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Spring football capsule: Wiregrass Ranch

Around the North Suncoast in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in Hernando and Pasco counties

Wiregrass Ranch

Coach: Jeremy Shobe (second season, 5-5)

Last season: 5-5

District: Class 4A, District 6

Key losses: RB Josh Johnson, DB Yemi Adetutu, WR Blake Burch, P Logan Burstiner, OL Ryan Diaz, K Stephen Esoff, DL Kasey Hess, LB Malik Moss, LB Solomon Muhammad, DB Assad Nevel

Who's back: QB James Tringali, DL Noah Ravenna, DL Chase Belisle, WR Donavon Blackman, OL Jared Cameli, DL Dwayne Houston, OL Dylan James, DL Dylan Koesling, RB Nick Lomba, DB Antwan Prince, DB Jon Robbins, DL Jonathon Sanders, OL Brandon Teeling, DB Rudy Walker, OL Travis Whiddon, DL Tanner Carey

What's new: This will be the first time the Bulls open up a season with some expectations. Shobe took Wiregrass to its first .500 campaign in school history in his first season last year. What will he do for an encore? He'll have a tough road with electric tailback Johnson (1,161 yards) graduating. The coach doesn't seem too worried with a plethora of weapons ready to fill the role in the backfield. Rising senior Lomba runs a 4.5 40 and spent most of his time last season on the defensive side of the ball. Shobe already thinks he's the second or third best tailback in the county right now. "The difference Lomba brings to the table is breakaway speed. He's just a freak athletically." The Bulls also have rising sophomore Jamie Barrone waiting in the wings. The former junior varsity starter ran for more than 20 touchdowns and 1,000 yards at that level last season. With the 6-foot-5, 190-pound rising senior ready to take more responsibility with the offense, there's no telling how much success the team will have.

Audible: "With winning comes expectations, and we expect to win. We are going to have better chemistry, and we are going to have better leadership. We call ourselves the Football Factory. It's all a mindset." — Shobe

Did you know? Shobe credits the quick turnaround of the program, which went 2-18 in the two seasons before he got there, to a newfound chemistry. That chemistry may be stemming from trips to offseason camps like the UCF 7-on-7 (June 5), the UCF Lineman Challenge (June 12), the USF Sling & Shoot (June 12-13), the USF Lineman Challenge (June 12-13) and the Premiere 7's at Disney Wide World of Sports (July 23-25). Players that spend such time together must have a tighter bond. "We have to continue to work and get better. We are very excited. The kids are hungry. We're not happy with 5-5," Shobe said.

Spring game: vs. Land O'Lakes, 7 p.m. May 28

2010 schedule

Aug. 27 at St. Petersburg (preseason)

Sept. 3 vs. Sunlake

Sept. 10 at Zephyrhills

Sept. 17 at Wesley Chapel

Sept. 24 vs. Ridgewood

Oct. 1 vs. Clearwater Central Catholic

Oct. 8 vs. Fivay

Oct. 22 vs. Tarpon Springs

Oct. 29 at River Ridge

Nov. 5 at Hudson

Nov. 12 at Pasco

Derek J. LaRiviere, Times correspondent

Spring football capsule: Wiregrass Ranch 05/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 21, 2010 7:40pm]
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