Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring football capsule: Clearwater

Around the county in 30 days A daily spring preview of every football program in the county


Coach: Tom Bostic (27th season, 153-123)

Last season: 2-8

District: Class 5A-8 (Countryside, Dunedin, East Lake, Palm Harbor University)

Key losses: DE Ryan Cheney, WR/DB Malcolm Grigley, RB/LB Michael Holmes, RB/DB/KR Tarrence Jackson, TE/DE Rob Kazanowski, RB/DB Antwan Liverpool

Who's back: OL/DL Michael Barber, FB A.J. Eastman, LB/RB Jeremiah George, OL/DL Michael Green, OL Sean McGee, DL Timothy Paar, RB Mario Riley, C Justin Seelig

What's new: Expect the Tornadoes to rely heavily on the ground game. The offensive line, led by Barber and McGee at tackle, has good size and a decent amount of experience. Eastman, George and Riley are three capable running backs. Eastman, arguably Clearwater's top playmaker, has power and breakaway speed. "He'd run over somebody then run away from the rest," Bostic said. Riley was ineligible last season but is in good shape to compete this year. And George is Clearwater's best Division-I prospect, albeit on the defensive side. Dunedin transfer Bennie Niles will be counted on to make plays at the flanker position. "He's probably the fastest player on the team," Bostic said. Niles will also be expected to solidify a green secondary. The linebackers, led by George, are solid. The defensive line is capable but needs more bodies. With Nick Gimbrone gone, the Tornadoes are looking for a quarterback. Brian Law and Ryan Hagen are the top options, but both are untested. The coaching staff was high on Law, a junior-to-be, entering spring drills last season, but he injured his nonthrowing shoulder and needed surgery over the summer. He did not compete last year. Hagen was the junior-varsity starter last season but also missed time due to injury. Right now, Law has a slight edge.

Audible: "I don't think we're deep enough that we can go one way. We're going to have to take our best athletes and let them play both sides of the ball." — Bostic

Did you know? George holds scholarship offers from Tulane, Southern Methodist and Kansas and will probably receive many more. Barber and Eastman have also caught the attention of D-I recruiters, though neither has any offers.

Spring game: May 29 at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

2009 schedule

Sept. 4 at Seminole

Sept. 11 vs. Osceola

Sept. 17 vs. Northeast

Sept. 25 at East Lake

Oct. 2 at Dixie Hollins

Oct. 9 vs. Countryside

Oct. 15 vs. Pinellas Park

Oct. 23 vs. Dunedin

Nov. 6 at Palm Harbor U.

Nov. 13 at Tarpon Springs

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Clearwater 05/09/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 9, 2009 8:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  2. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  3. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  4. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.