MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Spoto RB Eric Moate, No. 39 in the HomeTeam 100 (see Nos. 31-40 here), is no longer under the radar.
2011 stats: 1,225 yards rushing, 11 yards per carry, 15 total TDs
The breakdown: He quietly went about his business last season, Eric Moate did, only posting some of the most eye-popping stats in Tampa Bay.
He averaged more than 11 yards a carry.
Against the top three teams in the district, he ran for 177 yards (Robinson), 175 (Lakewood) and 73 with a kick return touchdown (Jesuit).
Heck, he even punted, and put eight of his 28 boots inside the 20.
What can’t Eric Moate do?
“He’s our guy,’’ said coach Dale Caparaso last spring, and you’ll be seeing more of him in 2012, as the Spartans plan to make sure he gets 22-25 carries a game. Last year, Moate averaged 10 carries a game.
Caparaso once coached Johnny Peyton at Pasco, a wideout so fast Joe Paterno came all the way to Lacoochee to visit him. Moate is the only other player Caparaso has coached with that kind speed.
“His speed is unbelievable,’’ Caparaso said. “Colleges love that about him.’’
The senior (5-11, 170), who also plays defensive back and returns kicks, said he is ready for the increased workload. “Very,’’ said Moate, who has healed from a hamstring injury that cut short his state track title hopes in the 100 and 200 meters. “I’m strong enough to handle it, and our offensive line we have is better than last year.’’
He thinks he can post the same kind of numbers in 2012.
This time, though, don’t expect it to be done so quietly.