HomeTeam Huddle: Depth takes pressure off Pinellas Park



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Wed. May 21, 2014 | Rodney Page and Bob Putnam

HomeTeam Huddle: Depth takes pressure off Pinellas Park

There was a time when spring meant filling major holes for Pinellas Park, but that is not the case this year.

The Patriots return a major part of last fall’s team that went 10-2. They are especially stacked at running back, where fullback Kal-El Williams and running backs Donte Maxson and Oscee Calhoun combined for 2,590 yards last season. 

Coach Kenny Crawford said his main focus is finding a few offensive linemen and filling holes in the secondary. He said the quarterback competition will be between last year’s backup, Mitch Grondin, and Nick Hernandez, who played linebacker. 

“We have to figure out a few offensive line spots and we have three spots in the secondary we have to fill due to graduation,’’ Crawford said. “There’s going to be some good competition in the secondary. (Rising senior) Jalil Crapps has really stepped up back there. (Rising junior) Alonzo McCray has done a good job fitting in back there, and (rising senior) Calhoun wants to play some more on defense. He knows he’ll have to share carries on offense so he wants to try the other side of the ball.’’

Pinellas Park faces Orlando Evans tonight. Crawford said he is looking for consistency from his experienced team.

“Evans is going to have some athletes, no doubt,’’ he said. “It’s going to be a great test. I’m looking for us to play with intensity and play mistake free.’’

Bulky building blocks

If there is one thing Seminole has in abundance, it is offensive linemen. In fact, the Warhawks have so many that coach Chris Miller doesn’t expect much of a drop off in the trenches despite graduating four of five starters.

“We have an awfully good group here,” Miller said. “A lot of the guys that were backups last year could have started for other teams in the county.”

The lone returning starter is Andrew Calvert, a 240-pound rising senior. What the rest of the potential starters lack in playing time, they make up for in size. Miller said the line should average about 265 pounds per starter. 

But for whom will the linemen be opening holes? Ra’Quanne Dickens, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, is graduating. The top candidates to replace him are Travis Wateska and Chris Garza-McLean.

The passing game is set with quarterback Aaron Dever and tight end Mathew Woncisk returning. But Miller said the offense will still feature a heavy dose of the running game. And that has a lot to do with what they have up front.

Offer sheet

Admiral Farragut defensive back Jestin Green picked up an offer from Connecticut this week. Green also has an offer from Florida International. Blue Jackets quarterback Dalton Collins picked up an offer from Columbia on Tuesday. In AFA’s spring game, a 51-8 over Gainesville Hawthorne, Collins threw two touchdown passes and rushed for 80 yards.

Thursday's matchups

• Westminster Christian at Calvary Christian, 5

• Canterbury at Shorecrest Prep, 6

• Palm Harbor University at Largo, 7

• Orlando Evans at Pinellas Park, 7 

• Keswick Christian at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, 7 


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