High School Football

Sharks’ O-line Clearing Path to History

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

NCT O-Line From Left to Right: Devito, Torres, Navarro, Cole, Rhineberger

DeShawn Smith has a simple explanation for his unprecedented success this season. He repeats it like a mantra, game after game; no matter how many rushing yards he piles up, no matter how many touchdowns he scores.

The Nature Coast senior running back has a deal with his offensive line. They block, he scores. That’s it. “A running back’s nothing without his O-linemen,” Smith said. “Every time I score, I run to them first. … They block, they get it open for me, and then I do the rest. So it’s a 50-50 thing.”

Side by Side…Stone Style

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Stone Family From Left to Right: Tommy, Mike Stone Jr., Mike Stone III, Mary Stone

No two siblings are alike, some are best friends, some have years between them and others have different interests and goals. Different interests and goals is not the case with the Stone Brothers. They have been side by side throughout their growing life and now shoulder to shoulder in the sport that continues to drive their brotherly bond.

Siuzdak Emerging as Playmaker for Spring Hill Christian

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Coltin Siuzdak, SHCA

Coltin Siuzdak felt the tug to get back into football. The Spring Hill Christian Academy team is glad he did. The 5-foot-10, 140-pound junior has emerged as a playmaker, along with quarterback/running back Michael Hemstreet, in the early eight-man season for the Wildcats. “Coltin is just a lot of team speed that we have,” SHCA head coach Shawn Fisher said. “He’s very fast and just like Mike he’s a pretty good student of the game, and once we get the ball in either of their hands good things happen.”

Leopards’ Libengood Takes the Lead

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

The Hernando High football squad is in the second year of its rebuild under head coach Bill Vonada, and the veteran mentor will assuredly need to lean on his upperclassmen. That’s where players such as senior defensive end Tyson Libengood come into the equation. “His experience on the defense and in the heat of battle makes him a natural leader,” Vonada said. “He has some of the best physical potential on our defensive front… He works extremely hard in the weight room, and is willing to do the extra things. He is one of our best cover guys on punt.”

Bears’ Scott Backs Up Big Talk

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

If football doesn’t pan out for Manny Scott, perhaps he has a future in psychic readings. Central’s 13-7 victory at Springstead Friday night may have surprised many, but the Central senior called it two days earlier. “When we beat Springstead,” said Scott on Wednesday, stressing he didn’t mean if, “that’s when Hernando (County) is going to wake up. When we beat them is when everyone is going to open up their eyes... We’re hungry. All we’ve got to do is beat Springstead and that’s what will make us dominating this season.”