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Purks: Newsome prepares for football without one of Hillsborough's finest


Published:   |   Updated: July 22, 2013 at 09:28 AM

LITHIA - One of the best football players in the history of Hillsborough County - Newsome's Will Worth - graduated in June and left a rippling wake behind him.

How do you replace Worth, The Tampa Tribune's player of the year who during the 2012 season threw for 1,051 yards, rushed for 1,537 yards and played full time at middle linebacker, collecting a team-high 104 tackles?

Well .

No need to worry.

Yes, Worth was the heart and soul of the Wolves in 2012, but there is plenty of heart and soul still at Newsome.

There is - because of head coach Ken Hiscock and his staff who have been together for the better part of eight years - tradition and love.

"We're a family," Hiscock said. "We take care of our home."

Worth, for instance, cared so much about his Newsome family that he helped younger players as much as he could, even though they wouldn't be playing for a year or two after he left.

Incumbent junior quarterback Spencer Preston said he couldn't be more thankful that he played behind Worth, and he's not the least intimidated by the prospect of filling Worth's void.

"I wouldn't have wanted to play behind any other quarterback than Will," said Preston, who soaked up everything Worth ever said or did. "I feel more prepared after playing behind him - in many ways."

Hiscock says Preston will not try to emulate Worth, but that Preston will be his own man and make his own mark in his own way.

"Spencer is a great leader," Hiscock said. "He leads by example with his work ethic and commitment and his confidence."

Physically, Preston is a bit shorter than Worth (5-foot-11 vs. 6-1) and not as big (185 pounds vs. 220), or as strong. At least not yet (remember, he's only a rising junior). But already Preston is just as fast, if not faster, and appears to have a stronger arm (he can throw it 65 yards and throw it underneath with great velocity).

Preston also has the benefit of playing behind an experienced offensive line and under the same coaching staff, for whom he has the utmost respect.

"We know our coaches are going to have us prepared," said Preston, who this summer has looked sharp in 7-on-7 tournaments, including a semifinal finish in the recent 30-team, Bright House shootout. "Playing for our coaches gives all of us confidence."

As for offensive style, it will be more of the same hybrid, wing-T, running about 70 percent of the time - a scheme that is just fine with Preston.

"It works," Preston said, plain and simple.

Does it ever.

In 2012, the Wolves averaged almost 35 points a game and 360 total yards a game.

Worth, of course, accounted for about 280 of those yards a game, but .

"I feel pretty good about how we'll do (in 2013)," Hiscock said. "Yes, we will run the same offense, but it will be a little different. I'm truly excited about it. I'd say we all are.

"We'll be just fine."

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