As many of the county’s spring sports begin to wind down, in less than a couple weeks football will be back on the practice fields of Hernando County. There’s plenty of questions to be asked about each of the county’s five teams heading into spring football, as Central, Hernando, Nature Coast, Springstead and Weeki Wachee are all coming off solid 2017 campaigns. Hernando and Nature Coast both clinched playoff berths. For awhile Springstead wasn’t too far off from nabbing one themselves. Central said goodbye to Chris Sands, who took over as head coach over at Eau Gallie High School near Melbourne, FL. Weeki Wachee made major strides under head coach Jacob Gray. We take a closer look at each team as spring football approaches.
Sands gone, can John Warren keep up the success?
Though Central is coming off a tough 2-7 season, the Bears were competitive throughout despite the below .500 record. Sands went 13-26 during his time as head coach at Central and found much success running the football during his time. New head coach John Warren will have some solid building blocks to work with this spring to keep the program moving in the right direction.
Who becomes Hernando’s big playmaker?
Ygenio Booker is off to the University of Tulane this summer, which creates a void for the Leopards heading into the spring. Hernando coach Bill Vonada has plenty of options, however, in terms of offensive playmakers as he’ll return the likes of Shemar Lawson, Izzy Fields and David Hale Bronson to the backfield.
Year two of Cory Johns’ era at Nature Coast begins. What’s to be expected?
A postseason appearance in Year 1 for Cory Johns was a good start to his tenure at Nature Coast, but that leaves the Sharks hungry for a district championship that barely eluded them last fall. Expect the Sharks’ ground game to be more fined tuned with another spring under their belts and the defense should see improvement under the watch of Charles Liggett.
How good can Springstead’s backfield be?
Scary good. The Eagles’ running back tandem of workhorses Nathan Sims and Adrian Fribley are a couple of the county’s top runners and should see a lot of work this spring. Both Sims and Fribley were lethal on the edge last fall and this spring should help build better chemistry between the two tailbacks.
Weeki Wachee on the rise?
Don’t let last year’s 3-7 record fool you, the Hornets are a team on the rise in Hernando County under the watch of second-year head coach Jacob Gray. The former Jacksonville Bolles’ special teams coordinator likes to play fast and his team put up great numbers in 2017, but now are looking to equate those numbers into more victories in the win column. The Hornets haven’t yet arrived, but they’re a team to watch out for.