Despite Anclote’s reliance on the run last fall, the Sharks needed the leadership and skills of quarterback John Forgione to make their first playoff run. • That’s why one of Anclote’s big challenges this spring — along with developing the offensive line — is to find the replacement for Forgione, who threw 15 of his 22 career touchdown passes as a senior.
The two most likely candidates are senior Andrew Janus and sophomore Brandon Vinkler.
“It’s great to have the spring to kind of get them comfortable,” coach Matt Wicks said.
Janus didn’t begin playing quarterback until he entered high school and the team needed depth there, so he remains inexperienced and unpolished. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete recorded 40 tackles and two interceptions at safety last year and won a district title in the high jump this spring.
“He’s a versatile player …” running back/linebacker Willie Barrett said. “Whenever he’s out there, he’s a leader.”
While Janus is more of a running threat, Vinkler is more of a pocket passer. He boasts a better arm but still carries a linebacker’s mentality while running.
Wicks said the 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore has one key advantage – because he won’t be expected to play on defense, he could receive more in-game coaching than Janus.
The Sharks plan to anoint a new starter by the end of spring ball.
“By the time we get to summer, we’ll be set,” Wicks said.
Bond forming with Knights RBs
Ben Perdomo is finally seeing some carries as River Ridge’s tailback, but he doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight with a freshman. That’s because Chris Schwarz is no typical ninth-grader.
“He’s already one of the big leaders on the team, from the locker room to the field,” Perdomo said, minutes after the two split reps during 11-on-11.
The admiration is mutual.
“He’s always jumping around getting everybody fired up,” Schwarz said.
He looks ready to follow in the footsteps of brother Austin, who recorded 509 rushing yards and 21 tackles for a loss for the Knights in 2011.
The younger Schwarz will play fullback and middle linebacker, while rising senior Perdomo is set for double duty after playing defense exclusively.
“I’ve been working out since I was in sixth grade, trying to be like my brother,” Schwarz said. “I just wanna be as good as he was.”
Cincinnati became the second Big East program to offer Nature Coast senior DE Rohan Blackwood, who was also offered by Marshall on Monday. He holds 12 offers, including one from USF.
• Weeki Wachee lineman Marcus Applefield’s stock continues to rise. The junior added offers from Kentucky and Virginia to his list of D-I suitors.
• Late last week, Pasco WR Nate Craig — one of the state’s top 2016 recruits — added offers from Vanderbilt and Rutgers.
“It was a fun process doing it. It was unexplainable, knowing you went from nothing to something.” — Sunlake graduating senior Eddie Burgos, on transforming the Seahawks from a four-win team as a freshman to one of Pasco County’s top programs
Tweet of the day
Anclote K CJ Peppe @cjpeppe15: “Beautiful day to kick some bombs #Kicker”
Photo: Anclote's Brandon Vinkler
Correspondent Darek Sharp contributed to this report.