Which team has the best chance to go deep into the postseason?
Something tells us that it could be a toss-up between Nature Coast and Hernando once again, as each team brings back many playmakers from last season’s playoff team. If you’re looking to pick between the two teams, however, have fun deciding because both teams have plenty of talent. Cory Johns always has his kids ready and Earl Garcia III is starting to build up an annual powerhouse at Hernando.
Will COVID-19 be an issue again?
Well, I think everyone is crossing their fingers that it doesn’t become a major issue. Last season, Hernando County teams only played games primarily within the scope of the Gulf Coast 8 Conference, which is made up of Hernando and Citrus county schools. Now, many teams are going outside of the county, but the ever-growing concern of the delta coronavirus has provided another hurdle for teams to jump over.
How will coach Jim Pusateri do Year 1 at Central?
There’s no easy way to say it, but year 1 surely seems like it will be a somewhat bumpy ride for the former Cornerstone Academy head coach. Pusateri, who went 7-28 in his previous head coaching stint, takes on one of the toughest rebuilding projects possibly in the state as the Bears are low on numbers and have a lot to work on. Though he has his work cut out for him, Central has their guy moving forward.
Can Ethan Fahey throw for over 2,000 this season?
When talking about a Nature Coast player going over 2,000 yards, we’d usually be talking about yards rushing but this year will be a little different. Now the Sharks have a viable threat throwing the ball in Ethan Fahey and the right-hander is sure to come close to breaking some county records. Fahey was extremely effective throwing the ball last fall and could be on track to have himself an even bigger 2021 campaign.
Who will be the county’s leading tackler?
This is another one of those toss up and try your hand at picking one, but the leading candidate so far might be Hernando’s Sam Sternburger, who saw plenty of time in the Leopards’ front seven last fall. The all-county selection heads up one of the top defenses in the county and could be even better in 2021. If there’s any doubt about the senior’s ability, it’s quickly denoted on gameday.
Lower player numbers concerning?
Bad weather, laziness and a myriad of other factors have created for lower player numbers to start off the high school campaign in Hernando County. Coaches have cited plenty of reasons why players weren’t in attendance on Day 1, but the key factor is it’s just the start of practices so there’s time to build up the numbers.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.