Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in the county.
Coach: Matt Lance (third season, 3-17)
Last season: 2-8
District: 5A-10 (Dixie Hollins, Gibbs, Largo, St. Petersburg, Seminole)
Key losses: RB Reggie Green, WR Ricky Hunter Jr., QB Jesse Redden, OL Kyle Ruttencutter, DE/WR Jesse Woods
Who's back: LB/RB Oraian Bentley, DB Nick Cleckner, OL Cody Dulaney, OL Aaron Earle, WR Brandon Ferguson, WR Carlton Green, DB Andy Laughery, LB/RB Chris McKinnie, OL Ben Miller, QB Devon Olson, DL Justin Paulton, LB Kaleb Paulton, RB Mike Smith, DB Will Smith
What's new: Olson will be the new signal caller under center after backing up Redden last season. The rising junior quarterbacked the Patriots to their second win of the season, a 20-14 victory over Dixie Hollins. … The Patriots return several skill position players, and Lance said they will be instrumental to the team's success. Bentley and Mike Smith will split carries in the backfield; Ferguson and Green will be counted on heavily in the Patriots' passing attack. … The Patriots gave up more than 33 points a game last season, but Lance is happy with the progress of the defense, which returns a majority of its starters. … Junior-to-be Tony Murphy is a rising star in the secondary. He scored the team's only touchdown in the spring game victory over North Port.
Audible: "I really like the core of this group. This is a group that's been with me for two years now. I felt we had a really good spring, and I really think the character of this football team has improved tremendously." — Lance
Did you know?: Of the roughly 35 players who suited up for the Patriots last season, about 25 are returning, according to Lance.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer
Defeated North Port 7-6
Sept. 5 vs. Countryside
Sept. 12 vs. Lakewood
Sept. 26 vs. Seminole
Oct. 3 at East Lake
Oct. 10 at Largo
Oct. 17 at Clearwater
Oct. 24 at St. Petersburg
Oct. 31 vs. Gibbs
Nov. 7 vs. Dixie Hollins
Nov. 14 at Palm Harbor University