several years ago. He has coached at several Lake County
high schools and also in the youth system. Last season, the
lone win was a district one over winless Poinciana, and the
team gave up 39 points per game—but there is reason for
optimism this time with an enthusiastic staff. The Bulldogs
fell 35-23 in the spring game, but made improvements.
THE VILLAGES BUFFALO (4A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 6-4
THE COACH: Richard Pettus
THE PLAYERS: Landon Noe (Sr., QB), Matthew Reese-Walker (Sr., OL/DL), Quan Nguyen (Jr., OL/DL), Gunnar
Pettus (Jr., WR/LB/K/P).
THE WORD: Despite the overall winning record last season, The Villages still managed to miss out on the playoffs
because of a 1-3 record in district play. The team raced
out to a 5-1 start but lost key district matchups with Mount
Dora, South Sumter, and Dunnellon down the stretch.
The lone district win came at home against Umatilla, via
a 17-16 win. The team did make the postseason in 2014,
and if they want to look for a playoff spot this season, they
will have to do so against the same teams, which all return
for play in District 4-4A. Coach Pettus feels the squad will
enter the season weak on both the offensive and defensive
lines. The Buffalo bring back six offensive starters but just
three on defense. They lost their top running back, wide
receiver, offensive lineman, and best defensive player, but
the Buffalo do return their starting quarterback. Noe, a
6-foot- 2 senior runs a 4. 8 in the 40, while offensive/defen-sive linemen Reese and Nguyen both have a 5.0 40-time,
and Pettus runs a 4. 8.
TIMBER CREEK WOLVES (8A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 7-4
THE COACH: Jimmy Buckridge
THE PLAYERS: M.J. Jarrell (Sr., WR), Jackson Saffold (Sr., RB),
Erbe Wold (Sr., OL), Emanuel Jeanpierre (Sr., OL), Seth Claar
(Sr., RB), Tyson Daniels (Sr., LB), Mykel Jackson (Sr., FS/RB),
Parker Smith (Jr., LB), Antonio Valle (Sr., LB), Braden Cassata
(Sr., LB), Brandon Garcia (Sr., QB), Nick Jackson (Soph., DL),
Peter Hayes-Patrick (Soph., QB/LB/RB), Caleb Blake (Soph.,
FS/RB), Brendan Lightsey (Soph., CB/RB).
THE WORD: Although the Wolves return only four starters
on defense, Coach Buckridge feels his team will be more
athletic in the secondary than they’ve been over the past
couple years. Daniels, Smith, Valle and Cassata, who each
started at linebacker at some point a year ago, should
prove to be a bright spot on that side of the ball. Six
starters return on offense, including athletic wide receiver
and kick returner Jarrell. Saffold rushed for 937 yards and
10 touchdowns on 153 carries in 2015. Hayes-Patrick,
younger brother of Florida State running back Jacques
Patrick, will step into a wildcat role behind center and could
push Garcia for time at quarterback behind an offensive
line that returns four starters.
TRINITY PREP SAINTS (3A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 8-3
THE COACH: Mike Kruczek
THE PLAYERS: Chad Broome- Webster (Sr., OT), Chris Cayo
(Jr., RB), Austin Campbell (Sr., DB/WR/RB/K), Josh Nemec (Jr.,
CB/QB), Luke Gammichia (Sr., S/RB), Cameron Weise (Jr., OT).
THE WORD: The Saints are in rebuilding mode after the
loss of Florida State baseball signee Jared Herron, who
accounted for two-thirds of the offensive production at
quarterback. “With the schedule we have and the youth,
it’s going to be a completely different year,” Coach Kruczek
said. Broome-Webster ( 6-4, 265) enters the season as a
starter for the fourth straight season along an experienced
offensive line while Cayo returns after rushing for nine
touchdowns out of the backfield. Campbell will play more
of a role on offense as Trinity Prep lost three starting wideouts. Senior Tyler Caggiano and junior George Perkins are
expected to emerge as reliable playmakers at linebacker.
