Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in the county
Coach: Stevie Thomas (fourth season, 16-15)
Last season: 3-7
District: Class 4A-10 (Largo, Leto, Sickles)
Key losses: DL Julius Forte, WR/DB Darrian Skinner, LB Steve Dumerveil
Who's back: QB Shaquille Bradford, DB Ransom Cook, WR Tyree Green, DB Jovontae Johnson, DB Rommon Lumpkins, WR Joseph Lynn, DL Victor Sanchez, WR Jocquel Skinner, RB Latavien Washington
What's new: The Pirates lose 13 seniors from last year's team. The biggest departure is Forte, a USF recruit who had 14 sacks as a defensive end and was named second-team, all-state in Class 4A last season. Sanchez, who played the other defensive end spot, will be counted on to anchor the line. The strength of the defense is the secondary, where Cook, Lumpkins and Johnson return as starters. On the offensive side, Boca Ciega is loaded at the skill positions. Green, Lynn and Skinner give the Pirates considerable depth at receiver. Washington is also back at running back and healthy after playing at "about 95 percent" last year due to a sore ankle, Thomas said. Bradford had an uneven season at quarterback last year but gained valuable experience that Thomas said should pay off. The biggest concern on offense is the line.
Audible: "We've got the skill guys on both sides of the ball. We just need some other guys to step up. The focus this spring will be on the offensive line. If we can get that group together, I think we can be competitive in the district." — Thomas
Did you know? The Pirates lost three games last year by a combined eight points.
Spring game: May 22, vs. Naples Golden Gate, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 4 vs. Countryside
Sept. 17at Lakewood
Sept. 25vs. Leto
Oct. 2at Pinellas Park
Oct. 9at Sickles
Oct. 15vs. St. Petersburg
Oct. 23vs. Largo
Oct. 30at Seminole
Nov. 6vs. Northeast
Nov. 13at Gibbs
Bob Putnam, Times staff writer