Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County:
Coach: Jack Benson (interim coach)
Last season: 1-9
District: Class 5A, District 8
Key losses: LB Ali Cheaib, OL Phillip Chesson, WR/DB Nathan Diehl, OL Brandon Madrishin, QB Ryan Singer, WR Tyler Sjoblom, LB Christler Viaaviencio
Who’s back: RB/DB Trevonte Anderson, WR/DB Sharrod Harriel, LB Kyle Kunnen, OL/DL Bryce Newton, RB/DB Kion Samuels, RB/DB Jezreel Saunders, WR/DB Zack Welsh
What’s new: Benson, the team’s junior varsity coach last season, takes over on varsity while the school searches for a replacement for Mark Everett, who was dismissed two weeks ago. Benson has plenty of skill players to work with on both sides of the ball. The running game will be by committee with Anderson, Samuels and Saunders sharing the workload. The offensive line will be anchored by Newton, a rising senior and veteran on a unit made up mostly of juniors. Anthony Diviney takes over at quarterback from Singer, who is graduating. Diviney will have plenty of targets, the biggest being Harriel, a standout in the high jump who can use his height (6-2) to create mismatches. Another receiver to look out for is Welsh. Both will be counted on to fill the void of Battle, who is ineligible for the spring. The strength of the defense is in the secondary, where nearly every skill player on offense will see playing time. Kunnen came out after his baseball season ended last week and will be the leader among linebackers.
Audible: “I don’t expect a lot of wholesale changes this spring. We’re going to try to get them to block and tackle and hopefully turn things around.” — Benson
Did you know? With so many new faces on offense last year, the Falcons struggled to put up points, scoring 12 or fewer in eight games.
Spring game: May 28 at Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 vs. Largo
Sept. 10 vs. Tarpon Springs
Sept. 16 at Pinellas Park
Sept. 24 vs. Countryside
Oct. 1 at Gibbs
Oct. 8 at Sarasota Riverview
Oct. 22 vs. Clearwater
Oct. 29 at Palm Harbor University
Nov. 5 at East Lake
Nov. 12 vs. St. Petersburg