FOOTBALL: Charlotte Tarpons preview

*** 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. ***

STRENGTHS
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.

WEAKNESS
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.

COACH’S CORNER

BINKY WALDROP
Years: 22nd
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”

2016 SCHEDULE

All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted
August
26: Fort Lauderdale
September
2: Lely
9: North Miami
16: Ida Baker*
23: at Fort Myers
30: Island Coast*
October
7: Open
14: North Fort Myers*
21: at Cape Coral*, 7 p.m.
28: at Port Charlotte*
November
4: Palmetto
*denotes district game

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