Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

Healthy QB Wynn key for Hudson

HUDSON — Because Zack Wynn's doctor hasn't cleared him for full contact, the Hudson pass rushers who converged on the Cobras quarterback during Thursday's intrasquad scrimmage were ordered to inflict no more than a two-handed tap.

That was the literal directive issued before the game.

This was the figurative truth that emerged after it: In 2008, no other local quarterback, from a proficiency standpoint, likely will be able to touch Wynn either.

Had it not been for that cumbersome brace, a red-and-black contraption that all but swallows Wynn's left knee, the uninformed observers Thursday might never have suspected the junior-to-be had surgery to repair a torn ACL less than six months ago.

Although it was only practice, Wynn rolled, dropped back, cut and periodically brandished the right arm that has accounted for more than 2,000 yards and one playoff berth in two seasons. Those who scrutinized might have noticed Wynn limping slightly. But one didn't have to squint to see how the Cobras' 6-foot-3, 192-pound catalyst elevated the game of the promising but unproven offensive skill players around him.

"There were no problems with it at all," Wynn said.

"He looks like he's 100 percent to me," Cobras coach Mark Nash said. "Even with that big ol' gawky brace on, he runs as fast as he did … he runs faster than he did last year."

For a team with aspirations hinging so greatly on its quarterback, Wynn's modest statistical performance was nonetheless another dose of reassurance. With Wynn, the Cobras clearly possess the goods to secure their third playoff berth in four seasons.

Without him? Consider: After Wynn blew out his knee, while darting left on a quarterback counter play in a win Nov. 2 at Zephyrhills, Hudson lost its final two games by 34 points total.

"Right now, with what I played with, I'd say it's 100 percent," said Wynn, 13-of-27 for 136 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions Thursday. "Coaches may see something different on film. I may be limping a little bit, favoring it a little bit, but I feel I'm 100 percent right now."

Should the knee pass its final exam, which will come with regular contact, inexperience might be Hudson's lone hindrance in its quest to approach the success of the 2005 team (10-3) that reached the third round of the playoffs. Size up front and skill aren't concerns. Greenness is.

Junior-to-be Dylan Luke (eight carries, 70 yards) shapes up as a suitable replacement for 1,600-yard rusher Sean Scott in the Cobras' single-back set, and sophomore-to-be Dylan Buono (four catches, 52 yards) was among a handful of rookie receivers who flashed potential Thursday.

"Physically we're there (with the '05 team)," Nash said. "Athletically we're there. Where we're not there is in a number of positions where we're sophomores and they were seniors. So it depends on whether or not the sophomores can play like seniors."

Joey Knight can be reached at (813) 226-3350 or [email protected]

Comments
For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking of openers, the Rays will start RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA) for the fourth time this season, the second time in 48 hours vs. the Orioles. The 35-year-old Romo did not make it out of the first inning Friday, allowin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Published: 05/26/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18
RAYSREPORT

RAYSREPORT

Today: vs. Orioles1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of gamePromotion: Raymond children’s book for kids 14 ...
Published: 05/26/18
Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

The reality of Friday's surprising trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span to Seattle is, of course, between the extremes.One side is screaming this is the latest proof the Rays are driven more to pocket money than winning games (and, for the loudest, o...
Published: 05/26/18

For starters: Rays vs. Orioles; Ryne Stanek makes first start, Carlos Gomez returns

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' bullpenning experiment continues, with right-hander Ryne Stanek to open this afternoon's game against the Orioles at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.It is the first career start for Stanek, who has ...
Published: 05/26/18

Captain’s Corner: Redfish bite strong on afternoon high tide

Early morning stops at jetty rock piles have produced excellent action for a variety of species. Snook, redfish and trout are the targets. Free-lining live pilchards against the rocks at the strong part of the tide is your best opportunity for snook,...
Published: 05/25/18
Updated: 05/26/18