Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando Christian: Season preview

Promises for the '08 campaign

1. Competitiveness. With the inaugural season of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference, HCA looks like one of the favorites to make it to the championship game Nov. 14 at The Villages.

2. Being fundamentally sound. No coach in Hernando County focuses more on fundamentals than David Raley. With a lot of middle school athletes on his varsity squad, it's necessary.

3. Chemistry. With only 29 players, most of the Lions play on both sides of the ball. This Ironman style brings the squad together over the course of the season.

What the Lions can't promise

1. Another 6-2 season. Coming off its best season in program history, HCA lost one of the best players in the county when tight end Clay Kessler transferred to Hernando.

2. Star power. Over the years, HCA has relied on the likes of Kessler, linebacker Corey Drummond and quarterback Steve Johnson to grab attention. Major stars aren't a focus on the current team.

3. High-scoring games. Adapting to new skill players has left Raley limiting the playbook. The Wing-T offense will focus on Jeremy Knight, the only returning tailback, and Winsor Sineus, a freshman transfer.

Primaries

A look at the some of the key figures in the Lions' 2008 campaign:

Primary offensive skill player: QB David Rotteveel. Has the arm to be a college prospect, though his body hasn't quite caught up. Without Kessler to throw to, the senior will have to make a lot of plays with his legs.

Primary defensive skill player: CB Ian Townsend. Is a shutdown cornerback. In the spring game against Bradenton Christian, the sophomore picked off three passes.

Primary offensive lineman: OG Josh Westfall. Leads a surprisingly experienced line. With four of the five starters seniors, the Lions will have protection for Rotteveel.

Primary defensive lineman: DT Josh Romeo. Though the senior is a massive force on the inside and looks like a run stopper at first glance, he has patented himself as a pass rusher.

Primary special-teams player: K Kenny Lehman. To show how big of a loss Kessler was, he was the starting kicker as well, but Lehman should step right in.

Derek LaRiviere, Times correspondent

Hernando Christian: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning to retire Vinny Lecavalier's No. 4 in February

    Blogs

    When Marty St. Louis became the first Lightning player to have his jersey retired back in January, it was hard not to think that former captain Vinny Lecavalier would be the next one.

    Vinny Lecavalier takes the ice before a 2010 game against the Florida Panthers.
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: Worst-Case (Keenum) scenario

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis in their latest podcast.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) scrambles away from Bucs defensive end William Gholston (92) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. J.T. Brown of Lightning respects NFL players' protests

    Blogs

    There was something in the air in the NFL on Sunday. President Trump’s comments and tweets on NFL player protests achieved the effect of creating more of them. Lightning winger J.T. Brown was asked about it as he stood in a hall at Amalie Arena, a few hours before the Lightning played the Florida Panthers in …

    J.T. Brown, one of about 30 African-American players in the National Hockey League, would not rule out that he might protest.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings review

    Bucs

    Greg Auman looks back on Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the latest edition of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests

    Bucs

    NFL players, coaches and owners across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Members of the Oakland Raiders kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]