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CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Coach Mike Jalazo (eighth season, 49-33)

Class A, District 6

Sizing up the Marauders: A much-maligned offense from a year ago looks to have turned the corner at Clearwater Central Catholic. In 2008, the Marauders missed the playoffs for the first time in the eight-year tenure of coach Mike Jalazo and managed just 15 points a game to go 5-5. A healthy arsenal of weapons is ready for deployment in 2009.

The scud missile in CCC's attack is senior quarterback Eric Miller, who will attempt to run and pass for more than 1,000 yards this season. Miller is an instinctive, hard-nosed player who will also see spot duty at linebacker.

In the backfield, the Marauders go five deep. Tim Swinehart will see the most carries, but Kyle Massey, Justin Goodloe, Graham Brown and Sakai Wilson will get their fair share.

"Tim Swinehart just runs so dang strong, and he worked so hard in the offseason," Jalazo said.

CCC's biggest threat in the running game might be Miller. He'll carry the ball quite a bit in the spread option.

Miller's primary receiving target is the elusive Nick Newton, elusive in the sense that no one position can contain him.

The offensive line is experienced, provided it stays healthy. Jalazo will count on his linemen to run and pass block equally well.

A deep group of linebackers headlines the defense for CCC, which is historically strong at that position. Two starters return on the defensive front. The secondary is inexperienced but talented.

Quick reads

- Miller's best position might be linebacker. A lot of colleges are projecting him there, but Jalazo can't afford to play him too much on defense and risk injuring his starting quarterback. "We'll use him there in situational places," Jalazo said. "More to make sure the other guys are rested."

- The Marauders aren't a slow team, but they lack the burner teams covet. Newton, who runs a 4.6, is likely CCC's fastest player.

- Linemen who started on the O-line the final three games of 2008 are back as starters.

Up next:NORTHEAST

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