UMATILLA BULLDOGS (4A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Steve Seward
THE PLAYERS: Austin Bush (Sr., RB/QB/LB), Dakota Hammock (Sr., WR/OLB), Quentin Davis (Sr., DL), Logan Rose
(Sr., TE/LB/DE), Ben Skaggs (Sr., RB/QB/DB), Steven Auker
(Jr., OL), Gabe Madden (Jr., WR/DB), Trenton Grinstead (Jr.,
WR/DB), Trace Andrews (Jr., LB).
THE WORD: The Bulldogs are focused on developing a
starting quarterback entering the fall and must overcome
a lack of depth in order to turn around the shortcomings of
a year ago. Umatilla suffered four losses by seven points or
less. They return six starters on both offense and defense.
“A lack of depth will be our biggest hurdle as we’ll have to
get kids in shape to play every down of a game with very
little rest,” Coach Seward said.
UNIVERSITY TITANS – ORANGE CITY (8A- 2)
2015 RECORD: 8-2*
THE COACH: Brian Kells
THE PLAYERS: Lorenzo Lingard (Jr., RB/DB), Marquis
Mickens (Sr., RB), Lawrence Coleman (Sr., DB/RB), Dru
Braaten (Sr., OT), Cody Braden (Jr., QB), Jacob Paradis (Sr.,
DL), Trevor Gregory (Jr., DL), Peyton Henley (Sr., LB), Cody
Collins (Sr., LB), Nathan Clatterbuck (Sr., OLB), Marlon
Harris (Jr., DB), Jonathan Sandomenico (Sr., G), Joseph
Rago (Sr., C), Jacob Kaul (Jr., OT), Devin McGhee (Jr., DB/
RB), Ryan Kenis (Sr., WR/TE/K), Micah Mickens (Jr., DB/
RB), Jacob Moss (Jr., WR), Antonio Jackson (Soph., WR/DB).
THE WORD: The use of an ineligible player cost the Titans
a trip to the postseason for the first time a year ago. The
district runners-up were forced to vacate their 2015 wins
in the final hours leading into the opening round of the
playoffs. But University is in position to make up for lost
time as they return 10 starters on offense and eight on
defense. The Mickens brothers will also provide a huge
boast after moving in from Lake Mary. “We expect our
2016 team to be the strongest we’ve had,” Kells said.
“We are strong at running back with three very good ball
carriers and our defense will be equally as strong.” The lone
concern is the youth and inexperience in the secondary.
The Titans strengthened its schedule by adding Class 5A
champion Bishop Moore in Week 3.
UNIVERSITY COUGARS – ORLANDO (8A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Jim Pusateri
THE PLAYERS: Shawn Kelley (Sr., QB), A. J. Uzodima (Jr., WR),
Brandon Barbee (Jr., WR), Terrence Fields (Jr., WR), Robert
Greene (Sr., OL), Brian Leon (Soph., OL), Lesham Jonson (Jr.,
RB), Channing Holloway (Jr., RB), John Powell (Sr., LB), Qualyin
Crum (Sr., LB), Judell Herrera (Sr., LB), Jamal Harris (Sr., DL),
Michael Milledge (Jr., DL), Cameron Connor (Sr., DB), Isaac
Walker (Jr., DB), Mekhi Greene (Jr., DB).
THE WORD: Pusateri has revamped his coaching staff
for Year 2 under his watch with the return of six starters on
offense and seven on defense. “This year’s team has great
chemistry and work ethic,” Pusateri said. “We have the
makings of being a sound contender.” The defense should be
the strength this fall with a talented group of linebackers and
defensive backs lining up in a new 3-4 scheme. Kelley returns
under center after taking over midway through the 2015
season. He’ll be joined by a promising group of young but
talented receivers. The play of the offensive line will dictate
how much success the Cougars have running the ball.
