Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

2008 All-Suncoast Football


They sneaked up on no one. From the first game of the season, the spotlight was immediately thrust on them, as Armwood and Plant — two of the bay area's top high school football programs — played in front of a national TV audience. Throughout the year, they were an opposing coordinator's nightmare, the type of players who simply couldn't be stopped by secret schemes. And three Fridays ago they met again, with a trip to the state tournament on the line. They are seniors, team captains, record breakers and in all likelihood, the next batch of collegiate stars with bay area roots who will evoke a whole new round of "I remember when I saw him play in high school." They are our Times all-Suncoast Players of the Year.

Aaron Murray QB, Plant

Some called it silly, mainly because he didn't have anything to prove. Others called it dangerous, mostly because they didn't want to put a bright future at risk. But senior quarterback Aaron Murray's accelerated return from a broken left fibula and dislocated ankle in time to lead the Panthers to a Class 4A state title will go down as one of the best local comeback stories.

Murray went down Oct. 16, but returned far ahead of schedule on Dec. 12. And when Murray rifled his first pass for a touchdown in a state semifinal win over Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, everyone knew he was back.

From there, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Murray — who graduated this month and will enroll at Georgia early after a stop in San Antonio, Texas, to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game — only led his team to an improbable state title, breaking current South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia's Hillsborough County career touchdown mark along the way. Murray threw for 84 scores in just 21 games as a starter.

Orson Charles WR, Plant

When senior receiver Orson Charles arrived at Plant after transferring from Riverview, his boisterous personality seemed an awkward fit among the Panthers' blue-collar mentality. But Charles immediately showed teammates what he could do.

Then only one question remained: What can't he do? He became a force nationally during the summer, playing with Plant's barnstorming seven-on-seven team. A college recruiter's dream (Florida, Miami, FSU, Georgia, LSU and UCLA are among his suitors), the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Charles is a hybrid tight end/receiver — too fast for a linebacker, too big for a cornerback — who created a mismatch on every play.

On defense, he had six sacks and hurried passers. But the most impressive feat was how he carried the Panthers when Murray was hurt. For the season, he caught 75 passes for 1,418 yards and 21 touchdowns, including two touchdowns in Plant's state championship win over Tallahassee Lincoln.

Ryne Giddins DE, Armwood

Talk about the spotlight. When you play Armwood, you have to try to stop Ryne Giddins. The key word is "try," because few teams could stop the senior defensive end from causing bedlam in the backfield.

His numbers were down from his remarkable junior year, but he made an impact on every play on arguably the area's top defense, fighting constant double-teaming that allowed big seasons for fellow defensive linemen Theodore Jackson and Alton Bailey. Coaches tried to free him up, moving him around, and he still tallied 75 tackles, 21 quarterback hurries, five sacks and 10 pass breakups.

And in Armwood's region semifinal win over Tampa Bay Tech, Giddins, who has narrowed his college choices to Florida and USF, scored two defensive touchdowns, one on an interception return and another on a fumble return.

Aaron Murray


Orson Charles


Defensive Player of the Year

Co-offensive Players of the Year

Ryne Giddins


Inside: It's never easy to agree on a decision as big as Player of the Year, says John C. Cotey, 5C

The All-Suncoast team is comprised of players from Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties

