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Spring football capsule: Tarpon Springs

Versatile Josiah Fisk may take some snaps from under center in the fall for the Spongers.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Versatile Josiah Fisk may take some snaps from under center in the fall for the Spongers.

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

Tarpon Springs

Coach: George Kotis (fourth season, 19-13)

Last season: 8-3 (lost 28-7 to Merritt Island in first round of Class 4A playoffs)

District: Class 4A-6 (Hudson, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Wiregrass Ranch)

Key losses: CB Kyle Ahern, LB Stamati Damalos, WR/DB Drew Kier, QB Danny Reyes, LB/P Ziggy Seifried, S Miles Toli, WR Bobby Vavlas

Who's back: WR Savvas Damalos, RB/CB Darius Daniels, CB/RB Josiah Fisk, DT Broderick Lee, RB Ladarrius Only, OT/DT Clay Paino, LB Kosta Vavlas, CB Darrien Wood

What's new: Reyes, a gifted thrower, is now at Grambling, which makes the quarterback position the biggest question mark. Right now, it's an open competition between Wyatt Wikle (rising junior) and Louis Pappas (rising sophomore). The two threw three interceptions combined in the spring loss at Lakeland. Look for Fisk, the Spongers' best athlete, to see some time under center as well. Kotis would like to put Fisk in the shotgun with Daniels and Only lined up on either side in the backfield. Only (4.35) and Daniels (4.38) run sub-4.4 40s; Fisk clocks in at 4.5 but has better moves according to Kotis. Those three in open space could be a lethal combination for Tarpon. Both the offensive and defensive lines have size and depth. Led by Paino and Lee, the D-line's play against Lakeland was "inspiring," Kotis said. "At least up front, we were able to hang right with Lakeland." Kotis thinks the defense could be better than last year. Damalos and Dillon Goodell are big-time linebackers, and the talent is deep in the secondary with Fisk, Daniels, Wood and Danny Chaisson. Chaisson and Goodell are also fullbacks capable of dishing out punishment. Starting offensive lineman Kevin Donovan broke his tibia against Lakeland but should be available for the season opener against Palm Harbor University.

Audible: "We're probably going to pass off of the run instead of run off of the pass, which is what we did last year." — Kotis

Did you know? Eleven seniors from last year's team are playing college football this fall. The Spongers, however, have plenty of youngsters to plug the holes. Kotis estimates he'll have 120 players between varsity and JV when camp opens in August.

Spring result: Lost 24-3 to Lakeland

2009 schedule

Sept. 4 at Palm Harbor University

Sept. 11 vs. Dunedin

Sept. 17 at East Lake

Sept. 25 at River Ridge

Oct. 2 at Largo

Oct. 9 vs. Ridgewood

Oct. 15 vs. Countryside

Oct. 23 vs. Wiregrass Ranch

Oct. 30 at Hudson

Nov. 13 vs. Clearwater

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Tarpon Springs 06/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:39pm]
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