Football: Hudson working hard to improve
Off to the left-hand side of the football practice field at Hudson High, there’s a clock within easy sight of the coaches and players.
Ticking away is the remaining time for practice. Time is of the essence for a team trying to revive itself from tough 2010 and 2011 seasons when it went a combined 0-20.
The past is something that Hudson can’t get back, but the hours, minutes and seconds of valuable weight room and practice time by the Cobras are yielding promising returns.
The return of quarterback Joey Caruso, who played only three games last fall, has revitalized Hudson’s team this spring. Caruso has worked extensively with Tampa Bay Storm offensive coordinator John Kaleo on footwork and drop-backs, and the junior’s physical growth has also turned heads. Caruso stands at 6-foot-3 and is around 200 pounds, which bodes well for him to follow in a line of good Hudson quarterbacks: Robbie Mahler, Kyle Hatcher and Zack Wynn, who is currently at Western Michigan.
“We’re hoping with (Caruso) being in basically his second year in the system, some good things to come from him,” coach Mark Kantor said. “He understands the offense, and it hasn’t changed. I came in his sophomore year and everything changed for him. Now, understanding how we do things makes it a little easier on him as a quarterback.”
A player who will make Caruso’s life under center a bit easier is running back Noah Siegrist, who rushed for 656 yards and four touchdowns last season. With Siegrist in the backfield, it should open the passing game for Caruso. The moment teams start honing in on the Cobras running game, Kantor plans to give opponents a dose of Caruso through the air.
“We both can not have done much without the help of our offensive line,” Siegrist said. “(Caruso) needs me, and I need him, and the relationship has got so much better over the past couple years. At first we really didn’t talk much, but I feel like this year he’s mentally ready. He’s not afraid to throw the ball, and in practice he’s been doing real well.”
Going up against Mitchell this spring will help Hudson gauge where it is on its quest for respectability. The difference for Hudson football may come from what the players are doing off the field. Kantor said a good percentage of the team lived in the weight room during the winter, and many skill players did the necessary activities to get better.
“Coach Kantor has definitely brought in high expectations,” Caruso said. “He’s used to being a part of winning programs and he’s been coaching us like we’re a winning program the entire time. We’re starting to believe in it and we’ve been working together very hard. I think with the schedule we have, we have a shot at making the postseason.”
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.
Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa