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Jamborees showcase talents of 11 football teams tonight

With apologies to Bob Barker (or Drew Carey), tonight's prep football jamborees are really showcase showdowns.

The spring season concludes for the South Shore and Brandon area teams tonight with three jamborees in which teams face off against each other for two quarters. They're essentially glorified scrimmages.

But don't try telling that to the coaches and players.

In each jamboree, teams will display how much talent they possess for the fall and who has the potential to play on Florida's biggest stage, the state championships in December.

The biggest showcase showdown will be at Strawberry Crest, where the first-half scrimmage will match 2010 state runnerup Armwood against a talent-laden group from Plant City.

Highly touted quarterback Bennie Coney spins the wheel for the Raiders after having had his junior year cut short by suspension. Coney (6 feet 3, 210 pounds) already has offers from Cincinnati, FSU, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame, and he's surrounded with other Division 1 prospects.

Armwood showcases a new quarterback in Darryl Richardson (6-5, 215) after the departure of graduating senior Josh Grady, who will play at Vanderbilt in the fall. Richardson, a transfer from Tampa Bay Tech, may be one of the few uncertainties for the Hawks, who have depth across the field and gifted Florida signee Matt Jones as running back.

In the other matchup at Strawberry Crest, the host Chargers hope to show more signs of improvement after a significant 2010 season. Durant also will bring a lot to the table after just missing the playoffs last year.

At Spoto, Lennard meets Riverview in the first half. Spoto takes on East Bay after intermission.

The Longhorns and Spartans look to be the two most promising teams in the South Shore area, and Spoto seems particularly strong after welcoming a number of out-of-state transfers, including Augusta, Ga., move-in Johnathan Dixon (6-4, 240 pounds), Oakland, Calif., transfer Isaiah Harrison (6-5, 285), former Belle Glade Glades Central letterman P.J. Coleman (6-1, 200) and Texas move-in Desmond Ford (6-2, 221).

Over at Bloomingdale, Newsome may be part of the night's most competitive matchup. The Wolves, who won their first playoff game in school history in 2010, face off against another 2010 playoff team in Jesuit.

Running back Conner Powers and three-year starting linebacker Joe Worth, two of Newsome's best players, are departing seniors, but Coach Kenneth Hiscock will bank on sibling synergy. Younger brother Keller Powers assumes a heavier load carrying the ball, while another younger brother, Will Worth, returns to play quarterback and possibly help on defense.

Meanwhile, Brandon coach John Lima looks to build on the promise of the Eagles' first playoff appearance in years when his squad takes the field against Bloomingdale.

By the end of tonight, all 11 public school teams will be a step closer to knowing if the price will be right in 2011.

Finally, Seffner Christian plays a full-fledged game against Calvary Christian at Brandon High tonight.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

>> if you go

2011 Spring Jamborees

At Strawberry Crest: Armwood vs. Plant City, Strawberry Crest vs. Durant

At Spoto: Lennard vs. Riverview; East Bay vs. Spoto

At Bloomingdale: Newsome vs. Jesuit, Brandon vs. Bloomingdale

All jamborees kick off at 6:30 p.m.

Jamborees showcase talents of 11 football teams tonight 05/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:30am]
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