FATHER LOPEZ GREEN WAVE (3A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Matt Knauss
THE PLAYERS: Josh Spencer (Sr., QB), Austin Keil (Sr., TE),
Ryan Atkins (Sr., WR), Cade Green (Sr., WR), Blake Sada (Jr.,
OL), Rashane Gittens (Soph., OL), Seaton Waldhauer (Soph.,
OT/DE), Beau Westfall (Soph., OG), Vicente Atanassou (Jr.,
ATH), Jarrett Wodie (Sr., WR/LB), Brennan Keil (Soph., SS/ WR).
THE WORD: Knauss enters his first season after serving
as an assistant and junior varsity head coach at Bishop
Moore. He’ll implement many of the same styles the
Hornets run as he rolls out a hybrid Wing-T formation on an
offense featuring six returning starters, including Spencer
at quarterback. Austin Keil ( 6-6) and Atkins ( 6-3) are reliable targets. Green returns after opting not to play in 2015.
The offensive line features four underclassman with great
size as three weigh in at 270 pounds or more. Atanassou
( 6-2, 185) is a transfer student from Spain who excelled
during the track and field season but is new to the sport.
Four players are back on defense.
FIRST ACADEMY ROYALS – ORLANDO (3A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 5-5
THE COACH: Leroy Kinard
THE PLAYERS: Calvin Ashley (Sr., OT), Bryson Richards
(Sr., LB), Rolous Frazier (Soph., RB), Greg Field (Soph., RB),
Marshall Hilaman (Sr., DE), Daniel Wright (Sr., TE), Parker Mara
(Jr., WR), Vincent Miranda (Sr., LB/RB), John Lewis Fleming (Jr.,
LB), John McCarous (Sr., OL/DL), Jackson Davis (Sr., WR).
THE WORD: The Royals will turn to a pair of sophomores to
keep the running game going after rushing for over 3,300
yards as a team in 2015. They’ll have a solid offense line
leading the way this fall as Ashley, an Auburn commit who
transferred in from Dr. Phillips, slides in at the tackle position. “Our offensive line is very good, and I think when you
have a good running game, it has potential to be our best
weapon yet,” Coach Kinard said. First Academy will look
for its offense to get off to quick starts in the fall in order
to better groom a relatively young group of players. Junior
Alex Eleyssami also moves over from Dr. Phillips and could
be the go-to guy under center. Richards leads the defensive
group at linebacker.
FIRST ACADEMY EAGLES – LEESBURG (IND.)
2015 RECORD: 6-4
THE COACH: Sheldon Walker
THE PLAYERS: Caleb Lynum (Jr., QB), Desmond Harris (Jr.,
TE/DE), Sammy Punt (Soph., WR/CB), Roderick Bedford (Sr.,
OL/DL), Anthony Dario (Sr., C/LB), Kanyon Walker (Soph., WR/
CB), Tommy Lee (Jr., WR/LB), J. D. Greenwood (Soph., DB/ WR),
Ryan Clark (Jr., DB/WR), Treavon Cummings (Fr., RB/ WR/DB).
THE WORD: The Eagles lost nine players from last year
but return plenty of experience. Lynum threw for more than
1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2015 and Harris ( 6-2,
235) is a transfer from Leesburg who is expected to make
an immediate impact. Greenwood and Clark are also new
additions to the program and are expected to play important roles. “We’re a little more balanced than we’ve been in
a while and we’ve got a really good offensive line,” Coach
Walker said. Of concern is how well they’ll fare at running
back with a young group of candidates led by Cummings.
FLAGLER PALM COAST (8A- 1)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Tommy Moody
THE PLAYERS: Que’shaun Byrd (Sr., RB/WR), Mike Peppin
(Sr., C), Anfernee Brown (Jr., WR), Jimmie Robinson III (Jr.,
RB/FS), Kevin Pogue (Sr., LB), Tylee Austin (Jr., LB/DE), Tylin
Lockridge (Jr., DE/LB), Isaiah Stubbs (Jr., CB).
THE WORD: Flagler lost just five starters from last year
and returns a junior-laden team that now has plenty of
experience after losing four games by seven points or less.
Despite the graduation of four-year starter Dalton Thomas
at quarterback, the entire offensive line returns along with
two starting wide receivers. Sophomore Darrell Thomas is
the frontrunner to take over for his brother under center as
a dual-threat signal caller. Brown is a track athlete who returns as the team’s leading receiver. Byrd is being recruited
heavily for his speed and athleticism while Peppin stands
6-3 and 285 pounds and has garnered Ivy League offers in
the spring. “I think the sky’s the limit with this group as long
as they keep working,” Coach Moody said.
