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SUNLAKE

Coach: Bill Browning (third season, 1-19; 20th season overall, 93-104)

Class: 3A, District 7

Stadium: Sunlake Stadium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O'Lakes

Playoff history: None

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ABCs Building blocks of a good season

1. Pinpointing strengths: Defense will be Sunlake's biggest strength going into the season, and for good reason. The Seahawks return their three top tacklers from a year ago in linebacker Leeroy Thompson and defensive linemen Kyle Anderson and Jacob Henderson

2. Options at quarterback: Tommy Valez led the offense last season and threw for more than 700 yards. Battling Valez for the starting spot is Gulf transfer Jacob Jackson, who made his last start vs. a tough Pasco squad last postseason. He brings toughness and playoff experience to the position and a young team in its third year. "Both of them have thrown really well and there is a good competition going on between those two," coach Bill Browning said.

3. Standout must step up: Returning two-way standout Brian Adams will have to have an impact on both sides of the ball, making tough catches in traffic at tight end and stopping running backs in their tracks at his linebacker spot.

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123s

Three potential pitfalls

1. Questions in the kicking game: With the graduation of punter Chris Harrington, Browning is still in the hunt for a kicker. He said offensive lineman Tyler Hisamoto has done well with punting duties during summer practices.

2. In a rush to fill some big shoes: The running backs must step up and replace their three top rushers including Mike Shaver, who rushed for 698 yards last season. The Seahawks are likely to use a stable of backs that includes sophomore Rashaud Daniels, who looks to be their feature back.

3. Earning respect of their peers: Every game is marked as a big game to these young and hungry Seahawks, who look to compete for a playoff spot in their third year of existence. "We are tired of being the punching bag in the county so we mark down every game as our defining moment," Browning said.

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Extra credit

The X-factor

Offensive line: The line will need to shine if the Seahawks intend to make any noise in a tough district. Browning is high on junior Matt Sanders and expects him to be one of the better offensive linemen in the bay area.

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Teacher's thoughts

Opposing coach's quote

"I think that they have improved from year one to year two and expect them to improve even more from last season to this one up and coming. They should be a tough team and we're not overlooking them." - Gulf coach Jay Fulmer

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Final grade

C; In their third year, the Seahawks have come a long way from 160-pound linemen and are ready to show their true potential . Coach Bill Browning has his varsity squad believing its time to shine is now and that a postseason appearance is within reach.

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