STADIUM: Mitchell D. Muley Stadium, 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa CLASS-DISTRICT: 8A-6 (with Alonso, Bloomingdale, Newsome, Plant, and Riverview) COACH: David Mitchell (46-40, eighth season) LAST SEASON: 8-3
Highly-touted QB Litton leads Wildcats
Senior Chase Litton enters the 2013 season as the top-rated quarterback in the Tampa Bay area. A consensus three-star prospect, the list of college programs to offer a scholarship includes LSU, South Florida, Marshall, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.
Litton ended the 2012 football season as the top passer in Hillsborough County and the state’s No. 3-ranked quarterback for passing yards after he completed 181 of 310 attempts for 2,732 yards and 23 touchdowns. He led the Wildcats to an 8-3 record and appearance in the Class 8A region quarterfinals, where he was nearly unstoppable against Orlando Dr. Phillips, throwing for 404 yards and two touchdowns in a loss.
“His arm is a weapon,” Wharton senior defensive end Antonio Joseph said. “That’s his deadliest tool. He’s able to get rid of the ball and he can put it wherever he needs to.”
Earlier this summer, Litton led Team Tampa, a club team comprised of the top high school skill players in the area, to a national title at the IMG national 7-on-7 tournament in Bradenton.
“He has a strong arm,” Wharton coach David Mitchell said. “He’s 6-6 and he can see over the linemen.”
At first glimpse, Antonio Joseph resembles a tight end or muscular receiver, but truth be told, at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he’s a standout defensive end with Division I offers.
Last season, Joseph registered 66 tackles with a team-high 4.5 sacks. Not only is he able to pressure the quarterback off the edge with his speed, but in a 3-4 formation, can also play outside linebacker.
“He’s a dark horse,” Wharton coach David Mitchell said. “You don’t see the future, but he’ll be that guy.”
Jeff Keil complemented Wharton’s passing attack last season with 701 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 132 carries. Against Alonso in the latter part of the season, he rushed for a career-high 161 yards with three touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 28 passes for 425 yards.
“To me (Keil) is one of the best running backs we’ve ever had,” Wharton senior quarterback Chase Litton said.
Junior D’Vonte Williams has the ability to play several positions. Williams, in his first year on varsity, will play safety and receiver and also on special teams.
As a sophomore, Auden Tate caught 27 passes for 401 yards with two touchdowns. Tate will be one of Litton’s targets this season, along with Ozzie Williams, a newcomer who can also play in the secondary.
The Wildcats return one starting offensive lineman from last season in senior Kegan Goulding. Protecting Litton and establishing a running game with Keil is key for the Wildcats this season, so Mitchell is hoping the offensive line develops quickly.
“We’re young with nice size,” Mitchell said.
Aug. 30: Spoto
Sept. 6: at Plant City
Sept. 12: at Freedom
Sept. 20: Riverview
Sept. 27: East Bay
Oct. 4: at Newsome
Oct. 11: at Steinbrenner
Oct. 18: Alonso
Oct. 25: Plant
Nov. 1: at Bloomingdale
No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.2 Sean McNamee LB 6-1 175 Jr.