Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nature Coast: 2014 football preview

Nature Coast Head Coach Justin Worden during Spring practice on Thursday, May 8, 2014.


Nature Coast Head Coach Justin Worden during Spring practice on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

Nature Coast

Coach: Justin Worden (first season)

Last season: 4-6

Class/district: 5A-6

Colors: Blue and black

Stadium: The Shark Tank, 4057 California St., Brooksville

Playoff appearances: 2006, 2007, 2009

Last appearance: Lost 34-22 at Citra North Marion

Season schedule

Aug. 29 vs. Crystal River, 7:30

Sept. 12 at Springstead, 7:30

Sept. 19 at Central, 7:30

Sept. 26 vs. Pasco, 7:30

Oct. 3 vs. Hernando High, 7:30

Oct. 10 at Zephyrhills, 7:30

Oct. 17 at South Sumter, 7:30

Oct. 24 vs. Forest, 7:30

Oct. 31 vs. Weeki Wachee, 7:30

Nov. 7 at Lake Weir, 7:30

Mark your calendar

Nature Coast vs. Pasco, Sept. 26: This was one of the more entertaining games of 2013 with Nature Coast pulling out a 29-28 victory on DeShawn Smith's winning 50-yard run in the fourth quarter. Pasco is sure to be a bit testy after relinquishing a late lead in last year's game. And in such a crowded district race, this could decide either's playoff fate early in the season.

Huddle highlights

New direction: In January, Nature Coast hired former Orlando Oak Ridge defensive coordinator Justin Worden to replace Charles Liggett, who resigned after three seasons. Worden installed a new up-tempo attack and has a more aggressive defense. There were some positive results in the spring with the Sharks splitting their jamboree halves, beating Titusville Astronaut 7-0 and losing to Daytona Seabreeze 14-6.

Rough stretch: From Sept. 26 through Oct. 17, Nature Coast plays the four district opponents — Pasco, Hernando, Zephyrhills and South Sumter — that will be in the mix for a playoff spot. The win against Pasco was the Sharks' only one against those four last season as they quickly fell out of the postseason picture.

Moving the ball: In the spring, Worden put most of the emphasis on offense. The biggest task was finding a replacement for quarterback Ryan Quigley, who combined for 891 yards rushing and throwing last year and is now at Warner. Jamison Carnegie won the job after playing well in the spring. He should put the ball in the air more to create some balance and prevent opponents from keying on running back DeShawn Smith.

Known quantities

TE/LB Sedrick Burkes, Sr.: Though he was limited last season, Burkes switched to a hybrid linebacker position this spring and was in the backfield on nearly every play.

TE/DB Le'Shaun Gray, Sr.: The leader in the secondary finished with 61 tackles and an interception last season.

LB Dylan Miller, Sr.: The team's top returning defender had 111 tackles and two sacks last season.

OL/DT Christian Pellage, Sr.: The three-star recruit, who has already committed to South Carolina, is quick, something you don't see too often from someone who is 6 feet 7 and weighs 290.

RB/DB DeShawn Smith, Jr.: The Sharks' leading rusher last season (719 yards, nine touchdowns) is poised for an even bigger performance this year. He plays well in big games, as evidenced by his three touchdowns against Pasco last season.


QB/SS Jamison Carnegie, Jr.: Worden was impressed with the quarterback's mobility in the spring. Despite playing in both halves of the jamboree, Carnegie avoided being sacked.

DL Trevor Gamble, So.: The speed rusher wreaked havoc in the spring with two sacks, one coming with such impact that it knocked the Seabreeze quarterback out with a broken leg.

WR/DB Brian Haygood, So.: Though he has just six receptions last season, Haygood looked good in the spring and should put up better numbers in a more wide-open offense.

Coach's corner

"A lot of teams in the district improved so we have our work cut out for us. But the spring was a big confidence booster for us. It let us know we can do some things and the guys are starting to have more trust in one another." — Worden

Nature Coast: 2014 football preview 08/09/14 [Last modified: Saturday, August 9, 2014 8:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning announce events for 25th anniversary season


    The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    The Lightning's 25th anniversary logo.
  2. Lightning reveals 25th anniversary logo


    The Lightning unveiled the logo for its 25th anniversary season as well as a number of the events that will be part of the celebration during an exclusive Season Ticket Member draft party Friday at Amalie Arena.

    The Lightning's 25th anniversary logo.
  3. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  4. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.