Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in the county.
Coach: Brian Thornton (15th season, 86-60)
Last season: 5-5
District: 5A-7 (Bloomingdale, Brandon, Newsome, Plant City)
Key loss: RB Ryan Stubbs
Who's back: FS D.J. Allen, OL Jake Anaya, RB Chaz Burrows, DT Dontavious Flemming, LB Tyler Hooks, OL Chris Loney, PK Forest Meredith, OL Dalton McClure, DB/RB Devantay Oglesby,
RB Andre Simpson
What's new: Not much — and that's a good thing. Most of the Indians' key contributors from last season's squad are back, and that has East Bay thinking playoffs. In all, 13 starters return, including eight on a defense that has Thornton more than a little excited. That group is led by Allen, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound rising senior with Division I-A potential. Shane Cyrus, who emerged this spring at linebacker, is another to watch. On offense, Burrows will be East Bay's main man. A senior-to-be with 1,800-plus rushing yards in his career, Burrows eludes would-be tacklers as well as any back. At quarterback, rising sophomore Jhyree Harris, who is 6-1, 170 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, is poised for big things. Even the kicking game, where Meredith returns after an all-conference season, looks strong. Because it has across-the-board talent, East Bay has a legitimate shot to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
Audible: "We're very well-balanced. I think we're going to be decent to good in all phases, and I believe our defense can be really good. We're real excited." — Thornton
Did you know? Thornton was an assistant coach at William Penn University in the mid 1980s. One of the team's players then was Mike Gottman, now coach at Durant. Today, the two are close friends.
Spring result Lost to Riverview 13-12
Aug. 29 at King (classic)
Sept. 5 at
Sept. 12 vs. Durant
Sept. 19 at
Sept. 26 vs.
Oct. 3 vs.
Oct. 10 at
Oct. 24 at
Oct. 31 vs.
Nov. 7 vs.
Nov. 14 at Spoto
Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer