MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Even with the departures of two Division I skill players, Pasco isn’t talking about using 2012 as a rebuilding year. The Pirates are viewing it as a chance at another run to the Class 5A state semifinals, or beyond.
“We have a lot of potential this year to be as good or maybe even better than last year’s team,” said DL Joey Ivie, a Florida commit.
The county’s most prolific passer, QB Jacob Guy, is a walk-on at UF, and star athlete Trey Dudley-Giles is impressing UMass coaches at cornerback. But the Pirates’ first few days of practice showed the speed and athleticism to replace them.
Three quarterbacks continue to fight to replace Guy: senior Jajuan Henry, junior Ben Chandler and sophomore Grant Starling. Coach Tom McHugh said the speedy Henry holds a slight edge now, even though he’s missed practice time after having his wisdom teeth removed, but nothing has been decided yet.
“I feel pretty confident with any three of them,” McHugh said.
Pasco makes up for the loss of two of its most explosive talents by beefing up its lines and depth. Center Tim Blomeley is the only returning starter on the offensive line, but expected starters Garett Mitchell (6-foot-3, 210 pounds), Ajee Carr (5-10, 220) and RJ Scaife (6-3, 225) will add size and strength to the line.
A lack of depth forced the Pirates to start a handful of players on both sides of the ball last fall, including Dudley-Giles and ATH Janarion Grant. But Grant figures to be the only two-way starter this fall, thanks to talented young players who will join established veterans like Grant and RB David Emmanuel.
“They’re young,” McHugh said, “but really aggressive and really enthusiastic.”