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Spring football capsule: Wharton

Tanner Stocker, a transfer from Land O’Lakes, is a quarterback and strong safety candidate at Wharton.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times

Tanner Stocker, a transfer from Land O’Lakes, is a quarterback and strong safety candidate at Wharton.

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

Wharton

Coach: David Mitchell (fifth season, 32-13)

Last season: 9-3 (lost 42-21 to Chamberlain in Class 5A region semifinal)

District: Class 5A-7 (Brandon, Freedom, Tampa Bay Tech)

Key losses: OL/LB Chase Boswell, QB Andrew Clifford, WR Brent Holloway, WR/S Jairus Jones, OL Hunter Stout, WR Khiry White

Who's back: WR/DB Xavier Fisher, QB Ryan Hatter, DB Terrance Hicks, RB Shane Mc- Ewen, OL Blake Nold, RB Malik Williams

What's new: The Wildcats lost 10 starters on both sides of the ball, including Clifford, who signed to play quarterback with South Carolina. The two vying to replace him are Hatter and Tanner Stocker, a transfer from Land O'Lakes. The duo split time throughout the spring, and Mitchell said the battle will likely go on through summer and preseason. Mitchell said there's a chance they could go on splitting time, but he indicated that Stocker's ability to play strong safety could allow the Wildcats to lean more on Hatter behind center. One challenge the quarterback will have is playing behind an offensive line that lost both tackles and both guards. Defense is expected to be Wharton's strength.

Audible: "(Spring) went pretty good. We played well, better than expected. We just wanted to see where the offense stood. We found out we have some good players, we'll be disciplined." — Mitchell

Did you know? Wharton has earned three playoff berths under Mitchell during the past four seasons. Before his arrival, the Wildcats had gone just once, in 2002 when it reached the Class 5A state final, a 22-10 loss to Pompano Beach Ely.

Spring result: lost 7-0 to Freedom

2009 schedule

Sept. 4 vs. Spoto

Sept. 11 at Chamberlain

Sept. 17 vs. Gaither

Sept. 25 vs. Armwood

Oct. 2 at Jefferson

Oct. 9 at Brandon

Oct. 23 vs. Freedom

Oct. 29 at East Bay

Nov. 6 at Tampa Bay Tech

Nov. 13 vs. Sickles

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Wharton 06/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 7:56pm]
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