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Tampa Bay Tech: Spring football capsule

Running back Maurice Hagens, scoring against Spoto last year, has the help up front to aim for another 1,500-yard season.

Running back Maurice Hagens, scoring against Spoto last year, has the help up front to aim for another 1,500-yard season.

Around the county in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in the county.

Tampa Bay Tech

Coach: C.C. Culpepper (second season, 6-4)

Last season: 6-4 (1-3 in district)

District: 4A-11 (Armwood, Freedom, Hillsborough, Middleton)

Key losses: WR/K Ryan Barnes, DL Antonio Hayes, OL Patrick Smoot, LB Delon Thomas, QB Mario Tucker

Who's back: OL Jordan Dean, OL Markeil Floyd, RB Maurice Hagens, WR C.J. Jackson, DB D.D. Johnson, LB Sam Jones, LB Marquise Mulkey, DB Jerome Speights, WB/DB Antonio Wallace

What's new: A winning attitude. The Titans entered the 2007 season with a 21-game losing streak. Now, people inside the program think TBT is ready to compete for a playoff spot. Participation during offseason weight training has been excellent. Last year, a typical day saw 50 athletes attend. This year, 85 to 90 regularly show up. Culpepper hopes the boost in numbers and conditioning will pay big dividends during the fall. It helps that the Titans appear to have lots of talent. TBT returns several quality players, but Hagens, a bruising junior fullback, might be the headliner. Only 15, he already has scholarship offers from LSU and Tennessee. Hagens rushed for 1,500-plus yards in 2007, and because TBT has a solid line, those stats could go up. A versatile player who is one of the county's fastest athletes, Wallace is another Titan to watch. He's not only a standout defensive back, but he plays multiple positions on offense and arguably is the top return man around.

Audible: "I like the way we're pulling together. Everybody knows how important it is to be working out during the offseason and being on the same page going into the regular season. Because of the district we play in, we've got to be on top of our game every night. We're probably in the toughest district in 4A." — Culpepper

Did you know? When Armwood won state titles in 2003 and '04, Culpepper was the Hawks' secondary coach.

Spring result

Beat Wharton 14-13

2008 schedule

Aug. 29 at Plant City (classic)

Sept. 5 at Bloomingdale

Sept. 12 vs. Leto

Sept. 19 at Sickles

Sept. 26 at Freedom

Oct. 3 vs. Spoto

Oct. 10 at Armwood

Oct. 16 at Lennard

Oct. 31 vs. Middleton

Nov. 7 vs. Hillsborough

Nov. 14 vs. King

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Tech: Spring football capsule 06/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2008 7:01pm]
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