FOOTBALL: DeSoto County Bulldogs 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. ***

STRENGTH
The Bulldogs appear to finally have some size and experience on the offensive line to go along with their traditional abundance of talent at the skill positions. And more importantly, there’s some promising youth behind the veterans to provide some depth. That could lead to some headaches for opposing defensive coaches.

WEAKNESS
At this point, DeSoto doesn’t have the standout linebacker that has been a trademark in past seasons. That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential, but right now there’s no bona fide run-stuffer to count on when the season opens.

PLAYER TO WATCH
KENDHAL STEWART – JUNIOR – OL/DL
Despite being an underclassman, the 5-11, 265-pounder is opening his third season as a starter. He’s the anchor of a line that is young, but experienced.

UNDER THE RADAR
CESAR BARAJAS – SENIOR – PK/P
The dual threat special teams player already has a 50-yard field goal on his resume. He kicked a 45-yarder in the Bulldogs preseason game against Cardinal Mooney and is closing in on hitting a 60-yarder in practices. He makes the Bulldogs a scoring threat anywhere inside the 30-yard line.

2016 SCHEDULE

All games 7 p.m. unless noted
August
26: Sebring
September
2: Avon Park
9: at Clearwater Catholic, 7:30
16: at Lemon Bay*
23: Open
30: Southeast*
October
7: Riverdale
14: at Booker*, 7:30
21: Bayshore*
28: Hardee*
November
4: at Lakewood Ranch, 7:30
*denotes district game

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