Spring football capsule: Hernando Christian

Around the North Suncoast in 30 days

A spring preview of football programs on the North Suncoast

Hernando Christian

Coach: David Raley (third season, 16-2)

District: None (the Lions compete in the independent Sunshine State Athletic Conference)

Last season: 10-0 (won inaugural SSAC title)

Key losses: DE Nick Adams, G Ben Clark, DE Daniel Keyes, RT Josh Romeo, QB David Rotteveel, LG Josh Westfall, C Ethan Whitten

Who's back: T Dylan Burke, TE/LB Jake Foster, RB Jeremy Knight, TE/DL Garrett Mikkola, DB/WR/RB Ian Townsend, T Kevin Wilcher

What's new: The quarterback, for one. Sophomore Conner Yann has emerged as the heir to Rotteveel (948 passing yards, 10 TDs), who led HCA to a 22-6 win over Mount Dora Bible in the first SSAC title game despite being injured in a car accident only eight days before. "(Yann) works real hard and is a very conscientious kid," Raley said. "He doesn't have as strong an arm as David but he has good fundamentals." … Raley also must replenish an offensive line gutted by graduation, but likes the incoming group led by 300-pound center Josh Webber. "I'd have to say it's a rebuilding year with the line," Raley said, "but not with the skill players."

Audible: "As of right now we don't have any (outgoing) transfers, but that will change. Christian schools always have transfers. The normal is one or two, not 14." — Raley, who lost 14-16 players for various reasons in the summer of 2008 before watching his remaining guys embark on an astounding unbeaten season

Did you know? Townsend, who amassed nearly 1,200 total yards and six interceptions last season, could play at nearly a half-dozen positions. "He's a game-breaker," Raley said. "He's a game-breaker in basketball, he's a game-breaker in baseball."

Spring game: HCA will compete in a spring jamboree tentatively set for May 23 at Ocoee Central Florida Christian

2009 schedule

Sept. 4 vs. Winter Haven All Saints'

Sept. 11 at Leesburg First Academy

Sept. 18 vs. Oviedo Master's Academy

Sept. 25 at Carrollwood Day

Oct. 2 vs. Lecanto Seven Rivers

Oct. 9 at Bishop McLaughlin

Oct. 16 vs. Ocala St. John Lutheran

Oct. 23 vs. Winter Garden Foundation Academy

Oct. 30 at St. Petersburg Canterbury

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Hernando Christian 05/06/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 6:58pm]

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