Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in the county.
Indian Rocks Christian
Coach: Mark Buchanan (fourth season, 13-17)
Last season: 7-4 (Lost in first round of Class A playoffs to Glades Day)
District: Class A-5 (Admiral Farragut, Fort Meade, Lakeland Christian, Northside Christian, Shorecrest)
Key losses: OL/DE Tom Brown, OL/DL T. C. Connors, OL/DL Kevin O'Connor, QB/S Matt Oliphant
Who's back: WR/DB Cameron Dillard, RB/LB Ethan Englebert, QB/S Blake Farver, OL/DE Sean Harvey, OL/DL Max Heard, FB/LB Lou Mason, OL/LB Darius Sabbides, RB/SS Jonny Sitton.
What's new: Indian Rocks rushed for nearly 3,000 yards last season, but Buchanan said the Golden Eagles will be more balanced offensively, partly by spreading people out and getting its skill players (Englebert, Sitton) the ball in open space. Both the offensive and defensive lines took big hits from graduation. The talent is there; the depth is not. Buchanan had just six linemen to work with this spring. Farver, a junior-to-be, will take over the starting quarterback job after sitting behind Oliphant the past two seasons. Mason, who missed five games last season due to injury, is healthy and primed for a standout senior year. He had nearly 1,000 yards from his fullback position as a sophomore. Three-year starters Sabbides and Dillard will anchor the defense.
Audibles: "We're going to be faster than last year. We're going to be more athletic. We're just lacking a little bit on the line right now in experience and size. But, that will come." — Buchanan
Did you know?: Sitton is a member of the Olympic development soccer team and was a Times' first-team all-county selection from his midfield position, but oddly enough, he doesn't do any kicking for the football squad. "If he takes his shoe off, he can kick it in the end zone every time," Buchanan said. "Unfortunately, you can't do that in high school."
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer
Spring game: Saturday vs. Cambridge
Sept 5. at Keswick Christian
Sept. 12 at Calvary Christian
Sept. 26 at Lakeland Christian
Oct. 3 vs. Victory Christian
Oct. 10 at Shorecrest
Oct. 24 at Northside Christian
Oct. 31 vs. Fort Meade
Nov. 7 vs. Admiral Farragut