Around the county in 30 days A daily spring preview of every football program in the county
Coach: Earl Garcia (17th season at Hillsborough, 147-39; 24th overall, 180-77)
Last season: 6-4
District: Class 4A-9 (Armwood, East Bay, King)
Key losses: RB Lindsey Lamar, OT Darren Baker, LB Jerod Brisbon, WR Colby Walden, K/P Evan Colborne
Who's back: QB Tarean Austin, WR Charles Lovett, RB Antonio Chow, WR/S Terrence Mitchell, WR Carlton Walton, WR/DB RaVon Bullard, FB Jamie Knott
What's new: The Terriers want to remember little from last season. Hillsborough finished the season losing three of its last four games and missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade. The departure of Lamar, who heads to USF in the fall, leaves a huge void at running back. Garcia has spent most of the spring installing the fundamentals of a spread offense that will focus on getting fleet-footed receivers Mitchell, Lovett, Walton and Bullard the ball downfield. It's a relatively new look for Austin, who enters his third year as a starter in the fall, but Garcia has all the confidence in his rising senior signal caller. The Terriers have six transfers, notably former Chamberlain DT Eric Hammond, ex-Middleton RB Rodney Johnson, former Wharton LB Chris Oliver and ex-Freedom WR/TE Jordan Duval. As is always the case with the Terriers, their schedule is a bear, opening with Jefferson, Plant, Chamberlain and Alonso the first month of the season.
Audible: "We're going to be a pass-first offense for the first time since I've been here. We used to be a pass-first offense when I was at Gaither because we had no one who could run faster than me," Garcia joked. "But here it's kind of been the other way. This year we might have the best set of skill guys since I've been there, so it's up to us as an offensive staff to take advantage of that by spreading the ball around. We have a fast football team. It will be a fun offense to play in."
Did you know? For the first time in Garcia's 17 years at Hillsborough, his coaching staff remains intact. The Terriers have 10 assistants.
Spring rESULT: Beat Chamberlain 17-0
Sept. 4vs. Jefferson
Sept. 11vs. Plant
Sept. 17at Chamberlain
Sept. 25vs. Alonso
Oct. 2at Gaither
Oct. 9 vs. East Bay
Oct. 16at Blake
Oct. 23at Armwood
Nov. 6vs. King
Nov. 13at Tampa Bay Tech
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer