Offensive Player of the Year
Adrian Golden, Jr., Gulf
Golden's season began somewhat notoriously when he transferred from Ridgewood to Gulf in August, just before the start of preseason drills. While that move may have torched a few bridges, what he did afterward set the rest of the North Suncoast on fire. An inconspicuous backup to single-season county rushing king Byronell Arline in 2007, Golden shattered Arline's season yardage record by more than 300 yards and set an area single-game record with 432 yards at, of all places, Ridgewood. His final totals: 229 carries, 2,514 yards, 34 TDs.
Height/weight: 5-8, 183
Significant statistics: Until Pasco neutralized him (19 carries, 54 yards) in the Class 3A playoffs, Golden had run for at least 200 yards in eight of the previous nine games. And for skeptics who question the strength of Gulf's schedule, it probably should be noted Golden ran for 168 yards in the regular-season meeting against Pasco (a one-point loss) and collected 263 in the first round of the playoffs at St. Cloud.
Favorite moment: Naturally, it's the 432-yard game, six-touchdown game at Ridgewood, where Golden insists he still has a bunch of close friends.
Why he wears No. 21: In honor of late Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who was shot in his home in November 2007 and died a day later. Redskins running back Clinton Portis is Golden's favorite player.
What's next: Another year of high school, which, should his academics hold up, will be followed by a collegiate career. Golden has received a letter from UCLA.
Did you know? Golden's real name is Adrian Deon Golden, but almost everyone calls him "Bubba," a nickname given to him long ago by an uncle. "It doesn't bother me, but when teachers call me Bubba, I'm like, 'Oh man,' " he said.
Defensive Player of the Year
Mark Christmas, Sr., Pasco
In a season where Pasco had so many defensive stars and so many defensive moments, Christmas proved worthy of the honor. He almost quit the team in the spring due to a lack of playing time. Pasco coach Tom McHugh talked him into staying, and Christmas spent most of the offseason dedicated to becoming the football player screaming within. Christmas blossomed late, but in time to help solidify the Pirates' defense. He ultimately led the team in sacks despite playing defensive tackle (a position usually not known for producing sack leaders).
Height/weight: 6-2, 200
Significant statistics: Finished with 191/2 sacks and somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 tackles despite the fact few opponents came directly through his hole. Christmas had five sacks in a 24-0 win over rival Zephyrhills, and when depth became an issue he played both sides of the ball.
Favorite moment: The second time Pasco defeated Gulf in a romp, 50-0 in the Class 3A region semifinals. Christmas felt the Pirates proved the doubters wrong, especially the ones who said Pasco could not reach the region final.
Why he wears No. 63: There's no significance other than the fact a coach handed him the jersey before the season.
What's next: He hopes to play college ball and is going through the recruiting process.
Did you know? He almost quit after spring football. His old offensive line coach told him he would get 15 plays a game, and Christmas wanted to play more. He focused on hard workouts during the offseason and made a commitment to improve. He ended up playing both sides of the ball midway through the season and became a key piece of the Pirates' second-best season of all time.
