FOOTBALL: Charlotte offense clicking in summer scrimmages

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Quarterback Dee Hicks drops back for a pass during the Tarpons' 7-on-7 drills Tuesday at Charlotte High School.  Sun photo by Bryan Levine

Quarterback Dee Hicks drops back for a pass during the Tarpons’ 7-on-7 drills Tuesday at Charlotte High School.
Sun photo by Bryan Levine

PUNTA GORDA — Charlotte High School hosted an informal 7-on-7 scrimmage Tuesday morning, inviting Ida Baker, Cypress Lake and Riverdale to join.

The Tarpons won each of their three games. The new offense, with quarterback Dee Hicks at the helm, appears to be firing on all cylinders.

“I like what I’m seeing right now,” coach Binky Waldrop said. “They’re starting to gel. They’re working hard in the weight room. I’m proud of their work ethic right now.”

Hicks, in his first year under center, spent the summer developing his skills as a pocket passer. He says his most improved skill has been his ability to read defenses, thanks to his work with his coaches and watching film.

The senior knows there’s still plenty of room to improve.

“My footwork (needs work), like staying in the pocket, and stuff like that,” Hicks said.

On the defensive side of the ball, Lavell Cudjo is making his presence known.

Cudjo had an interception in the Tarpons’ 34-12 win over South Fort Myers in the spring game last month. Early Tuesday, Cudjo came away with another interception, capitalizing on perfect positioning.

“He’ll do great things for us this year,” Waldrop said. “We’re glad to have him back in football.”

While Waldrop seems pleased with the team’s progression, there are still some places he’d like to see holes filled.

“We’re still waiting on a young guy or two to step up and show he can play,” Waldrop said.

Those young guys will have another opportunity to step up at the Sling and Shoot Camp on July 16 -17 at the University of South Florida. The 7-on-7 camp is competitive. It will feature some of the best teams in the southeast.

Each team will play at least eight games in a round-robin style tournament. Players will also receive instruction from the USF staff.

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