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Tarpon Springs: Season preview

Two questions

1. Will Tarpon have enough depth with linemen? While there are plenty of returners, coach George Kotis said a concern is a lack of linemen. The players are solid with Ben Wright, George Koulianos, Clay Paino and Alonzo Williams. Trouble is there are not enough to prevent them from going both ways. That will be felt most on defense, where Tarpon has to replace Donnel Engram.

2. Can the Spongers compensate for the loss of Ladarrius Only? Only, a speedy back, was suspended through the first four games for his off-field behavior. But the Spongers have quality backs to keep things going. Marcelle Lewis and Marcus Nemeth are the top backs returning. Dillon Goodell also will see time at fullback.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Coach: George Kotis (third season, 11-9) | Last season: 6-4 | Class: 4A, District 8 | Colors: Maroon and white

Things have lined up nicely for Tarpon Springs. The Spongers have 22 seniors, their district counterparts are in transition and their toughest games are at home. That could mean a return to the playoffs after missing out last season.

Two strengths

1. Passing game. Danny Reyes is a three-year starter and is one of only two public school quarterbacks in the county who took the majority of his team's snaps last season. He has plenty of receivers with Josiah Fisk, Drew Kier, Bobby Vavlas and Stamati Damalos. The ability to throw the ball will give the Spongers more balance. Tarpon coach George Kotis said the team ran the ball 62 percent of the time last season and he hopes to have more of a 50-50 split between run and pass.

2. Secondary. The Spongers also have guys who catch the ball on defense. Five players return who accounted for 20 interceptions last season: Fisk (six interceptions), Miles Toli (five), Kyle Ahern (five), Brett Foster (two) and Kier (two).

Tarpon Springs: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:56pm]
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