FOOTBALL: Week 1 preview capsules

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

North Port at Port Charlotte

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: North Port 42, Island Coast 0; Hardee 16, Port Charlotte 6
Last season: Did not play.
Players to watch: Port Charlotte: Paul Barnes (Sr., QB), Shawn Campbell (Sr., RB), T.J. Luther (Sr., WR/S), Devin Leacock (Sr., DL), Ludison Jeanty (Sr., DL); North Port: Devon Allen (Sr., QB/S), C.K. Poulos (Sr., WR/CB), Javon Howell (Sr., RB/S).
What to expect: The Pirates are expected to be big favorites in this one and should have a chip of their shoulder after last week’s poor performance against Hardee in the preseason classic. But the Bobcats are riding high after last Friday’s win over Island Coast and feel they have something to prove this season after just one win in 2016. Don’t expect North Port to roll over.

Charlotte at Dunbar

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Charlotte 38, Mariner 23; Dunbar 35, East Lee 0
Last season: Did not play.
Players to watch: Charlotte: Alex Muse (Jr., QB), Savorion Warren (ATH), Andrew Grace (Sr., RB/CB), Ny Harvey (Sr., RB/S); Dunbar: Zacharie Georges (Sr., QB), Shocky Jacques-Louis (Sr., WR), Seneca Milledge (Jr., WR), Rocky Jacques-Louis (Sr., DE), Bakari Jackson (Sr., MLB), Derick Hunter (Jr., DE).
What to expect: This is an early season test for the Tarpons. The Tigers checked in at No. 10 in the Class 5A state Associated Press preseason football poll released Tuesday and they return a bunch of starters who are committed to Division I colleges. Expect a close and hard fought contest down to the wire.

Venice at Camden County

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Camden County 19, Oakleaf 6; Plant 46, Venice 42
Last season: Venice 46, Camden County 17
Players to watch: Venice: Bryce Carpenter (Sr., QB), Jaivon Heiligh (Sr., WR/CB), Jared Bailey (Sr., DB); Camden County: Jakaree Gadsen (Sr., QB), Devegas Austin (Jr., RB), Jeremiah Compton (Sr., S).
What to expect: The Indians enter the season ranked No. 3 in the Class 7A state Associated Press preseason football poll and have a great shot at reaching their second straight state semifinal. This should be a win for Venice against a Camden County squad looking to bounce back from a 2-7 record in 2017.

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