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Spring football capsule: Indian Rocks Christian

Quarterback Blake Farver is expected to play a bigger role after IRC’s top three running backs graduated.

ATOYIA DEANS | Times (2008)

Quarterback Blake Farver is expected to play a bigger role after IRC’s top three running backs graduated.

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

Indian Rocks Christian

Coach: Mark Buchanan (fifth season, 22-19)

Last season: 9-2 (Lost 35-21 to Belle Glade Glades Day in Class A region semifinals)

District: Class A-6 (Berkeley Prep, Clearwater Central Catholic, Fort Meade, Lakeland Christian)

Key losses: WR/DB Cameron Dillard, RB/LB Ethan Englebert, OL/DL Max Heard, FB/DL Lou Mason, TE/LB Darius Sabbides, RB/LB Jonny Sitton

Who's back: LB/FB Kyle Cleary, QB Blake Farver, RB/LB Tyler Gatusso, OL/DL Sean Harvey, RB/S Tyler Ostheim, OL/DL Tyler Wood

What's new: How do you replace more than 3,000 yards of offense? That's what Indian Rocks is about to find out after three standout running backs — Sitton, Englebert and Mason — graduated. Sitton was a first-team utility all-state selection, and Englebert made the second team. Gatusso and Ostheim will attempt to fill the void. The seniors-to-be aren't as explosive but are a bit more physical. With four returning starters, the offensive line is a strength. Harvey, now 6 feet 4, 255 pounds, is the leader and has received the most attention from colleges. He'll also start on the defensive line, which should be solid for the Golden Eagles. The secondary is young and untested after losing starting cornerbacks Dillard and Buddy Kaufman. Farver, a steady quarterback who knows how to protect the ball, returns for his senior year and will be asked to shoulder more of the offensive load. Buchanan estimates six or seven guys will play both ways. One of those the coaches are high on is Cleary, who was a leading tackler at linebacker last season and will see time at fullback this year.

Audible: "Our offseason lifting and conditioning program was huge last year, and it's going to be huge again this year. We expect to have 25, 30 guys here all summer. They're looking forward to it because they saw the success that it had last year." — Buchanan

Did you know? Every player who had a rushing attempt for the Golden Eagles last season graduated.

Spring game: at Taylor County, 6 p.m. Saturday

2009 season

Sept. 4 vs. Keswick Christian

Sept. 11 at Fort Meade

Sept. 18 vs. Calvary Christian

Sept. 25 at Bishop McLaughlin

Oct. 2 vs. Shorecrest

Oct. 9 vs. Clearwater Central Catholic

Oct. 23 vs. Lakeland Christian

Oct. 30 vs. Northside Christian

Nov. 6 at Berkeley Prep

Nov. 13 at Cambridge

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Indian Rocks Christian 05/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:55pm]
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