WARNER CHRISTIAN EAGLES (2A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 2-9
THE COACH: Christopher Green
THE PLAYERS: Donovan Hovey-Franklin (Sr., OT), Marvin
Scott (Fr., RB), Carlos Smith (Soph., WR), Ezra Harris (Sr.,
WR/CB), Luke Lynch (Sr., LB), Emani Goring (Jr., RB), Jamal
Holmes (Jr., DB), Zach Hulec (Sr., QB), Primus Brown (Sr.,
OG), Austin Provan (Sr., DT), Tyler Sims (Jr., DT).
THE WORD: Warner returns five starters on offense and
seven on defense. Hovey-Franklin was a first-team all-state
selection and Scott was an all-state honorable mention as
an eighth grader after rushing for over 1,500 yards and 13
touchdowns. Coach Green, in his second season at Warner,
is hopeful the tough times a year ago have prepared his
group for brighter days. “The team will be more experienced
but we’re still an overall young team,” Green said.
WEKIVA MUSTANGS (8A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 6-4
THE COACH: Rich Bedesem
THE PLAYERS: Trey McGee (Sr., QB), Ben Williams (Sr.,
QB), Jaylon Fair (Sr., RB/LB), Wesley Touze (Sr., WR), Nate
Rooney (Sr., TE), Tyler Monestine (Sr., OL/DL), Tyler Davis
(Soph., OL/DL), Dante Johnson (Sr., OL/DL), Malcolm Green
(Soph., DB), Brandon Hill (Soph., SS), Rian Dain (Soph.,
OLB), Terrance Moore (Soph., WR).
THE WORD: Bedesem moves from Edgewater to Wekiva to
take over a Mustangs program that competes in a district
alongside Apopka, West Orange and Evans. Although plenty
of athletic talent makes up the roster, Wekiva graduated
three defensive lineman and standout outside linebacker
Leighton McCarty. They’ve also lost three offensive lineman
on a unit that’s had trouble putting up points against some
of the top competition in the area.
WEST ORANGE WARRIORS (8A- 4)
2015 RECORD: 12-2
THE COACH: Bob Head
THE PLAYERS: Naquan Reynolds (Sr., WR), Austin Burton
(Sr., QB), Julian Pittman (Sr., DE), Tre Jackson (Jr., DE),
Hawke Forsythe (Jr., OL), Jerrick Richardson (Sr., LB),
Dashaun Collins (Jr., WR), Demetri Hill (Jr., OLB), Darian
Williams (Sr., RB), Antonio Huey (Sr., SS), Braden Garman
(Sr., OL), Aric Horne (Jr., NG), Jurrod Cook (Sr., WR).
THE WORD: West Orange restocked at the quarterback
position following the graduation of dual-threat talent
Woody Barrett with the arrival of Burton from the state of
Massachusetts. The pocket-passer threw for over 3,200
yards and 34 touchdowns a year ago and should team up
nicely with speedy Reynalds, who came up big at times as
the No. 2 receiver for the state semifinalists. It will be a
challenging re-build for the Warriors though as they lost 18
of 22 starters and will have a new offensive coordinator.
Despite the abundance of talent, they enter the fall with a
lack of experience across the board. Williams will get more
chances out of the backfield as West Orange attempts to
figure out the best way to utilize their assets.
WILDWOOD WILDCATS (IND.)
2015 RECORD: No team
THE COACH: Casey Strickland
THE PLAYERS: Ezra Horn (Sr., OL/DL), Julius Shuler (Sr., RB/
DB), Shemar Rose (Jr., QB/LB), Khalil Isaac (Jr., TE/LB), Garrion
Corbin (Jr., RB/LB), Daryl King (Jr., WR/DB), Demarlon Lollar
(Soph., QB/LB), Rodney Mitchell (Soph., RB/DB), Cornelius
Salters (Soph., RB/DB), Gery Labon (Jr., RB/LB).