FOUNDATION ACADEMY LIONS (2A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 7-5
THE COACH: Brad Lord
THE PLAYERS: Jaquane Patterson (Sr., RB/SS), Evan
Thompson (Sr., ATH/OLB), Sydal Barton (Sr., OL/DL),
Lester Axson (Sr., ATH/CB), Lance Axson (Jr., ATH/CB), Kyle
Krueger (Sr., OLB), Jordan Boast (Sr., C), Dillon Hall (Sr., FB),
Eddie Loos (Jr., OG), Cory Rahman (Sr., FS), Evan Fitzgibbon
(Sr., WR), Kenny Ames (Jr., TE), Brandon Barnes (Sr., K),
Chaz Cannon (Sr., P/S/TE), Elijah Stimmell (Fr., QB).
THE WORD: The Lions return their entire offensive line and
have a stable of running backs to turn to, led by Patterson.
With nine starters returning on offense and eight returning
on defense, Foundation is deep at nearly every position
entering the fall. That bodes well for a district championship team that’s also received six transfers. Six of their
seven contributors at linebacker and in the secondary are
back and should help improve an already physical group.
Stimmell brings gig game experience into the fall as he
took most of the snaps at quarterback in 2015. Foundation
plays a tough schedule to open the season against West
Orange and The First Academy. They’ll also face Northside
Christian, St; Petersburg Catholic and Carrollwood Day
School. “We hope to improve each week to get ready for a
brutal district,” Coach Lord said.
FREEDOM PATRIOTS (8A- 5)
2015 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Carl Holden
THE PLAYERS: Austin Davis (Sr., ATH), Jacob Mitchell
(Sr., WR), Manny Rosario (Sr., WR), Darrell Lowe (Soph.,
LT), Oliver Walker (Jr., LG), Miguel Garcia (Sr., ILB), Marcus
Thompson (Sr., OLB), Marc Dillard (Jr., OLB), Jose Ferrier
(Sr., DB), Marco Ramirez (Sr., NT).
THE WORD: The Patriots are switching from a 3-4 defense
to a 4-3 this fall and will be strong at linebacker with the
return of leading tackler Garcia ( 85 tackles) and Thompson
( 6 sacks). “We have some guys right now that really set the
tone for us,” Coach Holden said. “This group is relentless.”
The biggest area of concern, aside from returning just
three starters on each side of the ball, is the offensive line
following the graduation of four starters and the transfer of
another. Lowe and Walker are starters along the left side
of the line for the first time. “The expectations are very
simple this year for our football program, we want to be in
the mix in 2016,” Holden said. “We have a very good mix of
experienced and inexperienced players and the coaching
staff is working extremely hard to build relationships with
all of our players.”
GATEWAY PANTHERS (8A- 7)
2015 RECORD: 7-4
THE COACH: Marlin Roberts
THE PLAYERS: Dennis Briggs (Jr., DE), Patrick Kelly (Jr.,
RB), Jason Owens (Sr., RB), Tywan Pearce (Sr., DB), Davion
Green (Sr., LB), Travonte Wheeler (Sr., WR), Jaleal Maloney
(Jr., WR), Devin Vega (Sr., DB), Hector Martinez (Sr., OL), Billy
Allen (Sr., DT), Jaylen Maloney (Sr., WR), Triston Thomas (Jr.,
DB), Kirk McDonald (Jr., LB).
THE WORD: The graduation of versatile athlete Henry
Miller leaves the Panthers with a crucial hole to fill despite
the return of numerous contributors to a 2015 playoff
team. Cris Jacobs and Maurice Adams entered the spring
competing for the quarterback spot vacated by Miller. Kelly
has the potential to build on his rushing total of 1,049
yards and 10 touchdowns in the regular season as one
of nine starters returning on offense. Gateway is slated
to have 10 returning starters back on defense, including
Thomas who finished with four interceptions.
HAGERTY HUSKIES (7A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 8-3
THE COACH: Phil Ziglar
THE PLAYERS: Jacob Mastrobuono (Sr, FB), Matt Lipari
(Sr., RB/DB), Ethan Johnson (Sr., OL), Kyle Johnson (Sr., OL),
Asa Baker (Sr., LB), Christian Gomez (Sr., DT), Leo Gomez
(Sr., RB), Sam Ditmyer (Sr., DE/ TE), Malik Silva (Sr., WR/
DB), Kevin King (Sr., LB/RB), Chandler Sparrow (Sr., DL),
Brice Miller (Sr., DE), Lamar Miller (Sr., OL), Josh Weldon
(Sr., OL/DE), Matt Lee (Soph., TE).
