For the past two seasons, Fivay’s passing game has been the backbone of one of the most dangerous offensive attacks on the North Suncoast. • With the graduation of the Falcons’ entire receiving corps this spring, including Andrew Meyer (42 catches, 1,028 yards, 12 touchdowns), Willis Reeves (10 catches, 238 yards, three TDs), and arguably the area’s best tight end in Kevin Faulkner (30 catches, 502 yards, six TDs), the door opens for a new crop of players to join Eric Vitale in his first full season under center.
Coach Chris Taylor touts juniors JoJo Schumacher, Christian Coleman, Trenton Soto and Jacob Hindman as the four-man rotation that will see action at receiver.
“These guys have looked extremely good in practice,” Taylor said. “We’re faster than we’ve been at receiver in the past.”
He was especially high on Coleman, who saw a lot of action on the defensive side of the ball as a sophomore, and Schumacher.
“JoJo is a true 4.4(-second 40-yard dash) kid,” Taylor said. “He’s going to be a big difference maker for us on both sides of the ball. He can play receiver and spell (Davion) Sutton at tailback, too.”
Vitale showed a solid grip of the offense, according to Taylor, and if not for an injury suffered in the preseason game against Hudson, he would have been the starter in last season’s opener.
“(Vitale) hasn’t played a whole heck of a lot, but he had a lot of reps at the beginning of the year in practice,” Taylor said. “He knows what he’s doing back there.”
By the numbers: Sunlake
2,015 Combined rushing yards by graduating seniors Josh Zifer and Eddie Burgos
51 Tackles by senior-to-be Joe Jean-Baptiste
22 Seniors graduated from last year’s team
11.25 100-yard dash time of Mosi Davis, a region qualifier who’s new to the football team
9 Pancake blocks for senior Trevor Highnote, the most of any returning player
6 Passing attempts by Esteban LeWallen, the only returner who completed a pass last fall
26 On-field wins for the Seahawks in the past three seasons
5 Wins Sunlake had in the previous three seasons
Sharing snaps at Ridgewood
Rams coach Jay Fulmer plans to use Friday’s spring game against Zephyrhills to help determine who will replace his son, Will, at quarterback.
Fulmer said he plans to give Nick Michaels and Glass Wilson two quarters each to show why they should be the starter.
“Which one do they respond to?” Fulmer said. “Which one’s making the most plays?”
Fulmer said Michaels— who ranks among the top of the school’s sophomore class — has better passing mechanics and might be more polished. But Wilson is 20 pounds heavier with a strong arm that still needs to be honed.
“He’s more of a running back playing quarterback right now,” Fulmer said.
Whoever gets the starting job will have a strong core around him, including running back Clarence Farria and senior linemen Chris Branfield, Joshua Sojka and Andrew Spirou.
Staff writer Matt Baker contributed to this report