Being a seedling football program in Polk County is akin to being a seeding in the Amazon
jungle—you’re going to have a lot
of competition for those scarce
beams of sunlight until you begin to
poke through the sky-high canopy.
In 2015, Tenoroc’s football
program did exactly that—and its
goal in 2016 is to hold that space.
See, the Titans had dealt with three
straight 1-9 seasons coming into
last year, and no Tenoroc team had
ever surpassed 3 wins in a season
since the school opened in 2008.
That’s Polk County for you. This
region’s football resume is not for
the weak—it’s 100-plus years of
prep football success, and there
are no easy games. You don’t come
in here and immediately start pushing around a national power like the
Lakeland Dreadnaughts or Lake
Gibson or Kathleen or Winter Haven
or some of the local small-school
powerhouses like Fort Meade or
That’s what makes last year’s
breakthrough 6-5 season so
wonderful for Tenoroc. Head
coach Chris Davidson and his
staff have this group pumped up
and ready to go, and 12 starters
return to the lineup. Not only did
the program have its first winning
season last year, it also reached
the postseason—a bowl game
against Clermont East Ridge. The
program went 5-1 in its final six
regular season games to nab the
“We are in uncharted territory
… can we build on the successes
we had last year?” Davidson said.
“Or are the players content with
that being the peak of what they
can accomplish … I think now the
next logical step is to challenge the
teams at the top of the district.”
If Tenoroc repeats that success in
2016, defense will undoubtedly have
something to do with it. Three of the
top four tacklers return to the lineup—
and that will be huge for a team that
last year got stingy on ‘D’ when it got
to the meat of the schedule.
The Titans held Frostproof
to 8 points, Lake Placid to 13,
LaBelle to 9, Gateway Charter to
9, Mulberry to 10 and Lake Region
to 13—undoubtedly one of the big
reasons it made a bowl game.
The magic quartet of Christopher Dias, Deangelo Boykin,
Randall Boykin and Nicholas
Montana form the backbone of
a defense that should be able to
squeeze district opponents into
submission. The program will need
that buffer as an offense comes
into its own after losing playmakers
like Jedarian Gaskins ( 1,133 yards,
9 TDs) and Keyon Walters ( 1,205
Dias (111 tackles, 8 TFLs),
Deangelo Boykin ( 95 tackles),
Randall Boykin ( 59 tackles) and
Montana ( 62 tackles, 4 INTs)
counter the losses on offense with
their defensive prowess. All four
are in the linebacking corps and
secondary. There will be some new
stars to emerge, too, as always
happens in the high school ranks.
Quarterback J’toriance Spates
was nearly a 1,000-yard passer last
year and was the team’s second-
leading rusher—so he will be the
key cog in the attack. That will be
huge from a leadership standpoint.
Senior offensive lineman Tyler
Chaney (6-2/275) is definitely a
man up front Spates can count on
after a standout 2015 season, and
rising junior Tyler Jouppi (6-3/265)
is another special talent.
The returning tight end is Garrett
Steele (6-3/225)—another reliable
commodity. Big-time playmaker
Luis Martinez ( 27. 4 yards per catch)
may be a nice replacement for Walters’ big-play abilities in the passing
game, too. And could rising junior
John Manning (100 yards rushing)
be the next RB? Time will tell.
“We should, and I emphasize
should, be solid in the secondary and at LB. We also return
a talented QB,” Davidson said.
“I would say we definitely have
become a much better run game
team. It has taken us the past two
years to change the mentality from
pass first to run first.”
The bottom line is there is a
solid core to work with at Tenoroc
and these days, sunlight is shining
on this program.
EXTENDED TEAM FEATURE FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA
5 OFFENSE, 7 DEFENSE
CHRIS GRIFFIN, DEVONE WILLIAMS,
CHAUNCY CLARK, IRVING THOMAS, HENRY
KEY PLAYERS: Luis Martinez (Sr., WR), Nicholas
Montina (Sr., DB), Tyler Jouppi (Jr., OL), Garrett Steele
(Jr., TE), Randall Boykin (Jr., DB), DeAngelo Boykin (So.,
LB), J’ Toriance Spates (Sr., QB), Chris Dias (Jr., LB)
2 Donavan Decosta RB, SB So.
3 IsaiahCollins DB Jr.
4 Jerrick Dixon DB, RB Sr.
5 Nate Hall A TH So.
6 John Manning RB, OLB Jr.
7 J’toriance Spates QB, RB Sr.
8 LuisMartinez WR,FS Sr.
9 VictorSanchez WR Sr.
10 Josh Allred QB So.
11 TristanWilliams QB Fr.
12 Rillio Marius RB So.
13 Keshaun Ladler WR Jr.
14 Genesis Viera So.
15 Garrett Steele TE, DE Jr.
17 Tyberius Willis Fr.
18 Elijiah Oquendo So.
20 TimothyHayes RB So.
21 Randall Boykin CB, WR Jr.
22 Deangelo Boykin SS So.
23 Nicholas Montana CB, WR Sr.
24 Austin Walker So.
25 Parker Childs Fr.
26 Taijour Waldon DL, DB Jr.
27 Kalel Alexander SS, OLB Sr.
28 Christopher Dias LB Jr.
29 Teron Denmark SS Sr.
30 Keatley Chandler LB, DE So.
31 Malek Calo RB Fr.
32 George Freeman LB, DE Jr.
33 Reese Glawson Fr.
43 Victor Trevino LB Jr.
45 Marcelo Cordova TE, OL Sr.
51 Tyler Brock D T Jr.
52 Alvin Gomez T, G Jr.
53 Bradley Holt D T Sr.
54 RyanKimble OLB So.
55 Steven Lopez NG, D T Jr.
57 Tyler Jouppi G, T Jr.
58 Issac Davis So.
62 Miguel Iglesias G, T So.
73 Tyler Chaney G Sr.
74 Sean Monday G, T, C Jr.
AUG. 19: VS. SANTA FE
AUG. 26: VS. LIBERT Y
SEPT. 2: AT FORT MEADE
SEPT. 9: VS. FROSTPROOF
SEPT. 16: VS. AVON PARK
SEPT. 30: AT LAKE PLACID
OCT. 7: VS. LABELLE
OCT. 14: AT GATEWAY CHARTER
OCT. 21: VS. MULBERRY
OCT. 28: AT BISHOP VEROT
NOV. 4: VS. LAKE REGION
NOV. 11: DISTRICT PLAYOFFS