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Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Hillsborough County
Coach: Bruce Gifford (third season, 5-14)
Last year: 3-6
District: Class 5A, District 6
Key losses: RB Ronnie Johnson, RB Terrence Carter, QB Jerid Heffers, WR David Ray, DL/OLB Ben Aycrigg, OLB/SS Ivan Halaufia, DE Jacob Farmer
Who’s back: MLB Sean Shapiro, S Jamin Vereen, OL Justin Tew, FB Drake Pickford, WR Jamal Miles
What’s new: A lot of faces. The Sharks lose 27 seniors from last year’s team, including a lot of skill position guys. Just six starters — three on offense and three on defense — return, so there were plenty of holes to fill this spring. Gifford believes the talent is there. The Sharks lose their leading passer, top two leading rushers, leading receiver and top two leading tacklers. They will have to replace the combined 1,565 rushing yards from Johnson and Carter. Pickford and rising senior P.J. Mullings will receive a majority of the carries. Miles, formerly the team’s starting tight end, will move to wide receiver. During the spring game, Shapiro was the only starting defensive player to play because the other two returners missed most of spring practice because of track. The Sharks have just 13 seniors for the fall, but do have a big 27-player junior class.
Audible: “We’re just seeing which young guys can step up and which kids can become leaders. We’re just waiting for these young guys to mature.” — Gifford
Did you know? The Sharks have a new offensive coordinator, Dourest Robinson, the running backs coach at TBT last season.
Spring result: East Bay 21, Riverview 7
Aug. 27 vs. Brandon (preseason)
Sept 3 at Freedom
Sept. 10 vs. TBT
Sept 16 at Lennard
Sept. 24 at Plant
Oct. 1 vs. Spoto
Oct. 8 at Durant
Oct. 15 vs. East Bay
Oct. 22 vs. Plant City
Oct. 29 vs. Newsome
Nov. 5 at Bloomingdale