Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

Strawberry Crest quarterback transfers to Durant and the scramble begins — for both teams

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The summer season of tournaments and camps will result in the same unsettled situation for the Durant and Strawberry Crest football teams.

Namely, the quarterback situation.

And one player is inextricably linked to both.

Namely, Trey Van DeGrift. He recently transferred from Strawberry Crest — where he started his freshman and sophomore seasons — to Durant.

Strawberry Crest Chargers head coach John Kelly admitted the move disrupted his plans. As in, plans that went from being pretty well decided to just the opposite.

"That battle will, more than likely, not be decided until well into camp," Kelly said.

However, Alex Carswell may have taken a slight lead over Tristan Hyde at last weekend's Sling & Shoot 7-on-7 tournament at the University of South Florida.

Carswell was one of the team's standouts as the Chargers compiled a 6-5 record. Strawberry Crest made it into the third round of single-elimination play, and would have made the quarterfinals but for a last-minute loss to Palm Beach Central.

As it turns out that would have been the Chargers' last game even had they won; bad weather canceled the remaining tournament games on Sunday.

"I was very proud of how our players competed," he adds. "I'm definitely seeing improvements in our guys, in their attitudes, strength/conditioning level, and performance."

The Chargers' quarterback loss was the Cougars' gain, but Van DeGrift will have to earn the starting job. Zach Stephenson is a senior and certainly doesn't want to spend his last year at Durant losing out on his first chance to take the helm.

"It's undecided," said Durant head coach Mike Gottman, who last year had senior Nick Fabrizio calling signals.

Then again it might just come down to who can hand off the ball. Durant went about 80/20 on the run-to-pass ratio, with Fabrizio himself rushing for more than 1,000 yards and a team-high 19 touchdowns.

The Cougars return their top two runners, Jamarlon Hamilton (1,000 yards-plus) and Chase Atkins (311 yards), but Gottman does have a concern about his running game.

"We lost three starting offensive lineman who we have to try and replace. We also lost some key players on defense, so that's our big issue right now," Gottman said. "But we've got a lot of consistency here, within the players, within the coaching staff. Things are good at Durant."

As far as who he picks at quarterback, if the Van DeGrift family name counts for anything Trey may have the advantage. His sister Grace is perhaps the greatest female athlete in Durant school history. She reached multiple state meets in cross country and track, and is on the University of Florida squad for both sports.

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