RB Ish Witter will return to pace the Alonso offense.
Published: May 6, 2013   |
Updated: May 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Each day, The Tribune will highlight two Hillsborough County football teams during spring football practice.
Alonso COACH: Brian Emanuel
DISTRICT: 8A-6 (Bloomingdale, Newsome, Plant, Riverview and Wharton)
2012 RECORD: 5-5
KEY LOSSES: QB Brandon Hawkins, LB Reno Gabonay, LB Jonathan Elias, LB Ray Domagala, DE Jake Struthers, DL Xavier Clark
KEY RETURNERS: RB Ish Witter, WR Marcus Mosley, WR Brandon Robinson, WR Derius Davis, OL Gary Brown
SPRING FOCUS: Despite returning 10 starters, the Ravens' main concern will be finding a new quarterback to replace Hawkins, who accounted for more than 1,800 yards and 20 TDs. Emanuel has two competing for the job: senior Mark LaRosa and rising freshman Chris Oladokun, who won the 2013 Tampa Quarterback Challenge, presented by the John Kaleo QB Academy, on April 28. “That's the biggest thing we have to address,” Emanuel said. “That's our big competition right now.” The Ravens will also address replacing their linebackers with “players that aren't scared to stick their nose in there and make tackles,” Emanuel said. Leading the defense will be new co-defensive coordinators Kyle Thompson and Shane Heath, who were the LBs coach and the JV coach, respectively. While the Ravens need to keep three-star recruit Witter healthy so he can improve on his 902 rushing yards, Emanuel said they'll also have to improve special teams and also not allow 104 points in their last four games as they did last season, three of which were losses. “The bottom line is .500 (record) isn't what we're here to do,” Emanuel said. “We need to get over that hump and that will be strengthening special teams and defense.”
JAMBOREE: May 23 at Steinbrenner
2013 SCHEDULE: Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic TBA Aug. 30 – Jefferson Sept. 6 – at Steinbrenner Sept. 13 – at East Bay Sept. 20 – Newsome Sept. 27 – Spoto Oct. 4 – at Bloomingdale Oct. 11 – Bye Oct. 18 – at Wharton Oct. 25 – Riverview Nov. 1 – Plant Nov. 8 – at Sickles
EAST BAY Coach: Frank Larosa
DISTRICT: 7A-8 (Brandon, Durant, Plant City, Strawberry Crest)
2012 RECORD: 4-6
KEY LOSSES: RB Brandon Byrd, DB Michael Riley, OL Abrian Miller, LB/CB Nissan Anderson
KEY RETURNERS: LB Deondre Romeo, FB/LB Chris Greene, DB Anton Crutcher, DL Marques Ford, DE Eric Latortue
SPRING FOCUS: Of their six losses in 2012, the Indians had the lead in four of them. LaRosa said his team is upbeat coming into the spring and is ready to close out games to get the win. “We're looking at coming out on top instead of the other way around,” he said. “We're trying to pick up the pace and have a sense of urgency in everything we do.” To achieve that goal, LaRosa said his team is working on fundamentals, particularly on offense. “We fell apart on offense at times (last season). We have gone back to fundamentals. We've repeated only a few plays over and over (on offense),” LaRosa said. East Bay's defense had 24 takeaways last year and will be anchored again by linebacker Deondre Romeo, who led the team with 119 total tackles.
JAMBOREE: May 23 vs. Spoto (at Lennard)
2013 SCHEDULE: Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic TBA Aug. 30 – at Lennard Sept. 6 – at Riverview Sept. 13 – Alonso Sept. 20 – Spoto Sept. 27 – at Wharton Oct. 4 – Plant City Oct. 11 – Bloomingdale Oct. 18 – at Strawberry Crest Oct. 25 – at Brandon Nov. 1 – Durant Nov. 8 – Bye