QB Zack Wynn, Jr., Hudson: Area-best 2,035 yards passing
WR Alex Sampson, Sr., Zephyrhills: 837 yards receiving and four touchdowns
WR Josh Johnson, Sr., Pasco: 1,128 yards of offense and 10 touchdowns
RB Sterling Ross, Sr., Ridgewood: Four games of 198 or more yards
RB Jamall Haynes, Sr., Pasco: Rushed for 1,612 yards and 15 touchdowns
RB Tevin Drake, Jr., Nature Coast: Rushed for 1,189 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games
OL Christian Renner, Sr., Land O'Lakes: Dominant lineman earned place on FACA team
OL Chad Dampier, Sr., Nature Coast: Anchored the Sharks' revamped line
OL Kamran Joyer, Sr., Wesley Chapel: USF commitment bulldozed defenders
OL Jeremy Yankowski, Sr., Gulf: Strongest blocker Bubba Golden had
OL Hunter Newton, Sr., Hudson: Diminutive tight end had 48 catches
K Brennan Allen, Jr., Pasco: Two big field goals helped send Pasco to the final four
UT Madison Burr, Jr., Gulf: Two-way star totaled more than 1,600 yards
DL Jarrod Carmody, Sr., Pasco: 161/2 sacks helped solidify the line
DL Zach Faza, Sr., Pasco: Arguably the smartest player on the North Suncoast
DL John Carbone, Sr., Nature Coast: 58 tackles, including three sacks and fumble recovery
DL Dontrell Parker, Sr., Zephyrhills: 85 tackles and roughly 111/2 sacks
LB Tim Saylor, Sr., Pasco: Called the defensive plays; finished with 64 tackles
LB Britt Langley, Sr., Nature Coast: 101 tackles in nine games
LB Dominique Wilson, Sr., Pasco: 81 tackles and a couple of key punt blocks
LB Nate Schafer, Sr., Springstead: Fierce veteran led Eagles with 119 tackles
DB Mike Fields, Sr., Nature Coast: 2007 player of the year finished with seven interceptions
DB Marquis Dixon, Sr., Pasco: 39 tackles and an interception
DB Jamaal Sampson, Sr., Pasco: 34 tackles, three interceptions and a sack
DB Dominic Roberson, Sr., Springstead: Two-way star had 77 tackles, three INTs
P Alex Spock, Land O'Lakes: Averaged 35.1 yards per punt with his long 71 yards
KR Alvin Delaine, So., Hernando: Team's top rusher averaged 22.6 yards per return
UT Ben Noury, Sr., Springstead: 37 receptions, 3 INTs, 357 rush yards
QB James Mahla, Sr., Springstead
WR Alex Robinson, Jr., Land O'Lakes
WR Dylan Buono, Sr., Hudson
RB Ricky Trinidad, So., Mitchell
RB Will Burbridge, Jr., Gulf
RB Hunter Joyer, So., Wesley Chapel
OL Leon Orr, Jr., Gulf
OL Dominick Booth, Sr., Mitchell
OL Patrick Kronk, Sr., Land O'Lakes
OL Brady Ellison, Sr., Nature Coast
OL Kevin Grier, Sr., Central
K Jack Paris, Sr., River Ridge
UT Antwan Story, Jr., Nature Coast
DL Cameron Smith, Sr., Land O'Lakes
DL D.J. Williams, Sr., Nature Coast
DL Stanley Miele, Sr., Springstead
DL Joe Mesiana, Sr., Gulf
LB Daryl Cooper, Jr., Gulf
LB Tadd Govadich, Sr., Nature Coast
LB Alex Mathis, Jr., Land O'Lakes
LB Howie Williams, Sr., Nature Coast
DB Marco Custodio, Sr., River Ridge
DB Austin Forte, Sr., Central
DB Mitch Wozniak, Jr., Wesley Chapel
DB Ben Hipps, Sr., Land O'Lakes
P Josh Harvey, Hernando
KR Keenan Reynolds, Sr., Wesley Chapel
UT Blake Burch, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
Bishop McLaughlin: Jeff Pope, Giovanni Perone; Central: Steven Read; Gulf: Brian Coss, Cody Kleiner; Hernando: Will Alderman, Thomas Bronson, Josh Parnell; Hernando Christian: Jeremy Knight, Josh Romeo, David Rotteveel, Ian Townsend, Josh Westfall; Land O'Lakes: Benjamin Hedblom, Tyler Peak, Collin Robinson, Stevie Weatherford; Mitchell: Anthony Moore, Eric Yeatman; Nature Coast: C.J. Baker, Alfredo Lindo; Pasco: Jamie Byrd, D.J. Clower, Chaise Dunn, Trevor Lane; Ridgewood: Ralphy Dawkins, Ryan Hunt, Tim Rearden, Andrew Stagner; River Ridge: Christian Valentine, Frank White; Springstead: Mike Greco; Sunlake: Eli Escobar, Chris Harrington; Welsey Chapel: Patrick Pate; Zephyrhills: Joe Maldonado, Kylend Poston, Ben Williams
Coach of the Year | Tom McHugh, Pasco
In his second year, McHugh guided Pasco to a state semifinal for the first time in 16 years and just the second in North Suncoast history. The Pirates used a stingy defense orchestrated by McHugh to help Pasco defend its Class 3A, District 8 title and claim the Sunshine Athletic Conference championship. McHugh's Pirates went 12-2 and had three shutouts, and his teams held opponents to 20 points or fewer in 13 of 14 games.