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Tarpon Springs coach suspends RB Only

Tarpon Springs’ Ladarrius Only, breaking away for a score last season, is going to miss at least the first four games for the Spongers. Coach George Kotis wants Only to “grow up a little more.”

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR | Special to the Times

Tarpon Springs’ Ladarrius Only, breaking away for a score last season, is going to miss at least the first four games for the Spongers. Coach George Kotis wants Only to “grow up a little more.”

Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis sent a strong message to anyone who misbehaves off the field: Do it enough and you won't be getting back on the field anytime soon.

Kotis said running back Ladarrius Only is suspended through at least the first four games.

Only, a junior, can practice and stand on the sidelines on game nights during the suspension, but he must steer clear of trouble after that if he wants to get back on the field. Kotis said the suspension is not for academic reasons.

"We basically want him to grow up a little more," Kotis said.

Only played well last year, combining with Marcelle Lewis to give the Spongers a solid ground game. Both are part of a deep Tarpon Springs program that has 115 players counting junior varsity.

"(Only) gave us a lot of speed back there," Kotis said. "We'll just have to rely on some others for now."

If Only is reinstated, he will be back in time for the bulk of the Spongers' district games.

"He's got the Pacman Jones suspension," Kotis said of Only.

Sitton's return great news for IRC

Indian Rocks Christian coach Mark Buchanan was happy to have wingback Jonny Sitton back in the fold with preseason practice under way.

Sitton, a standout on the Golden Eagles soccer team, earning first-team all-county honors this past season, missed spring football drills to compete with the Clearwater Chargers soccer club.

On the gridiron, he forms a formidable trio with wingback Ethan Engelbert and fullback Lou Mason in the Golden Eagles offensive backfield. Sitton, a senior, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons.

"I think he could start for most of the public schools around here," Buchanan said. "He's just a great kid, quiet and humble."

Sitton joined his football teammates for weightlifting and conditioning drills over the summer. Coming off its first playoff appearance in eight years, Indian Rocks trained for two hours a day, four days a week, with nearly everybody on the roster in attendance.

"All summer we just worked hard together, keeping each other motivated, which was really good," Sitton said. "Just seeing the team lift and come together is going to be a big thing this year."

Sitton has yet to receive a scholarship offer for football or soccer, but Buchanan thinks it's just a matter of time before someone discovers the versatile back.

"I've got tons of video out there, but they just see 5-foot-6, 150 pounds," said Buchanan, entering his fourth season at Indian Rocks. "He benches 270 and he squats 400. He's a powerful kid. He's just got a knack for playing. … He'll return punts for you, he'll return kicks, he can play in the slot and catch the ball like a Wes Welker-type player."

Wynn getting noticed

Northeast running back Juarez Wynn is creating a buzz among college recruiters. The senior has 13 offers, including Boston College, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville and USF.

He hasn't narrowed his list or decided which visits he'll be taking. Instead, he's focused on having a more prominent role in an offense that lost Jeff Brinson, who graduated and is now at Iowa.

"I should get more carries," Wynn said. "But I also should have a lot of receptions. We should be more balanced this year."

Tarpon Springs coach suspends RB Only 08/14/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:45am]

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