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RIVERVIEW — Veteran Spoto coach Dale Caparaso has spent these purgatorial spring afternoons overseeing somewhat of a paradox in pads.
Which is to say, a minimal turnout has not led to maximum two-platooning.
Entering Thursday’s jamboree at East Bay, Caparaso envisions only one player — rising senior FB/ILB Camarcus Thomas — going both ways full time.
“We have enough athletes where we don’t necessarily have to (have several two-way players),” said Caparaso, who had 30 suited up for Monday’s workout.
“But the funny thing is, we have the second-lowest number of players we’ve had. The normal scenario is, you have about 40 kids and only 18 of them are good enough to play. We have only 30 players, but 25 of them can play.”
The cornerstone, of course, is returning 1,200-yard rusher Eric Moate, whom Caparaso says has recovered completely from the season-ending strained hamstring sustained at last month’s Class 2A, District 10 track meet.
A 170-pound blend of dash and durability, Moate could log more than 200 carries in the fall if he stays healthy. On Monday, however, Caparaso seemed most enamored with the youngsters who will complement him.
Among them: rising sophomore WR Marc McCoy, Moate’s cousin and a defensive project who will play outside linebacker in some sets; rising sophomore QB Todd Simms; and rising freshman S Bennie Pierce.
The offensive line, all underclassmen, will be anchored by rising junior G Justin Edwards (6-3, 320).
“They remind me a lot of that first year I was here (2008),” Caparaso said. “We started eight sophomores that year and made the playoffs.”
In Riverview, it’s all relative
Our trips to Riverview’s and Spoto’s practices Monday revealed a number of family ties. Among them:
• Riverview co-defensive coordinator Brian Thornton is the dad of new Sharks coach Mike Thornton
• Spoto rising sophomore QB Todd Simms is the first cousin of former Plant and current FSU RB James Wilder Jr. Wilder’s dad and Simms’ mom are siblings
• Spoto WR Marc McCoy and LB Traverrian Williams are cousins of Spartans TB Eric Moate
Number of the day
Combined years of coaching experience owned by Riverview co-defensive coordinators Brian Thornton (30) and Dudley Lytle (46). Thornton was coach at East Bay for 17 seasons. Lytle has coached at the prep level in Ohio and Florida, and had a brief stint at the University of Toronto
“I think they’ve been beaten up a little bit and become humble and they want to win, so they’re shutting up and listening.” -- new Riverview coach Mike Thornton, lauding the way his new team — winner of two games in the past two years — has embraced the stringent demands of his staff