THE WORD: The Wildcats took a year off from varsity action
after an 0-9 season in 2014 and return with solid help at the
skill positions but are thin at offensive line and lack overall
size throughout the roster. “After being down for a few years
we are slowly trending up again,” Coach Strickland said. “It
will be a process, but we have the building blocks to be a
very good football team. We want to build a program that can
compete year in and year out. We are in the first steps of a
long journey.” The Wildwood graduate said there is reason
for optimism, but this summer will be key. “We have a lot of
players at the skill positions,” he noted. “We just need to get
stronger so we can be more physical.”
WINDERMERE PREP LAKERS (IND.)
2015 RECORD: 7-3
THE COACH: Jacob Doss
THE PLAYERS: Ryan Swoboda (Sr., OT), Will Seelman (Sr.,
WR), Robert Brand (Sr., RB/DB), Mitchell Darrow (Sr., LB/FB),
Will Wright (Sr., OL/DL), Skyler Rideout (Sr., OL/DL), Mason
Russell (Soph., LB/FB), Hunter Smallback (Soph., TE/LB),
Matthews Peres (Soph., RB/S), Tommy Darrow (Fr., QB).
THE WORD: Windermere Prep is grooming Tommy Darrow
( 6-2, 170) as its new leader under center. “He’s a very
smart young quarterback. Extremely talented,” Coach Doss
said. “We’re going to rely on him heavily. He’s commanded
the offense in the spring.” Swoboda ( 6-9, 250) returns as
a three-year starter along the offensive line after he and
Seelman ( 6-4, 200) won a state basketball title earlier
this year. Wright ( 6-2, 238) is a four-year starter credited
with his physicality and aggressiveness. Mitchell Darrow
( 5-11, 210) was the team’s defensive MVP in 2014 and
overall MVP in 2015 and can play any position on the field.
Russell led the U.S. U16 National Team in tackles in the
International Bowl against Alberta, Canada in February.
Smallback is starting at tight end for the first time and will
have a major role in the offense.
WINTER PARK WILDCATS (8A- 3)
2015 RECORD: 5-5
THE COACH: Tim Shifflet
THE PLAYERS: Jordan Pouncey (Sr., WR/DB), John Hodges
(Sr., WR/CB), Cullen Honohan (Jr., WR/S), Xylon Chatman (Jr.,
LB), Jonathon Coffee (Sr., OL/DL), Kyle Moss (Sr., TE/DE),
Tommy Daly (Sr., P/K), Jake Anderson (Sr., RB), Sam McVay
(Sr., OL), Andrew Storer (Sr., OL), Ryan Kainz (Sr., QB/LB).
THE WORD: Pouncey will receive plenty of attention
this fall for his athleticism on both sides of the ball. He
averaged 30. 3 yards on 17 receptions and finished with
seven touchdown catches. The Wildcats return five starters
on offense and six on defense for a team that suffered
district setbacks to Timber Creek and Boone by 14 points
each. Coffee was credited with 13. 5 sacks and Moss had
9. 5 sacks in 2015. McVay ( 56 pancakes) and Storer ( 34
pancakes) were consistent along the offensive line and will
have to be so again this season. The Wildcats must replace
their starting quarterback and most productive running
back and wide receiver from year ago.
WINTER SPRINGS BEARS (8A- 2)
2015 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Curtis Smith
THE PLAYERS: Antyjuan Rodriguez (Sr., FS), Brandon
Johnson (Sr., FB/DE), Travis Boyd (Sr., OL), Kyle Childers
(Sr., OL), Marcel Mitchell (Jr., RB), Michael Randolph (Jr.,
QB), Marvin Scott (Jr., OL), Marquel Robinson (Soph., WR).
THE WORD: Smith took over at Winter Springs last summer
and got the Bears out to a 3-1 start before the team drops
its final six in a row, including a 24-6 loss to Orange City
University that was later forfeited. Winter Springs was
competitive in three of those late losses. Randolph takes over
at quarterback for graduate Steven Frost. Rodriguez has been
a key contributor since his freshman year and Mitchell enters
his third season carrying the ball for the varsity unit.
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