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Northside Christian: Season preview

Two strengths

1. Skill players. Three players — Jimmy Van Deilan, Chris Colbreth and Robbie Williams — are battling for the starting quarterback spot. Northside will keep its running backs fresh by spreading the workload. Rogers has the most experience and could get the bulk of the carries. Colbreth will get time at tailback if he doesn't start at quarterback. Jeremy Smith provides depth as a rusher. The top receivers are Will Scott and Lucio and Mauricio Ojeda. The Mustangs need to get more production out of this group after being shut out against Seminole in the spring and scoring 12 points against Berkeley Prep in the preseason.

2. Kicking game. Rogers and Cory Johnson have strong legs. Both could be used at punter or kicker. That could be handy with a team fielding so many newcomers.

Two questions

1. What about depth? There is not much of it. In the spring, Dobson said he has 24 players and is averaging about 18 for practices. That means one-platoon football is a must. And because of the numbers, or lack thereof, there will be no junior varsity program this season. The Mustangs have a brutal stretch of games in the first five weeks that include Orlando First Academy, Fort Meade and Fort Walton Beach.

2. Can the linemen hold up? The offensive and defensive lines are a concern. Austin Sheldon has the most size at 6-foot-4, 275 pounds. Cory Johnson could develop into a force. But there is not much experience after that. In the spring game, Seminole controlled the line of scrimmage in a 39-0 win. "We have completely new guys," Dobson said.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Coach: Andre Dobson (first season) | Last season: 7-3 | Class: A, District 5 | Colors: Royal blue and white

New coach Andre Dobson inherited a program decimated by graduation. Northside lost 14 seniors. And two other players, Seth Cole and John Stephens, transferred to Calvary Christian. That leaves the Mustangs with two returning varsity players, Cory Johnson and Seth Rogers.

Northside Christian: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:51pm]
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