*** This is a portion of our yearly high school football preview section, which will appear in Friday’s Charlotte Sun. Pick up a copy for a comprehensive preview on all area teams, including a feature story on every team. Plus, a look at the progression of player safety in Florida. ***
The Tarpons are going to have an extremely fast and experienced offense this season. With Dee Hicks under center, Maleek Williams as the main back, and D’Vonte Price and Travon McClary being worked in as well, the Charlotte games will likely feel like track meets at times.
Just like all coaches, Binky Waldrop wishes he had more depth up and down the roster. A specific area he would like to see improvement is up front. On the Charlotte roster, only six of the 14 players listed along the offensive/defensive lines are seniors, with three sophomores and five juniors.
PLAYER TO WATCH
DEE HICKS – SENIOR – QB/DB
With the graduation of quarterback Brennan Simms, the Tarpons will turn to one of their top cornerbacks to lead the offense. It’ll be his first year leading an offense, and he appears to have become much more comfortable with the position as the summer progressed. He also runs a 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, so there’s that to help.
UNDER THE RADAR
ANDREW GRACE – JUNIOR – RB/DB
While the focus will mainly be on Maleek Williams in the backfield, look for Grace to provide the team with some much needed depth at that position. Grace won’t just be a threat when he carries the ball, but he can also be a weapon in the passing game for QB Dee Hicks.
Career record: 133-60
High school attended: Charlotte High School
Position played: DE/Punter
Favorite sports other than football: Baseball
Hobby: Hanging out with his family
Genre of music: All kinds
Favorite TV show: Seinfeld
Motto: “I can’t tell you that”
All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted
26: Fort Lauderdale
9: North Miami
16: Ida Baker*
23: at Fort Myers
30: Island Coast*
14: North Fort Myers*
21: at Cape Coral*, 7 p.m.
28: at Port Charlotte*
*denotes district game