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St. Petersburg: 2014 football preview

St. Petersburg's Davon Conyers tips a pass intended for Palm Harbor's Dominick Bonelli [CHRIS ZUPPA | Times]

St. Petersburg's Davon Conyers tips a pass intended for Palm Harbor's Dominick Bonelli [CHRIS ZUPPA | Times]

St. Petersburg

Coach: Joe Fabrizio (ninth season, 53-33)

Last season: 6-4

Class/district: 8A-7

Colors: Green and white

Stadium: Stewart Field, 2501 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

Playoff history: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

Last appearance: Lost 13-10 to Venice.

Season schedule

Aug. 29 vs. Gibbs, 7:30

Sept. 5 at Clearwater, 7:30

Sept. 12 vs. Lakewood, 7:30

Sept. 26 at Boca Ciega, 7:30

Oct. 2 at Palm Harbor University, 7:30

Oct. 10 vs. Seminole, 7:30

Oct. 17 at Manatee, 7:30

Oct. 24 vs. Dixie Hollins, 7:30

Oct. 31 vs. Sarasota Riverview, 7:30

Nov. 7 at East Lake, 7:30

Mark your calendar

Sarasota Riverview at St. Petersburg, Oct. 31: The Bradenton Manatee game two weeks earlier is a big district game for sure. But that one is on the road against a traditional power. The second spot in the district will likely come down to this game. Manatee and Riverview took the playoff spots last year, and if St. Petersburg is going to break that pattern it has to win here. Last year was a humbling 29-3 loss. The Green Devils' running attack needs to be at its best on Halloween night.

Huddle highlights

Filling the gaps: St. Petersburg has to replace it's starting quarterback (Rob Tribolet), its top running back (Deangelo Reeves) and one of its top defensive players (Riley Barr). Throw in the transfers of Anthony Foster, John'Ta Edwards and Tavon Jones, and there are holes to fill. The good news is that there are several backs competing for playing time and coach Joe Fabrizio is confident in his starting quarterback, Austyn Causey.

Breaking the drought: The Green Devils haven't made the playoffs since 2010, and this could be the year that streak ends. In a four-team district with only one real power (Manatee), St. Petersburg could be the second-place team. It would take wins over Palm Harbor University and Riverview, which isn't out of the question.

Depth: While the Green Devils don't have a proven standout (yet, anyway), they do have plenty of players to choose from. Including junior varsity players, there are more than 120 in the program. The varsity will have close to 70 players. That gives Fabrizio the luxury of keeping players fresh through games.

Known quantities

CB/WR Josh Hall, Sr.: Hall had 54 tackles last season and an interception. This will be his third season in the secondary. He has committed to Southeast Missouri State University.

FS Jake Moore, Sr.: Led the Green Devils with three interceptions last season. Had 47 tackles in 10 games last season. Fabrizio calls Moore a "big-play guy.''

CB Allen Jones, Sr.: Another three-year starter, Jones is a big part of the Green Devils' experienced secondary.

C Alex Leon, Sr.: At 6-foot, 260 pounds, Leon is big enough to handle a demanding 10-game schedule. A second-year starter, Leon's experience should help Causey.

P/K Parker Bryant, Jr.: He took over for Sean Covington last season and did well. Has range from 45 yards and in and is capable of booming punts. One of the top three kickers in Pinellas.

CB Davon Conyers, Sr.: Played nine games in the secondary last season. Yet another experienced senior in the secondary.

Up-and-comers

QB Austyn Causey, So.: Yes, a sophomore will lead the offense. But Fabrizio said Causey was very good as the JV starter and feels Causey could surprise some people this season.

RB Jacquel Waller, Jr.: Carried 43 times for 256 yards last season. Also ran wild in a spring game route of Sarasota. He could be the main ball carrier this season, so it remains to be seen how he'll handle the extra load.

RB Darius Miller, Jr.: Miller was used about as much as Waller last season. He had 44 carries for 279 yards, but will see an increase in St. Petersburg's run-first offense.

Coach's corner

"We've got good athletes on both sides of the ball. We saw that in our spring game. We've been practicing well and we're ready to go. I think we've got a good team." — Fabrizio

St. Petersburg: 2014 football preview 08/20/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 8:21pm]
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