Four North Suncoast teams were snuffed out of the playoffs Friday night. In retrospect, was it all that shocking? Unfortunately, when a season ends so do some high school careers. We saw the final plays of Hudson quarterback Zack Wynn, who threw his last high school pass in Gainesville. Nature Coast running back Tevin Drake scored on the final play of his high school career. Land O'Lakes receiver Alex Robinson caught one more touchdown from Stevie Weatherford. And in Dade City, Pirates quarterback D.J. Clower made the cannon roar once more. The mourning will end Monday morning when players return to school and begin offseason workouts. So with that, here is a final look at 2009 and a peek at 2010.
Looking ahead to 2010: Preseason Super Seven
1. Land O'Lakes
Stevie Weatherford begins his final season, and it's a doozy.
Ricky Trinidad is fresh, fast and hungry.
The tide turns and the Leopards are Hernando County's new No. 1, with Alvin Delaine leading the way.
The Pirates have a lot of young talent, and a solid quarterback in Jacob Guy.
The Eagles impressed plenty of people in 2009 during a rebuilding stage. In 2010, they are solid.
6. Wiregrass Ranch
Jeremy Shobe's first year was grand, but look for a playoff berth in 2010.
The Bulldogs are back with a new head coach, another tough defense, plenty of athletes and stability.
Five questions entering spring football
1. What will change at Nature Coast in Mark Lee's second season? Now that the Sharks seniors are gone, it's Lee's team. What will he do with it, from the coaching staff to the game plans?
2. Can Gulf return to local prominence? Gulf loses some key players in Madison Burr, Will Burbridge and Florida commitment Leon Orr. Yet Bucs coach Jay Fulmer always manages to stir up some talented kids in west Pasco County.
3. Coaching changes? At least three jobs will be open on the North Suncoast — Zephyrhills, new West Pasco school Fivay that opens in the fall and the yet-to-be-named school in Hernando County. Let the carousel begin to turn.
4. What will happen at Wesley Chapel? Coach John Castelamare has vowed to fight to keep his teaching position and his coaching job. Knowing him, it just might happen.
5. Can any team move past the first round of the playoffs? Again, this was a down season for football on the North Suncoast. Can we expect better in 2010? We'll get our first taste in May. It'll be here before you know it.
|RB Tevin Drake, Sr., Nature Coast||After being held to minus-1 yard in the first half, Drake finished with 107, including a 55-yard touchdown run on his final play.|
|QB D.J. Clower, Sr., Pasco||Compiled 140 yards of offense and scored in his high school finale.|
|QB Stevie Weatherford, Jr., LOL||Completed 20 of 34 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns.|
|QB Zack Wynn, Sr., Hudson||Completed 14 of 26 passes for 147 yards in his final high school game.|
Izzy Gould can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 421-3886.