FOOTBALL: DeSoto County 2017 preview

By Steve Knapp, SunCoast Sports

STRENGTH

The Bulldogs will build around the experience of senior quarterback Malcom Smith, who’s starting for a third season. Smith offers a combination of speed and elusiveness at the heart of the offense.

WEAKNESS

DeSoto will again be young meaning depth will be an issue, particularly early. How quickly players grasp the system will go a long way toward determining the team’s fortunes.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Neo Hilliard, Jr., RB
Hilliard has been wearing a varsity uniform since his days as a freshman. He provides the Bulldogs a scoring threat whenever he touches the ball regardless of the location of the line of scrimmage. He’ll get the ball as a runner, receiver and kick returner.

UNDER THE RADAR

Elijah Arthur, Sr., RB
Will provide the inside in the Bulldogs’ attack to Hilliard’s outside. Despite operating mostly between the tackles, Arthur has speed to go the distance once he finds open space.

2016 IN REVIEW
(2-7)

August
Sebring, cancelled
September
Avon Park (L) 41-3
Clearwater Catholic (L) 35-3
Lemon Bay (W) 16-10
Southeast (L) 35-6
October
Riverdale (L) 22-12
Booker (L) 42-6
Bayshore (W) 22-14
Hardee (L) 34-3
November
Lakewood Ranch (L) 26-10

2017 SCHEDULE

August
25: Open
September
1: at Avon Park
8: Mulberry, 7 p.m.
15: Lemon Bay*, 7 p.m.
22: at North Port
29: at Southeast*
October
6: Lake Placid, 7 p.m.
13: Booker*, 7 p.m.
20: at Bayshore*
27: at Hardee*
November
3: Lakewood Ranch, 7 p.m.
*: District game
All games at 7:30 unless noted

ROSTER

No. Name Pos. Yr.
1 Jino Washington RB/DB 9
2 Arnold Mele WR/DB 11
3 Tyreke Evans RB/LB 12
4 Charles Ruth WR/DB 11
5 Ethan Redden WR/DB 9
6 Semaj Elrod WR/DB 12
7 Nate Rowe WB/DB 11
8 Nate Maybell WR/DB 11
9 Elijah Arthur RB/LB 12
10 Willie Maybell WR/DB 10
11 Tyrese Smith RB/LB 11
12 Ty Wesley WR/DB 10
13 Eliezer Diaz RB/DB 9
14 Malcom Smith QB/DB 12
17 Sergio Alvarez PK 12
20 Daniel Olvera WE/LB 9
21 Nehemiah Hilliard RB/DB 11
22 Trayvis Smith RB/LB 11
23 Ellis Hodges RB/LB 9
25 Treshon Evans WR/DB 9
32 Shayvon Hightower RB/DB 12
33 Keimar Brown-Richardson TE/DE 9
34 Jerald Poole RB/LB 12
35 George Mays RB/LB 9
42 Pacyn Pickle TE/LB 11
44 Tijuan Alvarez TE/LB 9
45 James Heard RB/LB 11
50 Diovanni Diaz OL/DL 10
53 Dillon Evans OL/DL 11
55 Ezra Hall OL/DL 10
56 Juan Garibay OL/LB 10
57 Kendhal Stewart OL/DL 12
60 Keenyjah White OL/DL 11
61 Justin Werner OL/DL 9
62 Michael Warner OL/DL 10
64 Luciano Cru OL/DL 11
65 Antonio Galvez-Romero OL/DL 9
72 Dylan Kersey OL/DL 9
74 Anthony Gaitan OL/DL 12
77 Collin Ripa OL/DL 9
80 Jose Nuevo PK 11
88 Hector Gonzalez TE/LB 9
99 Octavius Luther OL/DL 9

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