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: Freedom

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


Coach: James Harrell (first season)

Last season: 4-6

District: Class 5A-7 (Brandon, Tampa Bay Tech, Wharton)

Key losses: QB Josh Grady (transfer to Armwood), DL Coril Joseph, OL/DL Carl Saunders, LB/RB Sherrod Cunningham, WR Rodney Lyons

Who's back: LB Keith Lewis, DL Josh Tanner, WR/DB T.J. Mutcherson, WR Jacari Campbell, RB Amonty Dilisea, OL Jimmy Dunphy, WR/DB Robert Lohnes, K Alex Landeta

What's new: Plenty of changes, including first-year coach Harrell arriving from Plant to replace Marquel Blackwell, who resigned after a misdemeanor DUI arrest in January (which has yet to be resolved, according to court records). Harrell was the defensive coordinator for the Panthers for three seasons. He believes defense will be the cornerstone of this year's team. Harrell also promises lots of passing, though that took a hit with the transfer of Grady to Armwood. That leaves quarterback duties to Dustin Rauh, who moves into the position after playing tight end and some defensive line. … Getting work done has been tough with recent rain forcing at least one practice indoors, and a swine flu scare closing school and practice for one week.

Audible: "Practice has been going pretty good. Those days set us back some, but I think we've made up that ground. All you want to get is quality reps, if you're getting that. What we're doing is pretty simple. We'll add more and more pieces to the puzzle as the year goes on. It's new learning for the kids." — Harrell

Did you know? Harrell's coaching staff boasts 37 seasons of NFL playing experience. James Jones played 12 years (Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks), Tony Mayberry 10 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Donnie Elder seven (primarily with the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay), and Harrell eight (Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit). "It's intriguing," Harrell said. "The key is everyone is into teaching and doing what the kids can do. We're not trying to implement pro stuff, just trying to maximize the kids' potential."

Spring game: At Freedom, with Wharton, King and Tampa Bay Tech, 6:30 p.m. Friday

2009 schedule

Aug. 28 vs. Alonso (classic)

Sept. 4 at Riverview

Sept. 11 at King

Sept. 17 vs. Sickles

Sept. 25 vs. Gaither

Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay Tech

Oct. 16 vs. Bloomingdale

Oct. 22 at Wharton

Oct. 30 vs. Leto

Nov. 6 vs. Brandon

Nov. 13 at Lennard

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Freedom 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.