Around the county in 30 days | A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas county
Coach: Andre Dobson (second season, 1-9)
Last season: 1-9
Key losses: OL/DL Corey Johnson, LB/RB Seth Rogers
Who's back: QB/CB/KR Chris Culbreth, WR/FS Will Scott, OL/DL Austin Sheldon, TE Andrew Speake, RB/WR/OLB Jimmy VanDeilen
What's new: Joel Slawinski joins the Northside staff from Melbourne High as the Mustangs' new defensive coordinator. The Mustangs ran a 3-5-3 last season but will switch to a 4-4 defense. Culbreth, the best playmaker on offense, will touch the ball every down as the starting quarterback. He will also handle all of the kick and punt return duties. Scott is a sure-handed receiver who ran the 400 for Northside's track team this spring and anchored the 4x100 relay. The 6-foot-4 Scott is an excellent student and has heard from a number of Ivy League schools. At 6-foot-2, 305 pounds, Sheldon is a mammoth offensive lineman who Dobson believes can be one of the area's best. He injured his shoulder in Northside's first game last season and sat out the rest of the year but has been impressive this spring. Look for VanDeilen, a rising junior, to get a number of touches on offense. He will play just about every skill position for the Mustangs, including backup quarterback. Northside is an independent this year, thus it is not eligible for the playoffs. The Mustangs have an open date in Week 6 that they are still looking to fill.
Right now, they have nine games on the schedule. Fatigue could become an issue as a majority of the Mustangs players will have to go both ways. Northside has only 20 players on its spring roster.
Audible: "We always wish we have more kids, but we're real happy with the kids we do have." — Dobson
Did you know? Northside will travel to San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 28 for a preseason kickoff classic against Cornerstone Christian. That trip was scheduled as a result of Dobson's friendship with Cornerstone head coach Greg Davis, who was an offensive coordinator at Dobson's previous head coaching stop at Monte Vista Christian in California. The two were also college teammates at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.
Spring result: defeated Cambridge 35-0
Sept. 4 at Canterbury
Sept. 11 vs. St. Petersburg Catholic
Sept. 18 at Admiral Farragut
Sept. 25 at Shorecrest
Oct. 2 vs. Victory Christian
Oct. 23 vs. Zion Lutheran
Oct. 30 at Indian Rocks Christian
Nov. 7 at Agape Christian
Nov. 13 vs. Calvary Christian
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer