DISTRICT: District 7A-7 (Freedom, Gaither, Steinbrenner, Tampa Bay Tech, Wiregrass Ranch).
KEY LOSSES: QB Nate Mills, OL Marc Cote, LB Adekunle Olusanya, DL Haiden Nagel, WR Bilal Salat, DB Tony Valdez, DT Trey White
KEY RETURNERS: RB Ray Ray McCloud III, LB Josh Black, LB Daniel Lezotte, TE Zach Hudson, WR Chett Levay, OL Deandre Mclean, DE Deven Santana, LB Anthony Janezik, DB Joey Breheny, QB Issac Holder
SPRING FOCUS: McCloud had a breakout sophomore season in 2012, rushing for 1,319 yards and 12 touchdowns, which included rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns against Class 6A-District 8 champ Hillsborough and 101 yards against 8A-7 runner-up Wharton. Incorporating Hudson and Levay, both Division I prospects, in the passing game to complement the rushing attack gives Sickles a balanced offense. Defensively, Black, also a Division I prospect, led the team with 7.0 sacks.
JAMBOREE: May 23 vs. Gaither (at Steinbrenner)
SCHEDULE Aug. 23 —Kickoff Classic, at Tampa Catholic Aug. 30 —at Robinson Sept. 6 —Durant Sept. 12 —at Newsome Sept. 20 —Steinbrenner Sept. 27 —Bye Oct. 4 —at Freedom Oct. 11 —at Plant Oct. 18 —Gaither Oct. 25 —at Wiregrass Ranch Nov. 1 —Tampa Bay Tech Nov. 8 —Alonso Nick Williams
STRAWBERRY CREST Coach: John Kelly
DISTRICT: Class 7A-8 (Durant, Brandon, East Bay, Plant City)
2012 RECORD: 4-6
KEY LOSSES: WR Karel Hamilton, MLB Andrew Zuluaga, OLB Mike Mitchell, OL Rashaun Roofe
KEY RETURNERS: WR/DE Alex Carswell, QB Tristan Hyde, WR Josh Hyde, LB/RB Chris Perez, OLB Brendon Headley, OL Cody Nulph, DL Zach Weber, OLB Matt Chaney
SPRING FOCUS: The Chargers are much stronger after a solid offseason weight-training program and much more optimistic after a promising campaign last season. That said, optimism is high at Strawberry Crest. Leading the way is rising junior quarterback Hyde, who last year threw for 2,112 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hyde’s leading receivers are expected to be his brother, rising senior Josh, and Carswell, who is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and has received several Division I offers. Kelly likes to run the ball, but expect a healthy mix of running and passing in 2013. “You have to go with what your personnel dictates, and right now that means we can throw it a little bit,” Kelly said. Defensively, the question marks look biggest along the defensive line and at linebacker, where several seniors graduated. The defensive backs should be solid. Kelly added that he’s looking forward to playing in Class 7A-District 8 because it offers key games against neighboring rivals.
JAMBOREE: May 23 at Armwood
2013 SCHEDULE Aug. 30 —at Bloomingdale Sept. 6 —Spoto Sept. 13 —at Tallahassee Leon Sept. 20 —Brandon Sept. 27 —Freedom Oct. 4 —at Durant Oct. 11 —Riverview Oct. 18 —East Bay Oct. 25 —at Plant City Nov. 8 —at Armwood; Scott Purks