Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County:
Clearwater Central Catholic
Coach: John Davis (ninth season at CCC, 52-36, first of his return; 17th overall, 118-60)
Last season: 6-4
District: Class A, District 6
Key losses: QB/LB Eric Miller, WR/DB Patrick O'Brien, OL/DL Alec Petrocelli
Who's back: RB Justin Goodloe, WR Richard Gornik, S Dan Higinbotham, OL/LB Brett Lawton, QB/DB Nick Newton, WR Steve Ochsner, WR Carlos Perez, OL/LB Blair Vaughn, OL/DL Chase Vaughn, RB/DB Sakai Wilson
What's new: Davis begins his second stint as CCC's head coach after guiding Countryside to the playoffs in seven of his eight seasons there. In his first go-round with CCC, Davis said he had an abundance of lineman-types but no skill position players. Now, he's experiencing the opposite. At quarterback, Davis believes Newton, a strong-armed 6-foot-4, 190-pounder with good mobility, could be the county's top signal-caller by year's end. Newton, who was a second-team all-state selection last season as an athlete, can also play running back, wide receiver and in the secondary. He could play any one of those spots depending on how far backup QB Colby Robinson progresses during the offseason. The backfield is stocked with Goodloe, a rising junior, and Wilson, a senior-to-be. Gornik, Ochsner and Perez are solid receivers. Also look for tight end George Ohleyer to be a factor in the passing game. The secondary is the strength of the defense. Peter Brady and Wilson are the corners; Higinbotham and Robinson man the safety positions. Lawton is the leader of a hard-hitting linebacking corps. The Marauders are thin up front on both sides of the ball. The return of the Vaughn brothers is a step in the right direction. Blair Vaughn, a rising junior, will play both ways most of the year. Another player who could help is Tarpon Springs transfer Ian Koch. A junior-to-be, Koch could be a Division-I prospect by his senior year, said Davis, who knows a thing or two about developing high-profile linemen.
Audible: "We've got to find people up front right now. I hate taking offensive linemen and playing them both ways, but right now, we've just got to do that." — Davis
Did you know? The flip side of having six home games last year will be felt this season as the Marauders are on the road seven times and don't play at home until their sixth game, Oct. 8.
Spring game: at Wildwood, 7 p.m. May 27
Sept. 3 at Wesley Chapel
Sept. 10 at Lakeland Christian
Sept. 17 at Mitchell
Sept. 24 at Berkeley Prep
Oct. 1 at Wiregrass Ranch
Oct. 8 vs. Indian Rocks Chr.
Oct. 15 vs. Tampa Catholic
Oct. 29 at Cardinal Mooney
Nov. 5 at Fort Meade
Nov. 12 vs. St. Petersburg Catholic
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer