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Football preview: Ridgewood

Tribune correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: August 30, 2013 at 02:49 AM

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Offensive line will key Rams

Ridgewood’s offensive line is one of the most experienced groups in Pasco County and helped pave the way for more than 2,000 rushing yards in 2012.

Returning to the offensive line are seniors Andrew Spirou (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) and Chris Branfield (6-4, 235), both of whom will be depended on to open holes for the running backs.

“Andy Spirou and Chris Branfield are returning seniors and they’ve shown a lot of hard work over the summer,” coach Jay Fulmer said.


Running backs

Though Tyler Vito and Elton Grigley, two of Ridgewood’s top rushers from a year ago, have graduated, the Rams bring some talent at tailback. Sophomores Glass Wilson and Clarence Farria will likely be playing both ways and gained valuable experience last season at the varsity level as freshmen. Chamberlain transfer Darnell Williams provides a change-of-pace back and is extremely quick while also in the mix is former lineman Josh Sojka and returning fullback Evan Ward.

Thomas Kernan, Sr., wide receiver

As a junior, Kernan suffered a leg injury and was out for half of the 2012 season. Fully healed, Kernan returns as the top wide receiver, and with a light roster, will be called upon to play defense and special teams, as well. Standing at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Kernan is tough to cover at receiver and will be junior quarterback Nick Michaels’ go-to guy.


Low numbers

Small rosters have hurt Ridgewood the past couple seasons and heading into the fall, not much has changed. Fulmer will again have to hope for a nearly injury-free season for his team to have a realistic shot of competing against Class 5A-District 7 foes such as Anclote, Hudson and Wesley Chapel for a postseason spot. “Not really knowing how effective our scout teams are going to be because of our lack of numbers is big,” Fulmer said. “What kind of look is the scout team going to give our starters. That was a big problem for us in the spring.”

Wide receivers

Besides Kernan, the Rams lack depth at wide receiver. The graduation of tight end Max Livingstone, Travis Chaffer and Brandon Green, who was a receiving threat out of the backfield, has limited Ridgewood’s passing options. Kernan gives Ridgewood one viable outside receiver, but there’s still big question marks about who else will step up.


Aug. 30: Fivay

Sept. 6: at Mitchell

Sept. 12: at Land O’ Lakes

Sept. 20: Anclote

Sept. 27: Sunlake

Oct. 4: Wesley Chapel

Oct. 11: at Wiregrass Ranch

Oct. 18: at Hudson

Oct. 25: Gulf

Nov. 1: at River Ridge


No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.

3 Clarence Farria RB/DB 5-11 185 So.

4 Glass Wilson RB/LB 5-11 185 So.

5 Nick Michaels QB/DB 5-9 175 Jr.

12 Darnell Lindsey RB/DB 5-6 150 Jr.

14 Javon Wright WR/DB 5-9 155 Fr.

16 Chris Grant WR/DB 6-0 160 Jr.

20 Thomas Scrivens RB/LB 5-10 175 Jr.

21 Thomas Kernan WR/LB 6-2 180 Sr.

24 Jerry Opalka FB/DE 6-2 200 Sr.

27 Elyas Muniz WR/LB 5-7 155 Sr.

28 Josh Sojka RB/LB 6-0 190 Sr.

30 Michael Negron WR/DB 5-9 160 Sr.

31 Jonathon Park FB/LB 5-10 180 Sr.

32 Mark Orio WR/DB 5-8 130 Fr.

34 Josh Snyder WR/DB 5-8 125 Fr.

35 Ronnie Wyllins WR/DB 5-10 150 Fr.

41 Tyrone Parker FB/LB 5-5 135 So.

44 Miles O’Neil FB/DL 5-6 160 Fr.

50 Kody Keup OL/DL 5-8 200 So.

51 Alex Wollenberg FB/LB 5-8 150 Fr.

53 Kiernan Brown OL/DL 6-2 192 Fr.

54 Ryan Fanning WR/DE 5-11 175 Fr.

55 Devantee Dow OL/DL 6-1 210 Jr.

56 Chris Branfield OL/DL 6-4 235 Sr.

58 Dominick Mathis OL/DE 6-4 195 Jr.

64 Mike Palmer OL/DL 5-10 260 Jr.

66 Andrew Spirou OL/DL 6-3 280 Sr.

67 Reggie Melton OL/DL 6-0 280 Jr.

71 Louis Clark OL/DL 6-0 230 Jr.

74 Austin Dearsman OL/DL 6-2 290 So.

75 Derek Bryant OL/DL 6-2 215 Jr.

77 Jose Mercado OL/DL 6-0 305 Jr.

78 Jacob Marsh OL/DL 6-1 210 Fr.

79 Chris Crookshank OL/DL 6-1 200 Fr.

80 Conner Green WR/DB 6-1 175 So.

81 Justin Atkins WR/DB 6-1 165 Jr.

84 Tyler Stacy TE/DE 6-2 175 Jr.

88 Jeremiah Zio TE/DE 6-5 200 Fr.

90 Grifin Bidwell OL/DL 6-2 235 Fr.

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