D.J. Clower had the arm, legs and vision to be Zephyrhills' starting quarterback. And Chase Dunn had the can-do-attitude to play right alongside him.
But on Day 1 of fall practice, the former Bulldogs were among the 88 kids at Pasco's practice.
Each had personal reasons for his move though both have one thing in common: rich bloodlines thanks to their fathers.
Clower's father, Harold, was a standout for the Pirates, a two-time GCAC selection with eight interceptions as a senior. Dunn's father, Bubba, was a star for the Bulldogs, an all-North Suncoast selection in 1990 as a wide receiver.
Clower battled for the Bulldogs' starting quarterback spot throughout the spring and coach Tom Fisher said Monday he would have had a shot at the job.
"We had some things to work out," Fisher said. "(The quarterback battle with Tyler Guy) was going to go into the preseason game."
Clower now will battle with Pirates junior quarterback Josh Johnson. Pirates first-year coach Tom McHugh said he welcomes the competition.
"We already have a pretty good quarterback in Josh Johnson," McHugh said. "But as coaches it's a great problem to have a couple of guys to compete for those jobs.
"You have to think what would you do if you had both those guys in the backfield at the same time. However it falls out he'll be an asset on the team if he plays quarterback, safety, wide receiver."
Dunn, also a sophomore, is another athlete with a great attitude.
"He's got great hands and should be good in short-yardage situations," McHugh said. "The kid will do anything I ask him to do at any position to play."
ACCIDENT HAMPERS INTERIOR: Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare confirmed starting center Colista Bettis missed practice Monday. Bettis, recovering from a car accident over the weekend, had surgery to remove glass from his eye.
Castelamare was noncommittal on a timetable for his return.
"I'm not the doctor," Castelamare said. "You don't fool around with the eye. I'll have to keep more in touch to see how he's doing."
Wildcats starting quarterback, Greg Jenkins, said coaches thought Bettis could be back within two weeks.
"He's a big part of the offense," Jenkins said. "That's the interior line. We need linemen."
If Bettis can't go, Castelamare said he had a pair of guys who could step in though he wouldn't name them. He said the decision would be in the hands of Wildcats assistant Brian Colding.
BULLS STILL IN SEARCH OF NO. 10: Wiregrass Ranch coach Ricky Thomas still holds out hope the Bulls will find a 10th game.
"We have calls out everywhere," Thomas said. "I don't care who it is as long as it's not Lakeland or Armwood."
Izzy Gould can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 580-5315.