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Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Hillsborough County:
Coach: Brian Thornton (17th season, 95-71)
Last season: 5-5
District: Class 4A, District 9
Key losses: DT Dontavious Fleming, QB Aaron Mills, RB D.J. Richmond, RB/DB Deandre Reddick, K Forest Meredith, DB Calvin Sanders
Who’s back: RB Junior Nemorin, LB Keionne Baines, DE Kieran Pettus, FB Josh Hudson, DB Trevon Graham, DB Demario Lacey, LB Quantavious Gibbs, DT Matt Ludwig, OL Tevin Franklin
What’s new: The Indians lack experience in the backfield, which is important since they run their option out of the wishbone formation. The Indians lose three of the top five rushers, but Thornton likes the size his remaining backs have. Nemorin, the team’s leading rusher last season with 546 yards and four touchdowns, and Hudson (38 carries, 135 yards) will be the fullbacks, while 185-pound Tyrell Edwards and 195-pound Dante Evans will be the halfbacks; the 195-pound Baines might be in the mix as well. There are plenty of holes to fill on the offensive line. Franklin, used mostly on the defensive line last season, will be the only offensive lineman with starting experience. “The guys are working hard and I think we’ll be fine, but it will take a while,” Thornton said. Arthur Jacobs, a rising junior, will take over at quarterback.
Audible: “Option football is a very versatile system, but it’s nice to have a little bigger backs this year. They might be a little more durable without losing speed. We’re going to be about 30 pounds heavier at each spot. We’re not changing anything as far as the X’s and O’s, but its good to have, especially with our backs blocking.” — Thornton
Did you know? Former East Bay quarterback Tyler Schuerman, who played under Thornton from 1996-’98, will be the new quarterbacks/running backs coach. Also former Blake coach Sean Washington is the new linebackers coach.
Spring game: vs. Riverview at Riverview, May 21, 6:30 p.m. (second half)
Aug. 27 vs. Lennard (preseason)
Sept. 3 at Plant City
Sept. 16 vs. Spoto
Sept. 24 at Brandon
Oct. 1 vs. Durant
Oct. 8 vs. Hillsborough
Oct. 15 at Riverview
Oct. 22 vs. King
Oct. 29 at Wharton
Nov. 5 at Armwood
Nov. 12 vs. Steinbrenner