Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

District spotlight on Admiral Farragut

ST. PETERSBURG — With a majority of Admiral Farragut's impact players new to the team, the Blue Jackets will spend much of the preseason getting to know each other.

In the offseason, four-star recruit Craig Watts transferred in from Gibbs. Teammates L'Dre Barnes, an offensive lineman, and Dorian Williams, a 310-pound nose guard, followed soon after. Matt Landers, a quarterback/wide receiver, moved over from Lakewood — as did teammates Zion Roland (receiver) and John Waller (fullback/defensive lineman). And perhaps the biggest transfer was quarterback Austyn Causey, a junior who played two years at St. Petersburg.

"The biggest thing for us is getting to know each other," coach Ryan Hearn said. "You look at Northside Christian, all those guys have played together for a long time. (Head coach) Mike (Alstott) has done a great job of building a family atmosphere. For us, we need to spend time with each other, on and off the field, to become a better team."

Admiral Farragut needed to become a better team in order to survive in this district. Northside Christian won eight regular-season games in 2014 and made the playoffs. The Mustangs graduated very few starters and also benefitted from some transfers. Indian Rocks Christian was 12-1 last season and played in the Class 2A state final. While the Golden Eagles lost talent on both sides of the ball, there are still plenty of returners to make them competitive again.

The Blue Jackets (4-5) finished behind Clearwater Central Catholic and Calvary Christian in Class 3A-5. The move to Class 2A seemed like it might help their postseason chances, but the opponents are just as tough.

"You've got two weeks in October where everyone's going to be on edge during (district) game week," Hearn said. "You've got games before that that are important for the kids and everything, but those two district games mean everything.''

The Blue Jackets do not lack skill players. Causey likely will become the starting quarterback. That will move Landers to wide receiver, where he played most of the time for Lakewood's junior varsity. Donnie Crum, who started at running back last season, is also back.

But will that be enough to advance to the playoffs?

Contact Rodney Page at [email protected] Follow @RodneyHomeTeam.

Comments
Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Fans react while watching outside Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The Bolts lost 4-0. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | TimesTampa Bay Lightn...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 5 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 6 hours ago