Around the North Suncoast in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast.
Coach: David Raley (second season, 6-2)
Last season: 6-2
Key losses: K Stephen McCall
Who's back: TB/LB Clay Kessler (top right), QB David Rotteveel (bottom right), OL/DL Josh Romeo, WR Ian Townsend, FB/LB Thomas Bronson, OL Ethan Witten
What's new: Actually, very little. The Lions went through "rebuilding" last season after 13 players graduated in 2007. HCA now has a year of experience under Raley and will replace just one player from last season. The Lions run a pro-style offense, but Raley said he wouldn't put a label on it because he's constantly tweaking plays to fit his athletes. The Lions again have a threat at quarterback with former Hudson transfer Rotteveel entering his second season as the starter. He threw for more than 1,000 yards in eight games last season. And Kessler is a threat on both sides of the football.
Audible: Raley gushed about having three seniors on his offensive line: "The line cohesion has been a big deal. They're all back and they know what they're doing.
Did you know?: Hernando Christian and other small private schools in the area are part of the Sunshine State Conference, which also includes Bishop McLaughlin. These independent teams are not eligible to play in the Florida High School Athletic Association playoffs, but they will play for a conference championship and individual honors similar to the Sunshine Athletic Conference in Pasco County.
Friday vs. Bradenton
St. Stephen's Episcopal (at Ernie Weaver Park,
Sept. 5 vs.
Sept. 12 at Central Florida Christian Academy
Sept. 19 at
Mount Dora Bible School
Sept. 26 vs.
Carrollwood Day School
Oct. 3 at Bradenton
St. Stephen's Episcopal
Oct. 10 vs.
Leesburg First Academy
Oct. 17 at
Ocala St. John Lutheran
Oct. 24 vs. Winter Garden Foundation Academy
Nov. 1 vs. Canterbury
Times staff writer