Linebackers key to Lions’ hopes The Lions will need a leader to step up on defense if they are going to compete in brutal Class 6A-District 8. King coach Alvin Davis has just the guy picked out in linebacker Edwin Josainvil. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound tackling machine has led the linebackers (last year with 47 tackles and two sacks) and this season has become a vocal leader. “Edwin is a definite leader, but a lot of people overlook him,” Davis said. “He’s been our leading tackler (at linebacker) and he loves to play and that helps him as our leader out there. Just a true team player and we are lucky to be around somebody like that.” The defense will be key, according to Davis, and with the depth of returners will need to limit opponents while King works out its kinks on offense.
“The defense has been the strength of this football program for the last three years,” Davis said. “And that won’t change as we have eight returning starters. They will need to be the guys for us this year.” SUPPLY Two-way standout The secondary will rely on two-way starter Donnell Taylor, a two-year captain who will bring playmaker ability to wherever he’s needed. Last season, Taylor ran for 432 yards, while making 29 tackles, recording two interceptions and returning kicks. Taylor will spend time at quarterback and running back this season on top of his work as the team’s starting corner. “Donnell is just that great athlete, wherever we put him he makes plays,” Davis said. “He is the kind of guy you want with the ball in his hands. He has speed, enough for either free safety or corner, or on offense he can read defenses so well he can play where we need him.” DEMAND Offensive production Things did not go King’s way on offense very often in 2012. En route to a 2-8 season, the team compiled less than 2,000 yards of total offense and just nine touchdowns. The Lions will turn to senior Darian Wright at quarterback, but will mix it up with Taylor doing some signal calling and both players filling other roles on offense. The key, Taylor said, for the team to succeed this year is to keep the same pace from the start to finish. “The key with us will be finishing the game,” Taylor said. “(Last year) we’d have some momentum, we’d have teams on their backs in the fourth quarter, but we let them get back in and we need to carry through with tempo from the start to the finish.” Offensive line Only center Anthony Smith returns from last season’s line of “big uglies” and he will have to be sharp leading a crew of young players. Experience The Lions are replacing 24 seniors from a season ago and no matter the talent at its defensive specialty spots (Josainvil and Taylor) there will be a steep learning curve for King this season Schedule Aug. 30: at Freedom Sept. 6: at Lennard Sept. 12: Middleton Sept. 20: Chamberlain Sept. 27: at Blake Oct. 4: Hillsborough Oct. 11: at Robinson Oct. 18: Jefferson Oct. 25: at Armwood Nov. 1: Leto
Roster No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.2 Mario Brisbone ATH 5-8 165 So. 3 Darian Wright QB/WR 5-11 180 Sr. 4 Javontee Brice WR/DB 5-11 170 Sr. 5 Jason Albert DB 5-8 155 Sr. 6 Donnell Taylor DB/RB 5-10 165 Sr. 7 Darien Mitchell WR/DB 6-0 158 So. 8 Devonte Bing RB/DB 5-9 160 Sr. 9 Alejandro Fernandez WR/DB 6-0 160 Jr. 10 Malik Johnson DB/WR 5-11 145 Jr. 11 Dijion Crewe WR/DB 5-9 160 Jr. 12 Jammerin Harrison DB/WR 5-7 140 Sr. 13 Jaward Foday DB/WR 5-10 175 So. 20 Yassine Ouazzani LB/DB 510 175 21 Demetrius Mann WR/DB 5-8 160 Jr. 22 Otis Williams RB/DB 5-8 175 So. 23 Paul Harper RB/LB 6-0 200 Jr. 24 Edwin Josainvil LB 6-2 175 Sr. 25 Greg Thompson RB 511 180 Sr. 30 Dequincy Wilson DB/RB 5-6 150 Sr. 32 Kyheem Campbell DE/LB 6-1 170 So. 33 Aaron Williams LB/FB 5-8 185 Sr. 34 Borthland Murray DB/WR 61 165 Jr. 38 Shaleek Smith FB/LB 6-0 200 Jr. 40 Antonio Staten DL 5-11 195 Sr. 45 Zachary Wooten LB/TE 5-11 170 Jr. 50 Kyle Riddle LB 5-11 190 Sr. 51 Nathaniel Braynen OL/DL 6-2 285 So. 52 Jean-Eddy Mercier DE/LB/TE 6-1 245 Sr. 54 Andrew Fakolade LB/OL 6-3 225 Jr. 55 Sharqil Baker DE 6-3 250 Sr. 58 Jamelle Jordan DL/OL 6-1 215 Jr. 60 Robert Thomas OL/DL 5-8 260 So. 62 Kyheem Campbell LB/DE 6-1 170 So. 65 Sam Stone OL/DL 6-0 210 So. 66 Jalen Jackson OL/DL 6-0 280 Jr. 70 Tyrell Cobb DL/OL 6-1 275 Jr. 73 Anthony Smith C/OL 6-1 270 Sr. 77 Antonio Martinez LB/DL 6-0 215 Jr. 84 Zachary Stewart DE/LB/LS 6-3 225 Sr. 87 Nicolas Munera DE/TE 6-5 215 Sr. 90 Javon Cotman DL 5-10 270 Jr.
About The Lions
STADIUM: Bill Stewart Stadium, 6815 N. 56th St., Tampa CLASS-DISTRICT: 6A-8 (with Armwood, Blake, Chamberlain, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Leto, Lennard, and Robinson) COACH: Alvin Davis (72-132, 22nd season overall; 19-30, sixth season at King) LAST SEASON:2-8