STADIUM: W.F. Edwards Stadium, 36850 State Road 52, Dade City CLASS-DISTRICT: 5A-6 (with Central, Hernando, Nature Coast, South Sumter, Weeki Wachee, and Zephyrhills) COACH: Tom McHugh (63-12, seventh season) LAST SEASON: 12-1
Craig does it all for Pirates
Nate Craig, So., WR/DB
Who doesn’t want more of this guy?
After picking up 16 Division-I offers before the start of his sophomore season and totalling 155 offensive yards (67 rushing, 88 receiving), two touchdowns and an interception on defense in the team’s spring game, Pasco will absolutely be asking more of Craig.
He has been inserted into most offensive plays and is poised for a breakout year, even though he was no slouch as a freshman in 2012
Big offensive line
Coach Tom McHugh enters his seventh season with Pasco, already having two state semifinal trips under his belt. However, never, McHugh says, has he had a offensive line this big. With two massive tight ends — both Archibald Bowman and R.J. Schaife are 6-foot-5 — and all linemen — guys like Jamal Mention, Jacob Schlidt, Jacob Morphew and Jeff Mitchell — above 6 feet and 200 pounds, this line should create massivie holes and great protection for quarterback Ben Chandler.
The biggest addition Pasco made this offseason is probably not on the field. To coach a secondary that features two Division-I recruits, Craig and Malik Johns, and others such as Phillip Wilson and Lane Stancil, McHugh added former USF secondary coach Rich Rachel, who will bring more than 30 years of college coaching experience. The unit was already expected to be good, but now it may be one of the best in the area.
A running back
For three seasons, McHugh, Starling and company had no worry at running back, always able to hand it off to Janarion Grant, Trey Dudley-Giles or David Emmanuel. Now, with those all gone, Pasco is looking for that pure, go-to runner out of the backfield, but the coaches admit it will probably be running back by committee in the early going. McHugh adds that Jaquan Clower has shown signs of promise to become a standout back.
New, but familiar names
Pasco’s defensive line will be new players, however, it will be filled with names that are familiar, such as Ivie and Flournory. With the graduation of Joey Ivie and Morgan Flournory, who combined for 37 sacks last season, are being replaced by their younger brothers, Andrew and Connor, respectively. Coach Pat Fortunato has his work cut out, but he’s also got big, athletic talent to mold.