FOOTBALL: Spring game previews

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

Lemon Bay at Berkeley Prep

Time: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Last year: Lemon Bay 3-7, Berkeley Prep 9-3 (lost in state semifinals)
Players to watch: Lemon BayHayden Wolff (Jr., QB), Justin Hinck (Sr., OL/DL), Michael Morales (Sr., DL), Logan Lydic (Sr., LB);Dan Baldor (Sr., WR/S); Berkeley Prep: Jakob Hines (Jr., RB), Josh Youngblood (Jr., QB), Nathan Lockhart (Jr., QB), Mayan Ahanotu (Sr., OL/DL).
What to expect:
 This is quite the spring final for Lemon Bay, who will be led out on the field for the first time by new head coach Don Southwell. Berkeley Prep advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals last season, and although its lost leading rusher Gordon Stetson to graduation (now at Stetson), it still returns a formidable rushing attack led by rising junior Jakob Hines. Lemon Bay’s defense will have its hands full with Hines while he’s on the field as well as his offensive line.

Southeast at North Port

Time: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Last year: North Port 1-9, Southeast 4-6 (lost in regional quarterfinals)
Players to watch: North Port: C.K. Poulos (Sr., WR), Devon Allen (Sr. QB), Javon Howell (Sr., RB/DB), Dane Balsinger (Sr., OL/DL), Phillip Osipov (Sr., TE/DE); Southeast: Alex Taylor (Sr., QB), Tyler Stevenson (Sr., WR), Teriq Houston (Sr., DE/LB).
What to expect: 
These teams met in last year’s spring game, with Southeast winning 34-14. North Port returns most of its squad from 2016 and hopes to get its turnaround from last year’s one-win season started with a victory in its spring game.

Charlotte at Palmetto Ridge

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Charlotte 12-1 (lost in state semifinals), Palmetto Ridge (3-6)
Players to watch: Charlotte: Savorion Warren (Sr., ATH), Ny Harvey (Sr., ATH), Andrew Grace (Sr., ATH), Zach Radulesco (Sr., QB), Anthony Squitieri (Jr., QB), Jordan Deackoff (Sr., DL); Palmetto Ridge: Jacquez Carter (Sr., QB), DeMarcus Townsend (Sr., RB/DB), Evan Gonzalez (Sr., LB), Christian Torres (So., RB).
What to expect: This should be a fun one between two teams with playoff aspirations in 2017. Palmetto Ridge is loaded with talent after quarterback Jacquez Carter transferred in from Lely and running back DeMarcus Townsend came over from Gulf Coast. Charlotte should have a chip on its shoulder featuring a lot of players with something to prove following the graduation of 17 seniors.

Port Charlotte at Riverview

Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year:
 Port Charlotte 8-2 (lost in regional quarterfinals), Riverview 9-2 (lost in regional semifinals)
Players to watch: Port Charlotte: Devin Leacock (Sr., DL), Paul Barnes (Sr., QB), TJ Luther (Sr., WR/S), Shawn Campbell (RB, S), Marc Jean-Louis (Jr., RB), Luidson Jeanty (Sr., DL); Riverview: Ali Boyce (Jr., RB)
What to expect:
This a matchup between two playoff teams a season ago and between two programs trending upwards. Port Charlotte is out to prove its the best team in Charlotte County and has the chance to do so with a multiple starters returning on both sides of the ball, including The Sun’s defensive player of the year Devin Leacock. Riverview is trying to build off of its first playoff win in 12 years, making this arguably the most competitive spring game in the area.

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