STADIUM: Lyle Flagg Field, 12000 U.S. 92, Seffner CLASS-DISTRICT: 6A-8 (with Blake, Chamberlain, Hillsborough, Jefferson, King, Leto, Lennard, and Robinson) COACH: Sean Callahan (181-101, 24th season) LAST SEASON: 9-4
Gibson a gifted playmaker for Hawks
Opposing quarterbacks and streaking receivers will surely keep an eye on senior Kyle Gibson this season.
A four-star recruit who committed to Vanderbilt during the summer, Gibson is one of the highest-rated recruits in the state.
“He’s intelligent,” Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. “He’s a big hitter. When you need a big play, he finds a way to make a play. He’s a difference maker.”
Last season, Gibson finished with 53 tackles and two interceptions. This past summer, Gibson participated in “The Opening,” a national 7-on-7 and skills showcase in Oregon that featured the top players in the country.
“I’m not scared to put my head in there,” Gibson said. “I’m always eager to learn.”
As a linebacker last season, Bryon Cowart posted 43 tackles, 11 of which were for losses. He also recorded four sacks and an interception. Now a junior and 15 pounds heavier, Cowart, standing 6-foot-4, has moved to defensive end. Cowart already has offers from schools like Alabama, Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Vanderbilt and Central Florida.
As a sophomore, Noah Johnson was a backup to senior Darryl Richardson, now a tight end at San Diego State, but Callahan is expecting a breakout season. Johnson accumulated 115 all-purpose yards on offense and collected on interception last season.
“He’s a dual threat,” Callahan said. “He can throw and run and he’s intelligent. He’ll make defenses account for him.”
Greg Newton, a senior, and Caylan Holloway, a junior, will share the load in the backfield. Both stand 5-foot-8 and possess speed and power.
Newton did not play last season while Holloway led the Hawks in rushing with 474 yards and four touchdowns.
“People get (Newton) confused,” senior safety Kyle Gibson said. “People think he’s a finesse back but he’ll run people over. Caylan, he’s fast and he can run you over.”
Callahan said depth on the offensive line is not where he’d like it to be. Aside from Greg Barth, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman, Callahan said “we got bodies, but on the offensive line, we have maybe six legit varsity guys.”
Armwood started the season minus three important players, all who may miss significant time. Kaylaun Edwards, Shedaul Price and Markise Firlow all tore their ACLs during the summer. All three injuries did not involve contact.
Edwards, a junior, was competing for a starting position at cornerback and Price was a returning a senior receiver. Firlow, according to Callahan, would have been the fastest player on the team.