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Zephyrhills: Season preview

Promises for the '08 campaign

1. Playoff potential. The Bulldogs are a postseason contender and have a great chance of avenging their downfall of 2007.

2. Plenty of skill people on the offense. That includes quarterback Tyler Guy (1,117 yards, seven touchdowns) throwing to Alex Sampson and Lance Hayes.

3. A strong defense. There are nine returning starters, including the hard-hitting Joe Maldonado, who led the team with 88 tackles.

What the Bulldogs can't promise

1. A better attitude. The Bulldogs fell apart as a result of poor attitudes and what coach Tom Fisher said was poor coaching on his part. Changing that for the better has been a huge focus in the preseason.

2. An offensive line in control. Three sophomore linemen leave Zephyrhills questionable up front. When and if they step up will be a big key to the district title hunt.

3. Special-teams dominance. Tyler Guy is slated to be the kicker in the early part of the season. Yes, we know he can play quarterback but kicking we're not too sure about.

Primaries

A look at some of the key figures in the Bulldogs' 2008 campaign

Primary offensive skill player: WR Alex Sampson. He's a two-way starter and one of the leading receivers with 329 yards.

Primary defensive skill player: DB Lance Hayes. He's the prototype utility player, a starting receiver and backup quarterback. He plays safety and he's even the holder in the kicking game.

Primary offensive lineman: OL Cory Christensen. He's the most experienced lineman sliding over to tight end with great blocking and receiving skills.

Primary defensive lineman: DL/LB Kyle Poston. He's the type of kid who can play receiver, or in the secondary, linebacker and defensive end. He's a leader.

Primary special-teams player: K/P/QB Tyler Guy. He's going to kick and punt, and oh yeah, play quarterback. Guy could be replaced in the kicking game down the road if someone else steps up.

Voices from the precincts

What some are saying about the Bulldogs

"Tom Fisher has been around 20 years. He comes out with 25 kids and he always has a team … you know they're going to knock it down your throat or outfox you somehow. They did it to us last year. It's something you don't expect. He's the wizard of the unexpected. His offensive line is always good. They always will knock your brains out. I've never seen as many kids play both ways as well as his kids did." — Pasco coach Tom McHugh

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

Zephyrhills: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:20am]
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