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Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County
Coach: Cory Moore (third season, 16-7)
Last season: 9-3 (lost 20-15 to Jefferson in region semifinals)
District: Class 3A, District 8
Key losses: TE/LB Ba’Ree Boyd, WR/DB Xavius Boyd, QB/DB Jermiel Douse, RB/DB Burness Griffin, RB/DB Bernard Reedy, OL/DL Aram Wynn
Who’s back: TE/LB Danny Clark, WR/DB Sermetrius Dennis, QB Alphonso Evans, DL Dante Fowler, RB/DB Byronton Jackson, WR/DB Javaris Little, RB/DB Warren Witherspoon
What’s new: After a couple of years of spot action, Evans has the quarterback position all to himself. Moore said his senior-to-be signal caller has a high football IQ and can makes plays with his arm or feet. Jackson and Witherspoon provide a two-headed monster in the backfield for the Spartans, which takes some of the pressure off Evans. Among the receiving corps, Little is a dangerous playmaker who will get plenty of touches, and Dennis has been in the Spartans’ program for a couple of years and should contribute heavily. The offensive line is young but is one of the team’s strengths. Moore anticipates that the offense, while not as athletic, will be better than last year’s because it is more disciplined. Fowler, a rising junior who transferred to St. Petersburg Catholic but is back with the Spartans, has received the most attention from college recruiters. A defensive end, Fowler is expected to terrorize opposing backfields. Clark is the face of the defense according to Moore. He’ll move off the D-line and spend the majority of his time at linebacker this season. Little is the leader of the secondary. Moore likes that the fact that the Spartans are viewed as an underdog after losing so many standout players from last year’s playoff team. “That’s great for us,” he said. “It fits right into what we want this year.”
Audible: “One thing that we have this year that we haven’t had in a while is depth. That would hurt us at the end of the season, in Week 9 and Week 10. Now, we have a lot of depth plus a lot of guys that were here when I came in so they understand the system and they understand the rules.” — Moore
Did you know? On Saturdays, the Spartans have been conducting practices at 5 a.m. Only one player has arrived late since they started, according to Moore.
Spring game: May 28 vs. Dunedin, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 vs. Gibbs
Sept. 10 at St. Petersburg
Sept. 16 at Boca Ciega
Sept. 24 vs. Dixie Hollins
Oct. 1 at Countryside
Oct. 8 at Jefferson
Oct. 22 at Osceola
Oct. 29 vs. Blake
Nov. 5 vs. Spoto
Nov. 12 vs. Northeast