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Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County:
Coach: Jared Davis (first season)
Last season: 11-2 (lost 24-6 to Plant in region final)
District: Class 5A, District 8
Key losses: QB Jimbo Chmelik, DL Tyree Craddock, DB Andrew Davis, K William Griswold, DB Mitch Ronacher, WR Todd Shorter, RB Alton Taylor, DL Tyler Walker, OL Mike Wiszowaty, DL Max Wolfinbarger
Who’s back: DB Alex Dixon, LB Terry Johnson, WR Joey Lombardi, OL Tyler Moore, OL Tyler Pierson
What’s new: Jared Davis, a Countryside graduate and former defensive coordinator at Gibbs, takes over the Cougars. He replaces John Davis, who left after eight seasons to go back to Clearwater Central Catholic. Jared Davis has a lot of holes to fill with 32 seniors graduating. The good news is quarterback Gray Crow is back after spending last season as the starting quarterback at Ocala Trinity Catholic. He should have great protection with two of the county’s best tackles, Moore and Pierson. There is a battle for three interior line spots between Jeff Albert, Konner Brown, Ryan Johnson and James Holsten. One of the big things the Cougars have to find this spring is a replacement for running back Alton Taylor, who rushed for more than 1,900 yards and scored 30 touchdowns last season. The workload will be shared by Lonnie Cook, Terry Johnson, Joey Lombardi, Charles McDaniel and Jordan Rossi. Countryside also has to replace its top three receivers and will count on Lombardi and Marrieo Taylor as its top targets. Davis also hopes Derek Messmore and Ricy Brown come out for football now that track season is over. On defense, Johnson leads a linebacking unit that includes Josh Pendergist and Adam Vinson. Kevin Kitchen anchors the defensive line, and D.J. Dixon and Mike Love are the top defensive ends. Alex Dixon and Denzel Thompson are the top defensive backs. Ryan Halter replaces Griswold as the kicker.
Audible: “There are a ton of guys lost from last year, but we have a solid group to build from.” — Davis
Did you know? Countryside has five Division I prospects in Crow, Alex Dixon, Johnson, Moore and Pierson.
Spring game: May 28 vs. St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 at Boca Ciega
Sept. 10 vs. Gibbs
Sept. 16 vs. Osceola
Sept. 24 vs. Dunedin
Oct. 1 at Lakewood
Oct. 8 at Clearwater
Oct. 14 at Tarpon Springs
Oct. 22 vs. Palm Harbor University
Oct. 29 at East Lake
Nov. 5 vs. Largo