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Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County.
Last season: 5-5
Coach: Stevie Thomas (fifth season, 21-20)
District: Class 4A, District 10
Key losses: LB Emmerson Clarke, DB Ransom Cook, RB/DB Jovontae Johnson, DB Rommon Lumpkin, DL Victor Sanchez, DB Jocquel Skinner, RB Latavien Washington
Who’s back: WR Kendryk Boyd, QB/DB Shaquille Bradford, DE Demeco Bristol, OL Brandon Carter, C Dylan Chawla, OL Dylan Coppola, OL Brandon Dillard, WR Tyree Green, WR Gekarro McCall, OL Jon Moore, WR Phadrae White
What’s new: The defense, mostly. Boca Ciega will have to replace 10 of 11 starters on that side of the ball. Only Bristol, a senior defensive end, returns. The secondary and linebacking corps have to be completely revamped. Thomas said, depending on conditioning, he’ll have to play some of his offensive starters both ways. On offense, the Pirates are loaded. Bradford could be the county’s top returning quarterback, and he’ll have four experienced senior receivers to throw to in Green, Boyd, White and McCall. Green, at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, is the Pirates’ top Division-I prospect and is receiving heavy interest from USF. Bradford has also been on the radar of recruiters. The entire 2009 offensive line – Chawla, Moore, Dillard, Carter and Coppola – is back. Chawla, the center, is the anchor. Dillard started as a freshman last year. Carter could be one of those offensive players who will see time on defense. Numbers are another concern. Thomas estimates the Pirates have only about 25 players now, but he hopes to have more come out as spring practice progresses.
Audible: “We should be pretty sound up front this year. Hopefully the (O-line) is going to be one of our biggest strengths because we’re going to rely on our offense to put up big numbers” — Thomas
Did you know? Renovations to the Pirates’ stadium, which is undergoing a complete refurbishing, including new locker rooms and press box, are ongoing and scheduled to be completed in time for the Sept. 16 home opener.
Spring game: May 28 at Sarasota Booker, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 at Countryside
Sept. 16 vs. Lakewood
Sept. 24 at Leto
Oct. 1 vs. Pinellas Park
Oct. 8 vs. Sickles
Oct. 15 at St. Petersburg
Oct. 22 at Largo
Oct. 29 vs. Seminole
Nov. 5 at Northeast
Nov. 12 vs. Gibbs