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Spring football capsule: Hernando

Around the North Suncoast in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in Hernando and Pasco counties:

Hernando

Coach: John Palmer (third season, 10-10)

Last season: 7-3

District: Class 3A, District 6

Key losses: QB/DB Kall Daniel, TE/DL Robert Huggins, TE/DE Matt Johnson, FB/LB Josh Parnell, WR/FS Corey Thomas

Who's back: OL/LB William Alderman, FB/LB Thomas Bronson, RB/OLB Clarence Clark, RB/DB Alvin Delaine, FB/DE Darren Hambrick, OL/DL Malcom Hudson, LB Zach Pritz, FB/LB Marlin Smith, WR/DB Ian Townsend, RB/DB L'Tevin Williams

What's new: The quarterback position is a question mark after the graduation of Daniel. But the front-runner this spring is last season's junior varsity quarterback, Tyrell Hawkins, who appears to be another running threat for an already-potent rushing attack. Palmer wants to utilize Hawkins' speed at quarterback. Hernando returns a stable of skill players from last season, headlined by all-purpose running back Delaine (1,659 yards, 24 touchdowns). Palmer plans to use a variety of other backs to complement Delaine, including Williams (341 yards rushing, four touchdowns) and Smith (544 yards rushing, five touchdowns). The defense only loses three starters, and Palmer expects that by the end of the spring the unit will be flying to the ball on every down.

Audible: "I would like to see an offensive line that can go out and perform. One that will go out and be competitive and aggressive. I would also like to see our defense fly around, run hard and hit people. We need to become better tacklers and blockers right now." — Palmer

Did you know? The last time Hernando defeated Nature Coast in the regular season was a 20-19 victory Oct. 21, 2005. Coincidentally, that season was also the last time the Leopards reached the playoffs under former coach Matt Smith. The playoff berth resulted in a 61-10 loss to Citra North Marion in the first round.

Spring game: vs. Newberry, 6 p.m. May 21

2010 schedule

Sept. 3 vs. Springstead

Sept. 10 at Lecanto

Sept. 24 at Crystal River

Oct. 1 vs. Dunnellon

Oct. 8 vs. Tavares

Oct. 15 vs. Leesburg

Oct. 22 vs. Eustis

Oct. 29 at Citrus

Nov. 5 at Nature Coast

Nov. 12 vs. Central

Andy Villamarzo, Times correspondent

Spring football capsule: Hernando 05/08/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 8, 2010 8:04pm]

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