Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Single-Wing Blue Darters Ranked #1
High school football countdown: No. 1 Apopka
Sentinel Staff Writer
May 17, 2008
This month the Sentinel and its Web site will take a look at spring football teams and players. New teams are featured with video highlights and commentary posted on OrlandoSentinel.com/springfootball.
Today: the countdown of top teams culminates with our choice for No. 1.
No. 1 Apopka
*2007 RECORD: 12-2
*THE BUZZ: South Florida schools have won six consecutive Class 6A championships since Apopka's undersized 2001 team ended an Orange County football championship drought with an option offense no playoff opponent could handle. Seven seasons later, the Blue Darters have the same look, and the same goal.
*STAR WATCH: QB Jeremy Gallon is only about 5 feet 8, 165 pounds, but he is super-strong and ultra-quick, the perfect poster boy for a team that lacks bulk but packs a lot of punch. Gallon was the Sentinel's 2007 Offensive Player of the Year with 1,613 yards rushing and 1,071 passing with a 63.6 percent completion rate and zero interceptions. LB Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars will be a fourth-year starter. He racked up 154 tackles as a junior. Third-year starter Travelle Davis is primed for a big year carrying the ball, and Caleb Nelson can contribute in multiple positions -- including QB.
*SPRING SHOPPING LIST: This team is atypical for a state title contender with just 10 rising seniors, led by the four leaders mentioned. But the speed on this squad is ridiculous, and the 2008-09 junior class of 30-plus is drenched in experience from last season when the Darters' playoff run ended with a 21-18 state semifinal loss to Boone (14-1). This team doesn't have many holes. And one area of concern gets a boost from the arrival of CB Lo Wood, who transferred after starting as a freshman and sophomore at Dr. Phillips.
*SPRING GAME: Home vs. Eustis, Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m.
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