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Spring football capsule: Indian Rocks Christian

Around the county in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County:

Indian Rocks Christian

Coach: Mark Buchanan (sixth season, 29-22)

Last season: 7-3

District: Class A, District 6

Key losses: QB/DB Blake Farver, RB/LB Tyler Gattuso, OL/DL Sean Harvey, RB/S Tyler Ostheim

Who's back: OL/DL Taylor Andres, CB Ty Bates, CB Vinny Capabianca, FB/LB Kyle Cleary WR/TE/FS Sean Culkin, RB/LB Jake Voitier, OL/DL Devonte West, LB Ryan Williams, OL/DL Tyler Wood

What's new: The offensive line returns virtually intact from a year ago and should be the Golden Eagles' biggest strength. Wood, the team's best blocker according to Buchanan, is a three-year starter. At 6-foot-1, 295 pounds, West is fast and athletic, and he could be the team's top Division I prospect as a rising junior. Both Wood and West also anchor a formidable defensive line. The defense gave up fewer than 15 points a game a year ago, and Buchanan believes it could be even better this year. The entire secondary — Culkin at free safety, Bates and Capabianca at the corners — returns. Cleary is a superb tackler and mans the middle linebacker spot. Williams played on the defensive line last year but will move back to linebacker, where Buchanan expects him to thrive. Casey Woods, a rising junior, is the new starter at quarterback but is being pushed by another rising junior in Northside Christian transfer Kyle Craichy. Woods is athletic and has worked to improve his arm strength. Losing Ostheim is a big blow to the offense, but Voitier, a tough runner with good vision, will try to fill the void. Matt Little, who qualified for the state 100-yard dash, is playing his first year of football and is getting a look in the backfield, where Buchanan thinks his speed could be dangerous. A big season is expected from Culkin, the team's leading returning receiver. He will line up as a tight end or out wide in an attempt to create mismatches.

Audible: "Any time you return the guys up front, that's a good place to start." — Buchanan

Did you know? Culkin is a prospect as both a football and basketball player. A 6-foot-6, 210-pound shooting guard, he led the Golden Eagles basketball team in scoring this past season. Culkin is currently traveling across the country with an AAU basketball team and will miss spring practice.

Spring game: Jamboree vs. St. Petersburg Catholic and host Seminole, 7 p.m., Friday

2010 season

Sept. 3 at Keswick Christian

Sept. 10 vs. Fort Meade

Sept. 17 at Calvary Christian

Oct. 1 at Shorecrest

Oct. 8 at Indian Rocks Christian

Oct. 15 vs. Cambridge

Oct. 22 at Lakeland Christian

Oct. 29 at Northside Christian

Nov. 5 vs. Berkeley Prep

Nov. 12 vs. Summit Christian

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Indian Rocks Christian 05/15/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:03pm]
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