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Gibbs: Spring football capsule

Linebacker Gary Gainer will be a key returner for the Gladiators.


Linebacker Gary Gainer will be a key returner for the Gladiators.

Around the county in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in the county.


Coach: Yusif Shakir (second season, 6-5)

Last season: 6-5. Lost to Dunedin 31-17 in the region quarterfinals.

District: Class 5A-10 (Dixie Hollins, Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole, St. Petersburg).

Key losses: PK Tommy Hains, QB Lamar Hall, RB Devon McCullough, DB JaJuan Moorer, WR Larry Murphy, WR Marcus Russ

Who's back: DB Russell Allen, LB Gary Gainer, DL Roman Mathis, OL Jared Walker

What's new: The Gladiators will be young on offense after losing nine starters, including the entire backfield. Shakir said the line should be stronger and quicker. And he has plenty of skill guys capable of scoring on any play. The defense has a lot of experience with six returning starters, led by Mathis, Gainer and Allen. The calling card will be special teams, a unit that had 13 blocked kicks and eight touchdowns on returns last season.

Audible: "Last year was a stepping stone for us. Now, the players have the mind-set to go out and win." — Shakir

Did you know?: The Gladiators' four losses in the regular season were by a combined 25 points.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Spring game

May 30 at Palm Harbor University

2008 schedule

Sept. 5 at Lakewood

Sept. 12 vs. Countryside

Sept. 19 at Northeast

Sept. 26 at Dixie Hollins

Oct. 3 vs. Clearwater

Oct. 10 vs. St. Petersburg

Oct. 24 vs. Seminole

Oct. 31 at Pinellas Park

Nov. 7 at Largo

Nov. 14 at Boca Ciega

Gibbs: Spring football capsule 05/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2008 1:29pm]
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