First, the fundamentals
(What you need to know about spring practice)
Teams must practice the first three days in shorts; those practices must be confined to conditioning drills. Players may wear helmets the first three days, but hitting is prohibited. Twenty practice dates are allowed by the state, with a jamboree/scrimmage/intrasquad game counting as a practice.
Jamboree/intrasquad scrimmage schedules
Gulf: May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Hernando: vs. Ocala West Port, May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Hernando Christian: vs. Bradenton St. Stephens, May 16, 7 p.m.*
Hudson: May 29, 7 p.m.
Mitchell: May 27, 7 p.m.
Nature Coast: May 16, 1 p.m.
Pasco: May 30, 7 p.m.
Springstead: at Seminole Osceola, May 30, 7 p.m.
Sunlake: May 30, 6:30 p.m.
Wesley Chapel: May 22,
Zephyrhills: May 30, 1 p.m.
*-at Ernie Weaver Park,
early-season top 8
(Based solely on what we've seen in the past and heard in the offseason)
1. Nature Coast
3. Land O'Lakes
7. Wesley Chapel
Five seniors to watch
1. Kamran Joyer, OG, Wesley Chapel: Interior behemoth bound for a Division I school
2. Mike Fields, left, DB, Nature Coast: State-best 10 INTs in 2007
3. Josh Johnson, ATH, Pasco: Grades, versatility make him an attractive college prospect
4. James Mahla, QB, Springstead: Really came on as the 2007 season progressed
5. Arron Duncan, DB, Wesley Chapel: Armwood transfer came up big in '07 playoffs vs. Plant
1. Tevin Drake, Jr., RB, Nature Coast: Coming off a 1,500-yard season
2. Alex Mathis, Jr., LB, Land O'Lakes: Led Gators with 127 tackles in '07
3. Will Burbridge, Jr., FB/TE/LB, Gulf: Coach Jay Fulmer says his potential is boundless
4. Hunter Joyer, So., OL, Wesley Chapel: Might be stronger than big brother Kamran
5. Dylan Luke, Jr., RB, Hudson: Ideal complement to Zack Wynn, a middle school teammate
Top five quarterbacks
1. Zack Wynn, Jr., Hudson: Only question is, how will surgically mended knee hold up
2. Stevie Weatherford, So., Land O'Lakes: Has the bloodlines to succeed, but will he have the weapons
3. D.J. Clower, Jr., Pasco: Should be surrounded on all sides by talent
4. Madison Burr, Jr., Gulf: Just missed 1,000-yard season last year; won't miss again
5. Tyler Guy, Jr., Zephyrhills: Has Division I size, arm
Joey Knight, Times staff writer
Check it out: Starting Tuesday, we'll have daily capsules on every North Suncoast team.