There was a time when spring meant filling major holes for Pinellas Park, but that is not the case this year.
The Patriots return major parts of last fall's team that went 10-2. They are especially stacked at running back, where fullback Kal-El Williams and running backs Donte Maxson and Oscee Calhoun combined for 2,590 yards last season.
Coach Kenny Crawford said his main focus is finding a few offensive linemen and filling three holes in the secondary. He said the quarterback competition will be between last year's backup, Mitch Grondin, and Nick Hernandez, who played linebacker.
"There's going to be some good competition in the secondary," Crawford said.
"(Rising senior) Jalil Crapps has really stepped up back there. (Rising junior) Alonzo McCray has done a good job fitting in back there, and (rising senior) Calhoun wants to play some more on defense. He knows he'll have to share carries on offense, so he wants to try the other side of the ball.''
Pinellas Park faces Orlando Evans tonight. Crawford said he is looking for consistency from his experienced team.
"Evans is going to have some athletes, no doubt,'' he said.
"It's going to be a great test. I'm looking for us to play with intensity and play mistake free.''
Bulky building blocks
If there is one thing Seminole has in abundance, it is offensive linemen. In fact, the Warhawks have so many, coach Chris Miller doesn't expect much of a drop-off in the trenches despite graduating four of the five starters.
"We have an awfully good group here," Miller said. "A lot of the guys that were backups last year could have started for other teams in the county."
The lone returning starter is Andrew Calvert, a 240-pound rising senior. What the rest of the potential starters lack in playing time, they make up for in size. Miller said they should average about 265 pounds.
But for whom will the linemen be opening holes? Ra'Quanne Dickens, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, is graduating. The top candidates to replace him are Travis Wateska and Chris Garza-McLean.
The passing game is set with quarterback Aaron Dever and tight end Mathew Woncisk returning. But Miller said the offense will still feature a heavy dose of the running game. And that has a lot to do with what it has up front.
Admiral Farragut defensive back Jestin Green picked up an offer from Connecticut this week. He also has one from Florida International. Blue Jackets quarterback Dalton Collins picked up one from Columbia on Tuesday. In the spring game, a 51-8 win over Gainesville Hawthorne, Collins threw for two touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards.
• Miami Westminster Christian at Calvary Christian, 5
• Canterbury at Shorecrest, 6
• Palm Harbor University at Largo, 7
• Orlando Evans at Pinellas Park, 7
• Keswick Christian at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, 7