Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Hillsborough County
Coach: Harry Hubbard (second season at Blake, ninth overall; 36-42)
Last season: 1-9
District: Class 3A, District 8
Key losses: WR/TE Michael McFarland, DE George Taliaferro, WR Phillip Davis
Who’s back: QB Eugene Davenport, CB/WR Marquise Kelly, OL/DL Robert Kerr, MLB Mike Moore, LB Greg Peterson, OL/DL Centrell Austin, RB Corey Harris, RB Josh Bell, WR Darrean Telfair
What’s new: Harry Hubbard’s reclamation project at Blake might still be a year away from reaching its promise. This Yellow Jackets team is young, having lost just three starting seniors, but there is a core group of talent that Hubbard hopes will grow together. He points to Robinson’s rebirth and believes Blake can do the same. On the field, the Jackets look bigger than last season, anchored by a pair of huge linemen in 5-foot-11, 260-pound Billy Anderson and 6-foot-8, 315-pound Brandon Cellum, both rising sophomores. Davenport, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound gifted athlete, will be the team’s top playmaker and might move around the field depending on the development of rising sophomore backup quarterback Zain Gilmore. Fundamentals remain a central focus because the Yellow Jackets know how much mistakes killed them last year. But Hubbard, who built a winner from scratch at Middleton, is optimistic now that players know his staff and his system.
Audible: “I believe we can win here. We can make things go if we all stay together. I’m not saying we’re going to shock the world, but I think last year we could have won more than one game. We probably should have won four, but we beat ourselves with penalties.” — Hubbard
Did you know? Asked about the biggest difference in his second spring practice at Blake and Hubbard quickly points to his increased numbers. He had 27 kids come out for the first day of practice, compared to eight last year. “I think that’s progress,” Hubbard said with a smile.
Spring game: at Robinson, May 21, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 27 at Leto (preseason)
Sept. 10 vs. Sickles
Sept. 16 vs. Steinbrenner
Sept. 24 at Spoto
Oct. 1 at Newsome
Oct. 8 vs. Osceola
Oct. 15 at Hillsborough
Oct. 22 vs. Dixie Hollins
Oct. 29 at Lakewood
Nov. 5 at Jefferson
Nov. 12 vs. Middleton