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Springstead ready to make some noise

Springstead’s Mike Greco, eluding a Nature Coast defender last season, is part of a senior-laden roster ready for a breakthrough.

ATOYIA DEANS | Times

Springstead’s Mike Greco, eluding a Nature Coast defender last season, is part of a senior-laden roster ready for a breakthrough.

By next Friday, Springstead should have a pretty good idea of where it's headed.

That's when the Eagles face Nature Coast for a highly anticipated rivalry game.

First, they have to focus on Crystal River.

Last week's 35-14 preseason win over Hudson offered a few glimpses of the team's strengths. After the Eagles' JV fell behind 8-0, the varsity came out unfazed.

"They didn't care," coach Bill Vonada said. "They just came out and attacked it."

Springstead ultimately took down a playoff-caliber team, perhaps hoping it is one step closer to becoming one, too.

Sift through last season and it's clear Springstead has continued its climb thanks to a senior-laden roster.

Some players feel as though they have been overlooked and are not taken seriously as playoff contenders. Even fellow students and teachers wonder about the team, some players say.

It all serves as motivation.

But if the Eagles win this week, then take down rival Nature Coast before a Catch 47 television audience on Sept. 12, they no longer will be able to hide.

"Week 2 is the defining factor of the season," Eagles senior Mike Greco said. "That's Nature Coast, it's got big hype going into it. We're under the radar and everyone talks about them. If something were to happen it would be widely publicized."

Vonada's regimented style works well to keep his teams in line. But even he admits technology and the media coverage have grown to the point where it's virtually impossible to keep players focused solely on the next task.

"They read the paper," Vonada said. "They see stuff on the news. I don't know, I think the nature of the sport makes it tough to not have one eye on other things going on at times."

Trying to keep the Eagles grounded is just as important as the game plan. Without focus, winning could be in jeopardy.

"Our performance against Hudson has some people a little iffy about (what to expect)," senior Glenn Clarke said. "The only thing we can do is perform to our best. That's what we'll keep doing."

Springstead ready to make some noise 09/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 8, 2008 1:11pm]
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