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HomeTeam Huddle: Battling QBs at Wiregrass, UM drops by Gulf and other North Suncoast notables

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Tue. May 3, 2011 | Bryan Burns

HomeTeam Huddle: Battling QBs at Wiregrass, UM drops by Gulf and other North Suncoast notables

As you may notice, we’ve shaken up our proverbial playbook this spring. Instead of the conventional team-by-team capsules (yawwwwn) we’ve typically published each May, we’re spreading things out , mixing up our coverages and, hopefully, providing a hot read each day. There’s no set formula here, but the objective remains clear: to be as comprehensive and creative as possible.

New blood under center
One of the more intriguing position battles this spring can be found at Wiregrass Ranch, where rising junior Jake Day and rising sophomore Zach Drury are neck-and-neck to see who replaces four-year starter James Tringali as starting quarterback.

Day started seven games at cornerback in 2010, but will spend this season trying to complete passes rather than picking them off. Day is a hard worker who can make plays with his feet and is a natural leader, according to coach Jeremy Shobe.

Drury quarterbacked the Bulls’ JV squad for half a season and is also a dangerous runner in open space. Rising senior Ricky Weisbrodt, who also made a handful of starts under center for the JV team, will compete as well.

Shobe said the Bulls were too pass-heavy last season, and he would like to develop a more consistent running game. The Bulls won their first district title and made the school’s only postseason appearance in 2010.

“We’re probably going to run more option because of the guys we’ve got at quarterback,” he said. “Tringali was more of a pocket passer.”

Whomever wins the quarterback derby will have some experienced shoes to fill. Tringali started 37 games over the past four seasons.

Two-minute drill
Justin Scamardo, Wiregrass Ranch left tackle
If you could run out of the tunnel and onto the field at any stadium, pro or college, where would it be?
Raymond James. I’m a huge Bucs fan.
What’s in your CD player right now?
My Dean Martin CD I got for my birthday in October. My dad always listens to it, so he got me hooked on those oldies songs.
Are you a reader? Do you have a favorite book?
Harry Potter. I’ve read each book like three times.
Best pregame meal?
I’m a sucker for pizza. We get spaghetti a lot before games, I like that. Lots of pasta, stuff like that.

Strictly speaking
“It feels so great to be back. The kids are doing a great job, it’s 90 degrees out here and it’s spring football in May. Everything is right in the world.” — Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz on coaching football again after a two-year hiatus.

Recruiting nugget
First-year Gulf coach Tom Carter confirmed that a University of Miami a recruiter stopped by to inquire about senior lineman Jeff Kruse, senior quarterback/wideout Ty’Shon Peters and tight end Damion Hicks. All three have been receiving looks from D-I schools and are hoping to have big summers to draw more attention. Kruse looks to be the top prospect for the Buccaneers, as the 6-foot-2, 275-pounder four-year varsity starter has been in contact with many schools, not just because of his athletic ability but for academics as well. The IB student holds a 4.3 grade-point average and is attracting a lot of attention from Ivy league colleges.

‘No way’ number of the day
25 Total players practicing on Gulf’s second day of spring football.

What they’re saying
Every day, we pose a question to our readers on our Facebook page. They’re keen to offer their two cents … and we’re printing the best response.

Tuesday’s question: Which player who did not see significant time last year (injury, reserve, JV, etc.) will surprise us most this spring and fall?

• Jake Day, Wiregrass Ranch. Was the backup QB last year so no one really knows about him. — John Walter Holley Jr.

Next up: Last play of the game. Your team is on the 50, you trail 26-21. Which quarterback do you want taking the snap, and who is he handing off or throwing the long one to?

What’s your call? Go here, become a fan and give us your thoughts.

Correspondent Andy Villamarzo contributed to this report.

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