Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

HomeTeam Huddle: Trent Chmelik extends family legacy at Countryside

CLEARWATER

No family has infiltrated Countryside for the past decade like the Chmeliks. There was Jimbo, who quarterbacked the Cougars from 2007-09 and holds the school record for career touchdown passes with 37. Cody followed and started as a defensive back from 2010-11. Both went on to play at Quincy, though with Jimbo graduating, Cody is transferring to play somewhere in Florida. Now, it's Trent's turn.

The 6-foot-1, 172-pound rising junior takes over as the starting quarterback. As a backup last season, he threw for 588 yards and four touchdowns.

"I'm more comfortable with the offense now, and I think we're going to do big things," Chmelik said.

"It should be exciting."

Eric Schmitz, the team's former offensive coordinator, takes over at coach. The spread offense is still in place, and most of the skill players return, including running back Dante Satcher and receivers Chris Ryan and Slyvester Kimbrough.

"We've been working together a lot in the offseason, and we feel real confident," Chmelik said. "I think we're going to put up some big numbers this season."

He will need some lofty stats, including plenty of touchdown passes, over the next two years to become the top quarterback in the family.

"I want to try to get where Jimbo was at," Chmelik said.

"That's just the way it is in this family. We're close, but we're competitive in everything."

He also is trying to make the playoffs, which Countryside has not done during his two seasons. The Cougars went 6-4 last season, finishing behind East Lake and Pinellas Park in Class 7A, District 9.

"My brothers both made the playoffs here," Chmelik said. "We want to get back to playing championship football. Our motto is, 'Restore the roar.' "

The Chmelik legacy doesn't end once Trent graduates.

His cousin, Hunter, plays for the Junior Cougars and will be a freshman at Countryside in four years.

Can't miss him

Pasco always has athletes who catch the eye. And despite the recent graduation of stars such as Janarion Grant (now at Rutgers), Joey Ivie (Florida) and Trey Dudley-Giles (UMass), there's still a few — such as 6-4 receiver Sherwin Emmanuel, Miami commitment Bowman Archibald and defensive stopper Andrew Ivie — who make you say, Whoa!"

But one player you can't miss isn't a top prospect or even a starter. But at 6-9, 330 pounds, Andrew Farr still stands out.

Farr is a project for the Pirates coaches, who lament they don't have more time to work with the giant guard. Though a rising senior, this is Farr's first time through spring football. He was on the roster last season but didn't come out for the team until August.

Before then?

"I just sat around and played video games,'' Farr said.

He weighed 370 pounds and didn't move well but at 330 has improved significantly. He said he has run the 40 in 5.7 seconds.

Farr said he regrets waiting to come out for football until his junior year. But he hopes he will play beyond high school. With college recruiters making Dade City a regular stop to see Archibald, Ivie and others, there's always a chance someone will look around and ask who the big kid wearing No. 74 is.

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