Around the North Suncoast
in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast.
Coach: Chris Taylor
(fourth season, 16-15)
Last season: 9-2 (lost 43-3 to Daytona Beach Seabreeze in region quarterfinals)
District: Class 4A-8 (Central, Land O'Lakes, River Ridge, Springstead, Tarpon Springs)
Key losses: RB Byronell Arline, QB T.J. Haab, LB Arron Jackson, LB Barry Johnsonbaugh, OL John Karakaris, OL Keith McCarthy, TE Willie Nichols, LB Ben Perry, WR/DB Addidas Tolliver, DB Allyn Williamson
Who's back: C Andrew Stagner, LB Tim Rearden
What's new: A plethora of faces. Aside from Stagner and Rearden, Ridgewood lost every starter from the best team in school history. Don't assume, however, the Rams are poised to fall off the face of the Sunshine Athletic Conference. Last season's junior varsity team finished 8-0, and a recent visit to spring practice revealed some talent jogging around on the Rams' spacious practice field. The top candidates to replace 2,000-yard rusher Byronell Arline are Adrian Golden, a 5-foot-8 junior who ran for 258 yards last year and is built like Emmitt Smith, and transfer Sterling Ross, Mitchell's top rusher (120 carries, 816 yards) in 2007. Six-foot senior Jimmy Mattos, who appears to possess some agility and a nice throwing touch, is the favorite to replace quarterback T.J. Haab. For all of the potential of these new skills guys, they still will be operating behind an almost totally rebuilt offensive front.
Audible: "We've got talent. It just has to be ready to go at the varsity level." — Taylor
Did you know?: Taylor had to replace more than just 91 percent of his starting lineup. Defensive coordinator Brian Wachtel departed to pursue a doctorate and has been replaced by another Rams defensive assistant, Lynne Simmons. Additionally, Taylor hired former Land O'Lakes assistant Jason Hatcher to coach the offensive and defensive lines.
Sept. 12 vs. Wiregrass Ranch
Oct. 3 vs. Gulf
Oct. 10 vs.
Oct. 16 at Mitchell
Oct. 24 vs.
Oct. 31 at Springstead
Nov. 7 vs.
Nov. 14 at Zephyrhills
Joey Knight, Times staff writer