Hornets hope to finally turn the corner

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

With its fifth varsity season looming in the fall, Weeki Wachee’s football team has spent the past few years frustratingly stuck in neutral.
The Hornets’ 4-6 mark in 2015 was their best showing to date and represented modest improvement, but was far from satisfying for a program aching for a breakthrough campaign.
“Last year we were close. We were in a lot of games and had a chance to win some games,” Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee said. “I think this year the kids are no longer happy just competing. They want to win.
“There’s no such thing as a moral victory. We’ve been preaching that for a long time and the kids have really bought into that. We want to be the first winning team in school history and we’ve got to work harder.”
Next Friday, the Hornets will host Wesley Chapel in a spring classic starting at 7 p.m., hoping to showcase the strides they’ve made over the past few weeks of practice.
“We lost a lot of seniors from last year,” Lee said. “Like a lot of places, we have to find depth and we’re establishing some kids who don’t have much experience on the varsity level.”
One area Weeki Wachee has no such worries is under center, where Alec Cromie will be a senior and a third-year starter. Last season he completed 114-of-225 passes (50.7 percent) for 2,040 yards. He also tossed 19 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.
“He’ll be a big gun for our team,” Lee said.
Another senior in the fall, Montae Bostick, paced the team in rushing with 706 yards and scored five touchdowns. But the Hornets’ most versatile offensive weapon, Shawn O’Gorman (1,760 all-purpose yards), is about to graduate.
The task of replacing O’Gorman falls to freshman Sebastian Class, who had no carries and six receptions for 78 yards.
“Shawn is obviously tough to replace offensively. But Sebastian has the capabilities to pick up there,” Lee said. “Shawn is so strong. That’s where Sebastian has to catch up. Sebastian has got some speed and he’s very quick. I look forward to seeing what Sebastian does for us.”
The major concern of the spring involves addressing a reoccurring problem for the Weeki Wachee defense, an inability to tackle and stop the run. That’s even more pivotal since the Hornets are in a district featuring several power rushing attacks.
Whether or not progress can be made, Weeki Wachee hopes the spring game will start providing some answers.
“We’re looking for execution on offense, defense and special teams,” Lee said. “Winning the game would be nice. It always gets you going into the summer. But I want to see us execute. Move the ball on offense and take advantage of the opportunities given to us and stop them on defense. We’ve got to be able to stop the run and be able to make them punt.”
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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