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Spring football capsule: East Bay

East Bay

Coach: Brian Thornton (16th season, 90-66)

Last season: 4-6

District: Class 4A-9 (Armwood, Hillsborough, King)

Key losses: DB D.J. Allen, OL/DL Jake Anaya, FB Chaz Burrows, LB Shane Cyrus, DL Geoff Hayes, LB Tyler Hooks, RB Andre Simpson

Who's back: TE Jordan Archie, OL Chad Fincher, OL/DL Dontavious Fleming, OG Alex McKeithan, K Forrest Meredith, QB Aaron Mills, RB Deandre Reddick, LB/RB D.J. Richmond, DB Calvin Sanders, RB Cody Smoot

What's new: Not much. Thornton quips he doesn't change schemes the way some opponents "change them like underwear." East Bay will run primarily an option offense and a 4-4 defense. And in terms of transfers coming or going, Thornton said, "We have no new recruits." That said, Thornton is in striking distance of career victory No. 100. "That's been a goal of mine," he said. To get there the Indians would need to have a stellar year and overcome heavy losses to graduation, including three of four linebackers. The Indians also go with Mills at quarterback and Reddick at running back. The Indians have all four starting linemen returning in Fleming, Jamil Raymore, Joseph St. Louis and Kierren Pettus. Thornton said numbers are down and instead of the typical 80 or so players out for spring, the numbers are at about 60.

Audible: "I'm excited about this year. It's a nice team and I have a nice group of kids to work with. They work hard in the weight room and they do things the right way." — Thornton

Did you know? One change comes on the coaching staff with Thornton's son, Michael, now the new head coach at Cypress Lake in Fort Myers. Michael Thornton, who was the offensive line coach, will be replaced by former Riverview assistant Jim Hutchinson. He was Riverview's offensive line coach since the school opened, Brian Thornton said.

Spring game: At East Bay, with Brandon, Bloomingdale and Riverview, 6:30 p.m. Friday

2009 schedule

Aug. 28 at Lennard (classic)

Sept. 4 vs. Plant City

Sept. 11 at Bloomingdale

Sept. 17 at Spoto

Sept. 25 vs. Brandon

Oct. 2 at Durant

Oct. 9 at Hillsborough

Oct. 16 vs. Riverview

Oct. 22 at King

Oct. 30 vs. Wharton

Nov. 6 vs. Armwood

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: East Bay 05/18/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 18, 2009 11:04pm]
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