QB Dontae Aycock, Sr., Chamberlain: Area's top dual threat tallied nearly 2,900 total yards, 45 TDs WR Anthony Williams, Sr., Chamberlain: Big-play receiver averaged 21.7 yards per catch, with 13 TDs WR Mike Lang, Sr., Largo: Packers' go-to guy had 960 yards receiving, nine touchdowns
RB Adrian "Bubba" Golden, Jr., Gulf: Set Pasco County season record with 2,514 rushing yards RB Lindsey Lamar, Sr., Hills­borough: More than 1,300 yards rushing, 18 touchdowns RB Jamall Haynes, Sr., Pasco: Ran for 1,612 yards, 15 touchdowns
OL Justin Cabbagestalk, Sr., Armwood: Vanderbilt commit anchored always-strong O-line OL Conor O'Neal, Sr., Newsome: Wolves had one of Hillsborough County's top running games thanks to O'Neal OL Darren Baker, Sr., Hillsborough: Terriers top lineman helped pave way for Lamar
OL Chad Dampier, Sr., Nature Coast: Anchored a revamped line that produced 3,780 yards in nine games OL Alex Rodriguez, Sr., Largo: Paved way for running back Marcel Durham to rush for more than 1,000 yards K Brennan Allen, Sr., Pasco: Two field goals in a 13-12 win over North Marion sent the Pirates to state semifinal
Util Mywan Jackson, Sr., Armwood: Do-it-all senior is perhaps the area's best open-field runner DL Demonte McAllister, Sr., Alonso: FSU commit had 97 tackles, 19 sacks DL Theodore Jackson, Jr., Armwood: In first year as a starter, "Man-Man" was one of Hillsborough County's most dominant defenders
DL Alton Bailey, Jr., Armwood: Tampa Bay Tech transfer was interior rock for Hawks DL Dontavious Pyron, Sr., Chamberlain: Followed up all-state junior season with superb senior year LB Petey Smith, Sr., Armwood: One of nation's top linebackers will go to Alabama or Auburn
LB Mike Mirabella, Jr., Plant: Anchored strong linebacking corps with 12 sacks LB Mike Marry, Sr., Largo: All-county defensive player of the year had 100 tackles, seven sacks LB Ali Cheaib, Jr., Dunedin: Falcons' playmaker scored on blocked punts and fumble returns
DB Angelo Hadley, Sr., Armwood: Hawks' ballhawk set school record with 19 interceptions; orally committed to UNC DB Jairus Jones, Sr., Wharton: Two-way talent averaged 15.8 tackles and had four interceptions and four blocked kicks DB Mike Fields, Sr., Nature Coast: Followed his state-leading interception performance from a year ago with seven
DB JaQuez Jenkins, Sr., Lakewood: USF recruit had four interceptions, eight forced fumbles for playoff team P Alex Spock, Sr., Land O'Lakes: Made key kicking plays whether it was a 50-plus field goal or 71-yard punt KR Bernard Reedy, Jr., Lakewood: Versatile playmaker was always a threat with four scores off returns
Util Josh Johnson, Sr., Pasco: Amassed 1,128 yards, 10 touchdowns; orally committed to Purdue Coach of the Year: Robert Weiner, Plant

Make no mistake. Weiner outdid himself this season. The Panthers' state run in 2006 was impressive, but this season the fifth-year coach dealt with adversity while erasing all doubters as Plant won its second state title in three years.

First team, offense

First team, defense

Second-team offense

QB C.J. Bennett, Jr., Alonso

WR Bobby Vavlas, Sr., Tarpon Springs

WR Allen Sampson, Jr., Plant

RB Kenny Allen, Sr., Chamberlain

RB Tevin Drake, Jr., Nature Coast

RB Marcel Durham, Sr., Largo

OL Kamran Joyer, Sr., Wesley Chapel

OL Christian Renner, Sr., Land O'Lakes

OL Jon Halapio, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

OL Jarrod Gant, Sr., Jefferson

OL Hunter Stout, Sr., Wharton

K Tyler Rhodes, Sr., Plant

Util Madison Burr, Jr., Gulf

Second-team defense

DL Austin Clark, Sr., Plant

DL Te'Jay Brown, Sr., St. Petersburg

DL Jarrod Carmody, Sr., Pasco

DL Mark Christmas, Sr., Pasco

LB Beau Hume, Sr., Plant

LB Dominique Wilson, Sr., Pasco

LB James Wilder, So., Chamberlain

LB Sean Holte, Jr., Largo

DB Jason Wine, Jr., Largo

DB Erick McGriff, Sr., Jesuit

DB Hunter Baldwin, Sr., Plant

DB Antonio Wallace, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech

P Andy Rosetti, Sr., St. Petersburg

KR Jarvis West, Jr., Gibbs

Util Jonny Sitton, Sr., Indian Rocks Chr.

Honorable mention

Boca Ciega: Julius Forte; Clearwater Central Catholic: Paul Freedman; Countryside: Dawrence Roberts; Dixie Hollins: Josh Brown; Dunedin: Darius Bellamy; Durant: Cole Gilliam; East Lake: Ryan Weitz; Gaither: Jarvis Giles; Hillsborough: Colby Walden; Hudson: Hunter Newton, Zack Wynn; Jesuit: John Plasencia; Nature Coast: John Carbone, Britt Langley; Northeast: Matt Khanthalangsky, Tim Tisdale, Juarez Wynn; Palm Harbor U.: Barry Owens, Sean Shelton; Pasco: Zach Faza, Tim Saylor; Plant: Javonte Martin; Ridgewood: Sterling Ross; St. Petersburg: Jon Bryant, Cameron Lane; Seminole: Joe Lamoreaux; Springstead: Dominic Roberson, Ben Noury, Nate Schafer; Tampa Catholic: Christian Green, Matt McLaughlin; Tarpon Springs: Stamati Damalos, Miles Toli; Zephyrhills: Alex Sampson

2008 All-Suncoast Football 12/24/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.