Spring football capsule: Nature Coast

Around the North Suncoast in 30 days A daily spring preview of every football program on the North Suncoast

Nature Coast

Coach: Mark Lee (first season)

District: 3A-6 (Citrus, Crystal River, Dunnellon, Eustis, Hernando, Leesburg, Tavares)

Last season: 9-2* (Sharks were forced to forfeit regular-season finale and first-round playoff game)

Key losses: OL/DL Chad Dampier, WR/DB Mike Fields, LB Tadd Govadich, LB Britt Langley, LB Alfredo Lindo, OL/DL Gary Myrick, RB/DL D.J. Williams, WR/LB Howie Williams

Who's back: QB C.J. Baker, DL John Carbone, OL/DL Nick Ciucci, P/K Danny Colon, RB Tevin Drake, OL/DL Corey Emerson, RB Antwan Story

What's new: Lee was tabbed early last week to replace Jamie Joyner, whose resignation amid an investigation into his relationship with an 18-year-old student has been well documented. … Lee loves the forward pass, but insists he'll utilize the running talents of Story and Drake, who teamed for nearly 1,900 rushing yards last season. In his first team meeting, Lee says he told Drake to be in shape because he would handle the ball quite a bit. … Nature Coast lost nine starters — but not coordinator Charles Liggett — from a defense that held six opponents to 15 or fewer points. Liggett, one of three finalists to replace Joyner, is staying on board. "Even though we lost almost all of our defense, the defense we're putting on the field right now, some kids will have to go both ways, but it looks like we'll be pretty solid," Liggett said earlier this spring.

Audible: "We're going to change the image. We're still going to be that physical team on the field, no doubt about it, but we're going to work on some things on the field and off the field. We're going to do things the right way and we're going to prove to other teams that we're still a team to be reckoned with, and we're still that same team … that you were not able to beat on the field (in 2008)." — Lee

Did you know: Lee's dad, Steve, was a head coach at the small-college level and, according to legendary ex-West Virginia coach Don Nehlen, operated the spread offense long before it became sexy. … Lee will be his own offensive coordinator. … Weather permitting, Lee will get five total spring practices with his team, including an informal scrimmage Thursday. Billed as the "NCT Fan Appreciation Scrimmage," it will include a promotion that allows fans to call one play for $2 (or three for $5).

Spring game: Thursday, 5:30 p.m. (intrasquad)

2009 schedule

Sept. 4at Central

Sept. 11at Springstead

Sept. 18at Crystal River

Sept. 25Tavares

Oct. 2at Leesburg

Oct. 16Dunnellon

Oct. 23at Citrus

Oct. 30Eustis

Nov. 6at Hernando

Nov. 13East Lake

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Nature Coast 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:37pm]

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