Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast.
Coach: Marty Williams (second season, 1-8)
Last season: 1-8
District: None. After two seasons in Class B-6, the Hurricanes will play an independent schedule as a member of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference.
Key losses: OL/DL Paul Padilla, RB/LB Trae Williams
Who's back: DB/KR Ryan Beeble, Sr.; SS/RB Bobby Emmino, Sr.; DB/WR Nick Hellman, Sr.; QB/DB Jeff Pope, Sr.
What's new: The schedule, for one. Williams and outgoing athletic director Mike Zelenka agreed to drop out of a district for at least two years while the program continues evolving. Look for the 'Canes to be far more competitive in the SSAC, which includes Hernando Christian and Carrollwood Day. "We know what we are," Williams said. … Offensively, Williams plans to scrap the wishbone, which sputtered last season, in favor of multiple looks that likely will include some pro-I and spread formations. Don't be shocked if Pope, last year's starting quarterback, is calling signals exclusively for the defense. The 5-foot-8 spark plug impressed Williams so much defensively in 2007, he'd like to try to keep him on that side of the ball if such a luxury can be afforded.
Audibles: "I think my ultimate goal is to build the program the right way, like (veteran South Sumter coach) Inman (Sherman) did. You take your bumps, you take a beating or two, and you get people seeing that hard work pays off. And that's kind of what we're working toward. Football is almost new to these kids, and I don't think I'm singing a song the rest of the people in our conference aren't singing either." — Williams, a former South Sumter assistant
Did you know?: The Hurricanes are bypassing not only a spring game, but also pads altogether. One reason, Williams says, is the fact that roughly 25 percent of his roster consists of baseball players, whose season could have stretched into mid May (they were eliminated from the playoffs early last week). Williams didn't want to risk scheduling a contest with one-quarter of his players out of football shape.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer
Sept. 5 at Hernando Christian
Sept. 12 at Santa Fe Catholic
Sept. 19 vs. Bradenton Christian
Sept. 26 vs. St. Petersburg Canterbury
Oct. 10 vs. Lake Wales Vanguard
Oct. 17 at Leesburg First Academy
Oct. 24 at Bradenton St. Stephen's
Oct. 31 at Carrollwood Day
Nov. 7 vs. Mount Dora Bible