Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County
Coach: Mike Morey (13th season, 56-66)
Last season: 0-10
District: Class 3A, District 8
Key losses: OL Mike Lathers, OL Mike Perez, WR Jai’rius Peterson, QB Dylan Seals, OL Shane Sullivan, OL/DL Alex Swatzell, RB Cedric Williams
Who’s back: RB Sonteario Alexander, QB Kevin Hubbard, LB Brandon Knapp, LB Jimmy McCombs, S Cameron Williams
What’s new: The Rebels’ strength will come from their defense, where they return seven starters. The linebacking corps is highlighted by seniors Knapp and McCombs. Williams, another senior, is a three-year starter at free safety. Those three defenders were the Rebels’ leading tacklers from a year ago and will be counted on heavily again this season. The Rebels are thin on the offensive and defensive lines; the O-line graduated four of five starters. “Both lines are question marks,” Morey said. “We’ve got to work real hard to find out what we’ve got there.” The starting quarterback position is an open battle between two juniors, Hubbard and Dana Harrington. Hubbard has been dealing with a hand injury and unable to take snaps under center, which has hampered his development somewhat. Williams had around 200 carries and gained nearly 1,000 yards rushing last season, but Morey said he’s going to distribute the carries a bit more evenly between his backs. Alexander and Brandon Bell are the main candidates to replace Williams’ production in the backfield. The Rebels are working to eliminate turnovers, one of the biggest problems during last year’s difficult season. Williams hit double digits for fumbles, and Morey said of the Rebels’ 11 thrown interceptions, about eight were returned for touchdowns.
Audible: “Our whole theme this year has been attitude. Our first three days in helmets, we all wore shirts that said, ‘Attitude.’ We’re just trying to change that negative, losing attitude and get it turned around.” — Morey
Did you know? The Rebels were the only county team to finish without a win last season.
Spring game: May 28 at Osceola, 7 p.m.
Sept. 3 vs. Northeast
Sept. 10 at Seminole
Sept. 16 vs. St. Petersburg
Sept. 24 at Lakewood
Oct. 1 at Clearwater
Oct. 8 vs. Spoto
Oct. 22 at Blake
Oct. 29 at Jefferson
Nov. 5 vs. Osceola
Nov. 12 vs. Pinellas Park