ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest got its first outdoor workout of the spring Thursday, even though it was without head coach Dave Moore. Moore is out of town through the weekend, so defensive coordinator Bill Dugan took charge of a group of about 30 players.
After a two-year hiatus, the Chargers are back in a district this fall, and the main concern is finding a replacement for tailback Garrett Schulte and fullback Aaren Johnson. Schulte had nearly 1,100 yards rushing last season, and Johnson added 800.
“Those are big shoes to fill,” Dugan said. “And we also lost our entire defensive line. We’ve got some holes to fill. This is a tough year to get back in a district.”
Freshmen Chad Swindell and Tyee Johnson are the leaders this spring to take over running back duties.
At quarterback, both Travis Dugan and Sam Grant return. But Dugan is out with a right elbow injury sustained playing baseball. Dugan, who threw 13 touchdown passes last season, may return in time for the May 31 spring game at Lakeland Victory Christian.
Grant missed all but the opening game last fall with a left knee injury. He is back this spring with a brace on his knee.
“Travis wants to play through the pain, but what’s the point right now?” Dugan said. “He’s working out at safety and doing everything else, but he’s not throwing. Sam is slowly getting back into it.”
Running on empty
Osceola’s run toward a playoff berth last year was due in large part to a deep backfield that included six running backs who had a significant amount of carries. That depth will thin out with the graduation of Daviel Clarke, Austin Lawrence and Andra Walls.
The Warriors figured to be in good shape with the holdovers. But Courtney Burge is now at Lakewood, Jamil Morris is out after shoulder surgery, and Quadarius Patterson is among three others vying to take over at quarterback for senior Andrew Matyk.
Osceola will rely on sophomores Wilan Harvey and Bronson Lynch, and junior Anthony Johns for the bulk of the carries this spring.
Despite missing the spring with a broken wrist, East Lake sophomore athlete George Campbell still is attracting offers from major schools. On Thursday, Campbell picked up offers from Miami and UCLA, bringing his total to 19. Teammate Artavis Scott, one of the nation’s top receivers, also got an offer from UCLA.
On Wednesday, Lakewood offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, a four-star recruit, was offered by Nebraska.
Tweet of the day
“Put your helmet on; you never know when the sky might fall down.” — East Lake lineman Drew Stryjewski, relaying a saying from an assistant coach.
Photo: Shorecrest's Sam Grant
Compiled by staff writers Bob Putnam and Rodney Page.