With spring football practice under way, we take a look at the local high school teams.
Coach: Bill Browning
2010 record: 8-2
Key losses: QB Jacob Jackson, LB Dominic Zonfrillo, DL Matt Sanders, DL Craig King, DL Chason Connell, OL Alex Curry.
Spring focus: Coming off its best year in such a short history, Sunlake doesn't want to call the 2011 season a rebuilding year. "We're looking to take the next step and fit the right puzzle pieces together," coach Bill Browning said. "We lost some key seniors, so we need to find those holes to fill on defense, and probably quarterback, but I'm comfortable with what we have a quarterback."
That's because senior Cameron Stoltz takes over behind center, but he'll have big shoes to fill, needing to replace Jackson's 2,316 combined yards and 30 combined touchdowns. Stoltz has leading rusher Rashaud Daniels in the backfield, coming off an 11-touchdown season. But Browning points to defense, where there will be a lot of holes to fill thanks to 17 departing seniors. That may have to be filled with youth and inexperience, some of which hasn't arrived yet in spring practice. "We got some guys that look like Tarzan, but they look like Tarzan and they may hit like Jane," Browning said. "We're looking to be right in the thick of things (in district play). We're not thinking rebuilding. We're looking forward to what's to come."
Sunlake moves up to a Class 6A district that includes four Hernando County teams and cross-town rival Land O' Lakes. "The new district has some teams we haven't been used to seeing, including a few teams that made the playoffs, so we're looking a very tough district, but one we're also looking forward to joining," Browning added.
Spring game: May 26 at Mitchell, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 - Fivay, (kickoff classic)
Sept. 2 - Hudson
Sept. 9 - at Wiregrass Ranch
Sept. 16 - OPEN
Sept. 23 - Spring Hill Springstead
Sept. 30 - at Mitchell
Oct. 7 - at Brooksville Nature Coast
Oct. 14 - Brooksville Hernando
Oct. 20 - Land O' Lakes
Oct. 28 - at River Ridge
Nov. 4 - at Brooksville Central
Nov. 11 - Gulf
— Mike Camunas