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Thursday, July 11, 2024
HomeSportsFootballCounty Football Players Receive Conference Honors

County Football Players Receive Conference Honors

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In last week’s edition, the Sun detailed the athletes from the fall sports who were awarded all-conference honors by the Gulf Coast 8 Athletic Conference – every sport except football. This part two will cover all those who received honorable mentions, all-conference honors, and player or coach of the year recognition from Hernando County. Springstead received the most honorees with 11, then Nature Coast (9), Hernando (8), Central (4), and Weeki Wachee had the fewest (3).

Eagles Head Coach Michael Garofano took home the vaunted Coach of the Year award while Junior LB Jadon Jaimes received the Co-Defensive Player of the Year award as well. Six All-Conference honors were conferred with a pair of honorable mentions to round out the awards for the Red, White, and Blue. The head coach felt his award was one that should go to his entire staff for their hard work and loyalty to each other.

“It means a lot,” Coach Garofano said. “It’s vindication for all the hard work. For me, personally, it is a coaching staff award. I feel like we have the best staff around. There is so much continuity within our staff. We’ve been together for a long time. We’ve got guys that probably had an opportunity to be head coaches elsewhere decided to stay where they are at because we really enjoy working with each other and coaching with each other.”

The Springstead coach also commented on those who made or narrowly missed the award and the potential for next season: “We had some underclassmen make the team, which is great. That means we’re going to have them back. Some kids that were left off the list that probably could have and should have been on it that are coming back. We really do have a solid nucleus coming back. These seniors that are upcoming, when they were freshman, their JV was undefeated and pretty dominant. So, hopefully they stay together and work hard and let’s see how high they can go, how far we can go with them.”

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Springstead – Overall Record: 7-4

Coach of the Year: Michael Garofano
Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Junior LB Jadon Jaimes

Senior DL Mike Rizzuto
Junior DB Dalton Williams
Senior OL Trenton Hayes
Senior OL Giovanni Chirinos
Junior RB Connor Mccazzio
Junior PK Raul Maldonado
Senior Utility TJ Wright

Honorable Mentions:
Junior SB/C Tyree Davis
Junior T/TE Andrew Clarkson

Nature Coast Tech Senior RB Christian Cromer was the other recipient of the conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year award. Cromer racked up 1464 rushing yards and averaged 7.0 yards per carry. His yardage total was enough for first in 2S District 11 and third in Florida Division 2S. His 30 rushing touchdowns were good for first in Florida Division 2S, first in 2S District 11, and fourth in the state of Florida.

Nature Coast – Overall Record: 8-3

Senior DL Donavan Mangozho
Senior LB Chantz Bolin
Senior DB Connor Riggins
Senior OL Chase Murray
Sophomore WR Cashis Williams
Sophomore Utility Grant Lanning

Honorable Mentions:
Sophomore CB/WR Trent Montgomery
Junior QB Jackson Hoyt

The Hernando Leopards received the third most honors of the county’s schools. They had two players recognized as co-players of the year, four all-conference honorees, and two honorable mentions. The Purple and Gold’s Senior RB John Capel III was near the top of his division in several statistics. His 1617 total yards were the highest mark in 2S District 9, his 13 touchdowns were good for third in 2S District 9, and his 1515 rushing yards were the best in 2S District 9. Leopards Head Coach John Scargle praised his co-players of the year and discussed the rising juniors who he is excited to see next year.

“With John Capel, he was the heart and soul of the team, the team leader,” Coach Scargle said. “He had over 1600 yards from scrimmage, which was phenomenal. We kind of rallied around him. He had to play defense as well. So, he took almost as many snaps on defense as he did on offense… Colton Ashworth, he led the team in tackles [and third in tackles in 2S District 9]. He was all over the field for us, dropping into coverage, run stopping, bringing pressure on the quarterback, played tight end on offense, played on most of our special teams. So, he’s going to be really missed on the defensive side of the ball.”

Hernando – Overall Record: 4-6

Co-Offensive Player of the Year: Senior RB John Capel III – Hernando
Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Senior OLB Colton Ashworth – Hernando
Junior DL Keaundre Gavin
Junior DB Gabe Sansone
Junior OL Noah Brown
Senior P Jesse Foulks

Honorable Mentions:
Senior G Riley Nilsen
Junior OLB/FB Sam Jackson

“We have three really strong juniors that had phenomenal years,” said Coach Scargle. “Gabe Sansone in the defensive backfield, intercepting passes, knocking down passes, think he had 16 pass break-ups, making tackles all over the field… Noah Brown graded out as our best offensive lineman. He’s 6’2” 325 pounds and he’s just a monster when it comes to run blocking and pancaking defensive players… Our third junior led the conference in sacks with 15. That was Keaundre Gavin… He was a great addition this summer. He actually moved into the area and had to transfer to Hernando High School. Those three juniors are really going to help us next year and they are going to be the core of the team.”

Central – Overall Record: 2-8

Sophomore RB Tim Gaynor
Senior Utility Braden Joyner

Honorable Mentions:
Junior TE/OLB Emaurien Davis
Sophomore Luke Redmile
Weeki Wachee – Overall Record: 4-5

Senior LB Jordon Jandro

Honorable Mentions:
Sophomore QB Richard Hanshaw
Senior WR/OLB Adrian Cabezudo

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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