the county’s most prolific tailbacks, Carrollwood Day’s Robert Davis and Chamberlain’s Xavier Johnson, are first cousins.
• Sickles OT Zach Hudson is the nephew of Gryphons coach Brian Turner and grandson of all-time county coaching victories leader Billy Turner.
• Seven Plant players — Aaron Aikens, Will Few, Harrison Mathews, Bernard Rogers, Reeves Rogers, Zach Seaberg and Cameron Staley — are the younger brothers of former Panthers.
• Durant FB Jamarlon Hamilton is the nephew of former L.A. Raiders and Dallas Cowboys RB Derrick Gainer.
Family coaching trees
Which current coach has produced the most impressive brood of head coaches from his own staff? You decide.
Sean Callahan (Armwood)
C.C. Culpepper (Tampa Bay Tech, 2007-10)
Todd Donohoe (Strawberry Crest, 2009-10; Freedom, first year)
John Kelly (Cambridge, 2008; Strawberry Crest, first year)
Shannon O’Brien (Sickles, 1997-2000)
Bill Stewart (Etowah, Ga., 2006-11; Clemens High, Madison, Ala., first year)
Dominick Ciao (Berkeley Prep, Jesuit)
James Harrell (Freedom, 2009; Jesuit, 2010-present)
Joe Ross (Jesuit, 2005-09)
Robert Weiner (Plant, 2004-present)
Earl Garcia (Boca Ciega, Gaither, Hillsborough)
Alonzo Ashwood (Middleton, 2011-present)
Sean Callahan (Armwood, 1990-present)
Brian Emanuel (Alonso, 2011-present)
Dean Eychner (Brandon, first season)
Lee Meitzler (Alonso, 2010)
Andres Perez (Steinbrenner, first season)
Mike Simmonds (Jefferson, 1998-2005)