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Spring football capsule: Anclote

Around the North Suncoast in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast


Coach: Matt Wicks (first season)

District: 3A-7 (Gulf, Land O'Lakes, Mitchell, Pasco, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills)

Last season: Anclote is a first-year program

Players to watch: OL/DL Jarod Carter, OL/DL Tyler Grinstead, WR/RB Travis Hendrix, OL/DL Jason Janus, QB Tyson Peters, OL/DL Kevin Wilson, TE Shannon Winthrop

What's new: The program. Anclote, set to open in August, will play a full varsity schedule right out of the chute, and Wicks would have it no other way. "This is why they came to Anclote, they want to play varsity football," said Wicks, who coached at the prep and small-college level in Pennsylvania. "There's only one way to learn how to play varsity football and that's to play varsity football." … The Sharks have spent the spring practicing in middle school helmets but no pads at nearby Paul R. Smith Middle School. On most days, Wicks says he has 28 kids, some of them behemoths. Carter, Grinstead, Janus and Wilson each weighs in excess of 240 pounds. … For now, Wicks is pleased with his assemblage of size and athleticism, but remains cautiously optimistic until August. "Everybody looks different with pads on," said Wicks, who will employ a wing-T offense. "There will be some players that look the part, but once you start hitting it changes things."

Audible: "We're in this to win football games. We've got to build that mentality right off the bat. Just because this is the first time we're playing varsity football doesn't mean we have to go out and go 0-10." — Wicks

Did you know? Most of Anclote's players hail from Gulf and Mitchell, but to achieve solidarity, Wicks hasn't allowed T-shirts or colors from either school to be worn at practice. … Wicks, who currently has five assistants, will be his own offensive coordinator. He has no defensive coordinator and probably won't until Anclote's entire faculty is in place.

2009 schedule

Sept. 11 Lakeland Victory Christian

Sept. 18 at River Ridge

Sept. 25 Mitchell

Oct. 2 at Sunlake

Oct. 9 at Land O'Lakes

Oct. 16 Pasco

Oct. 23 at Gulf

Oct. 30 Wesley Chapel

Nov. 6 at Zephyrhills

Nov. 13 Berkeley Prep

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Anclote 05/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:58pm]
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