A couple of minutes with Countryside rising senior running back Diomi Roberts (5-8, 180 pounds) who is poised for a breakout season.
Your team lost to Plant in the Class 5A region finals for the second straight season in 2010. How hard was that loss to get over?
Well, I still don’t think we’re over it. We still talk about it. For the guys that are coming back as seniors, we all know we don’t want to get that far and have it happen like that again. We can’t wait to get started and get it rolling again.
It’s been easy to run through holes the past two seasons considering you had one of the biggest — and best — offensive lines in the county. But some guys are graduating. Will it be tougher finding room to run this season?
I think we’ll be fine. We have some holes to fill losing our two tackles, Tyler Moore (Nebraska recruit) and Tyler Pierson. But we still have good team leadership with Jeff Albert.
Last season you split carries with Terry Johnson, who is graduating. How much bigger do you think your role will be on offense?
I think I’ll be on the field a lot more. But I think I’ll be more involved in the passing game. I’ll be coming out of the backfield or splitting wide. But I know I’ll be more involved in the offense.
What kind of goals do you have as far as stats this season?
I can’t really say that I have some number I’m trying to get at. I’m just trying to get the team back to where we were in the playoffs and finish the job. I’m focused more on the team and not on individual stats.
The program has had a lot of big-time college recruits the past two years with Tyler Moore signing with Nebraska and quarterback Gray Crow committing to Miami. Has that helped you get interest from colleges?
We’ve had a lot of schools come through here because of those guys and that’s helped everyone else. I’ve had some interest from Ohio and Tennessee State, but I don’t have an offer yet.
Power of two
Last year, Calvary Christian received an influx of talent when twins Allen and Derek Barnes transferred from Largo before the start of the season.
Allen took over at quarterback and became a multidimensional force, leading the team in passing (619 yards) and rushing (538). His favorite target was Derek, who led the team in receptions (22) and receiving yards (394).
The two figure to play a prominent role again in the Warriors’ passing game. Coach Dave Bonchi said he plans to use their athleticism by going to the shotgun more often.
“They allow us to do a lot of things on offense,” Bonchi said.
Bonchi also expects a big year from running back Stephen Rice and lineman Matt Ankrom.
Number of the day
$4 million Projected cost of Calvary Christian’s first football stadium and athletic facility. The complex, which will be known as “The Rock,” is scheduled to be completed in July.
The complex will be located on the school’s campus at the corner of McMullen Booth Road and Drew Street in Clearwater. The stadium will be the first in the county with a turf field and will include a Daktronics jumbotron scoreboard and an eight-lane rubber track.
A 9,000-square foot field house is being built as well. It will have more than 3,000 square feet for a weight room and conditioning equipment.
The complex is being funded in large part by a gift from Dr. Pit Gills and his wife, Joy; both are members of Calvary Baptist Church.
Ohio University offered Countryside rising juniors Mike Love and A.J. Sattinger this week, coach Jared Davis said via text. Love, a defensive lineman who led the team in sacks last season with eight, also has an offer from Alabama-Birmingham. This is the first offer for Sattinger, a tight end.
On tap Thursday
Shorecrest plays at Bradenton Christian at 7 in a rematch of last year’s game that the Chargers lost 41-35.
What they’re saying
Every day, we pose a question to our readers on our Facebook page. Next up: Which football player has the best nickname? (We’ve had Lockdown and Manchild, so the bar is high, people.)
What’s your call? Go here, become a fan and give us your thoughts.