THE WORD: Coming off of their first district title in school
history, the Huskies return six starters on offense and
five on defense. Lipari is an all-around athlete who will
take over under center in Hagerty’s up-tempo power-run
single-wing offense. He leads a group of running backs
that spent time on an undefeated junior varsity squad a
year ago. Mastrobuono is being looked upon as a valuable
blocking back. Miller is a big presence on the offensive line,
coming in at 6-4, 355 pounds in the spring. “The team will
be bigger and stronger than in the past,” Coach Ziglar said.
The biggest concern for the Huskies is filling in holes at
wide receiver and defensive back, which has only Lipari as
a returnee to that unit.
HALIFAX ACADEMY KNIGHTS (2A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 1-6
THE COACH: Dahryll Brown
THE PLAYERS: Christian Williams (Jr., QB/LB), Lashawn
Wilder (Sr., ATH), Kenyette Henry (Sr., RB/DL), Tim Ivey (Sr.,
MLB), Jude Thorn (Soph., OL/DL).
THE WORD: Halifax enters its third year of playing 11-man
football after successful seasons on the seven-man
field. Williams and Wilder entered the spring as the key
standouts for the Knights, credited for their all-around
athleticism and work ethic. Thorn ( 6-3, 275) is expected to
make a major impact on both sides of the ball at positions
they’ve been thin at in the past. Halifax was hit by the loss
of 10 players, including the graduation of quarterback Deryl
Bush. The Knights expect a heated battle under center
once fall practices roll around after the roster gets finalized
near the end of the summer.
HARMONY LONGHORNS (7A- 5)
2015 RECORD: 9-2
THE COACH: Jerrad Butler
THE PLAYERS: Tucker Schroeder (Sr., OL), Brian Gembutis
(Sr., RB), Keagan Breen (Sr., OL), Carter Harris (Jr., OL),
Lukas Hachey (Sr., CB), Hunter Pirie (Sr., QB/LB/SS), Carlos
Bunton (Sr., DL), Lane Hickey (Jr., S), Alec Faulx (Sr., LB).
THE WORD: The Longhorns lost a lot from last year’s team
but returns a stout offensive line, led by Division I prospect
Schroeder, alongside Breen ( 6-7, 285) and Harris ( 6-2,
270). Gembutis is not a breakaway running back but he’ll
provide steady gains and is just 500 yards from setting a
new career mark at the school. The biggest obstacle will be
finding a replacement at quarterback for Jamison Munns.
Three players entered the spring vying for the position,
led by Pirie, who missed 2015 with an anterior cruciate
ligament injury. The athletic Pirie is also projected as a valuable asset on defense at either linebacker or strong safety.
Harmony returns four starters on offense and three on
defense. “We’ve just got to find outside playmakers and be
sound on special teams and defense,” Coach Butler said.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL
2015 RECORD: 8-2
THE COACH: Stuart Weiss
THE PLAYERS: Jarrett Conkling (Soph., QB), Zane Denslow
(Jr., RB/DE), Conner Dimauro (Sr., WR), Zak Caeners (Sr.,
DL), Nate Spencer (Jr., DB), Mike Lawson (Sr., C), Matt
Rawlson (Sr., OL), Nick Labrador (Sr., WR).
THE WORD: International returns six starters on each side
of the ball. Conkling led the team with over 1,000 yards
rushing and 1,000 yards passing with 24 total touchdowns.
He’ll turn to Labrador as his primary receiver after the
graduation of Justin Conkling to Jacksonville University.
Lawson and Rawlson, who can play multiple positions, will
again provide stability along the offensive line. Denslow
finished with 39 solo tackles and four interceptions in 2015
while Dimauro had 41 solo tackles and 5. 5 sacks as the
second-leading tackler on the team. Caeners is credited
with being quick and powerful along the defensive line and
Spencer is a flexible defender in the secondary who had 17
solo tackles and assisted on 23 others.
JONES TIGERS (4A- 5)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Elijah Williams
THE PLAYERS: Tyree Jackson (Sr., DE/LB), Calvin Francis
(Sr, OL), Rion Smith Sr., DL/LB), Austin Perry (Sr., DB/WR),
David Sanders (2016, OL), James Brown (Sr., QB), Aaron
Thompson-Petty (Jr., RB), Stacy Kirby (Jr., DE), Devin Hayes
(Jr., DE/OL), Imani Partlow (Jr., DB), Quadry Jones (Jr., ATH),
Michael Loving (Jr., LB).
