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Spring football capsule: Brandon

Around the county in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in Hillsborough County:

brandon

Coach: John Lima (fifth season, 15-27)

Last season: 3-7

District: Class 5A, District 7

Key loss: ATH Sean Watson

Who's back: QB/DB Josh Celerin, LB Jesse Chesnut, LB/RB Shawn Council, LB/DB D'andre Franklin, QB Alan Knippel, RB/DB Darius Lee

What's new: Not much. The Eagles graduated only nine seniors, and the 13 freshmen and sophomores who started in 2008 should be ready to help this program turn the corner. Then again, replacing Watson, who led the team in receiving and interceptions while aslo punting, kicking and returning punts, is akin to replacing three starters. After a season in which Brandon passed fewer than five times in at least two games, Lima is aspiring for more balance in his zone-scheme offense. Once again, Celerin and Knippel, who teamed for 934 passing yards in 2009, will take snaps, but look for the chiseled Celerin (6-0, 190 pounds) to also play defensive back. Knippel, meantime, is one of the county's most unheralded passers. "He can throw every type of pass we have," Lima said. Lee (99 carries, 526 yards) should handle the bulk of the carries, but finding sizable bodies to zone block is a concern. Franklin, Council and Chesnut return to anchor what could be a highly underrated defense; Brandon held five teams, including Durant and Plant City, to 14 or fewer points in 2009.

Audible: "I think ultimately I learned about myself that I've got to do it or I'm not happy with it." — Lima, on being his own offensive coordinator, which he will do for the second year in a row

Did you know? Former Alonso defensive coordinator Dale Rude, dismissed at halftime of last season's Ravens-Hillsborough game for using profanity, has joined Lima's staff in the same capacity. … Lee had 16 runs of 20 or more yards in 2009. … After struggling with numbers last spring, Lima reported more than 50 players still out as of Thursday. … Chesnut was the Eagles' lone freshman starter last season.

Spring game: One half vs. Bloomingdale (at Riverview), 6:30 p.m. May 21

2010 schedule

Sept. 3 vs. Alonso

Sept. 10 vs. Durant

Sept. 16 at Plant City

Sept. 24 vs. East Bay

Oct. 1 at Sickles

Oct. 8 at Wharton

Oct. 22 at Tampa Bay Tech

Oct. 29 at Chamberlain

Nov. 5 vs. Freedom

Nov. 12 vs. Bloomingdale

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Brandon 05/08/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 8, 2010 11:00pm]
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