THE WORD: Williams returns to the sideline at Jones after
sitting out the 2015 season following his sixth season at
Oak Ridge. He takes over a program hoping to keep area
kids close to home instead of leaving to play at other
schools. “We’re starting from scratch and figuring out
what positions fit best for players and how they best fit
our schemes,” Williams said. Jones returns three starters
on offense and four on defense. Expect the Tigers to run
a spread offense and throw the ball around should skill
players develop as expected. Both the offensive and
defensive lines are bigger and deeper than they’ve been in
years past. Perry could see extra snaps on offense based
of his athleticism.
LAKE BRANTLEY PATRIOTS (8A- 2)
2015 RECORD: 11-1
THE COACH: David Delfiacco
THE PLAYERS: Trace Christian (Sr., RB), Christian Roa
(Sr., TE), Paris Hennington (Jr., RB), Devin Frater (Jr., RB),
Carnelious Dennison (Sr., RB/QB/DB), Jalen Lee (Sr., DB),
Mark Mulhall (Sr., LB), R. J. Ruister (Sr., DL), Eric Butler (Sr.,
DB), Matt Hudak (Sr., DB), Mitchell Owens (Sr., OL), Jack
Wofford (Jr., OL/DL), Tyler Falvey (Jr., OL).
THE WORD: Delfiacco takes over for long-time coach George
Clayton, who retired after 19 years on the sideline. Delfiacco
went 7-4 as interim coach at Lake Brantley in 2013. Christian
returns as an all-state selection after rushing for nearly 1,200
yards in the regular season. But the Patriots, who return five
starters on offense, must replace dynamic quarterback Jared
Bernhardt ( 1,215 rushing yards) and running back Tim Marinan
( 1,142 yards) in their triple-option attack. Dennison will get the
chance to step in to the starting role at quarterback after finishing
with close to 500 yards and 35 tackles in 2015. Nine starters are
back on defense, including Mulhall who returns after recording
102 tackles at linebacker. Lee ( 65 tackles) and Hudak ( 55
tackles) are the leading returnees in the secondary.
LAKE HIGHLAND PREP HIGHLANDERS (4A- 5)
2015 RECORD: 6-4
THE COACH: Cameron Duke
THE PLAYERS: Christopher James (Sr., OL/DL), Harrison
Greenhill (Sr., OL/DL), JJ Sheikh (Sr., LB), Alex Caron (Sr., OL/DL),
Alex Medary (Sr., LB), Devyn Castor (Jr., RB), Elijah Lucas (Jr., QB/
ATH), Jimmy Lomas (Jr., LB), Edwin Jimenez (Jr., WR/DB), Jalen
Townsend (Jr., WR/DB), Luis Rivera (Jr., LB), Nick Deese (Jr., RB),
Bryton Belvin (Jr., TE), Briton Allen (Soph., S/WR).
THE WORD: The turnaround for Lake Highland Prep
continues as the Highlanders return 11 starters on offense
and 10 on defense for a team that struggled to win games
just a couple years ago. “The team is a year older and a year
stronger,” Coach Duke said. “The offseason has been a very
productive one for the Highlanders and the players have
developed the family atmosphere needed to be successful.”
LHP will turn up the tempo this fall with a no-huddle offense
and defend in a 3-4 scheme. James ( 6-4, 350) secured
an offer from UCF in the spring. Greenhill ( 6-4, 240) is also
getting Division I interest while Sheikh returns at linebacker
after leading the team in tackles with 108 stops in 2015.
Castor rushed for 1,386 yards and 15 touchdowns while
Lucas returns as a dual-threat quarterback who can make an
impact while throwing or running.
LAKE HOWELL SILVER HAWKS (7A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 1-9
THE COACH: David Wensyel
THE PLAYERS: Wisdom Jenkin (Sr., WR), Cody Veal (Sr.,
QB), Brandon Whitfield (Sr., WR), Clayton Ross (Sr., WR),
Tyler Esparza (Sr., WR), Josh Ohl (Sr., OL), Caleb Brewer (Sr.,
DL), Juan Claros (Sr., OL), David Melo (Sr., DL), Tyson Stephenson (Jr., RB/LB), James Moore (Sr., LB), Greg Heyward
(Jr., DB), Steven Mackey (Jr., DB), Max Askew (Jr., LB).
THE WORD: The Silver Hawks, 2-18 over the past two years,
return six starters each on offense and defense. Esparza
expects to compete with three other seniors for snaps at
wideout as Lake Howell returns starters at all skill positions
this fall. The offense has been tweaked to ensure those players are put to use as often as possible throughout the season.