HOLIDAY — Replacing Anclote’s backfield of Willie Barrett and Trent Crawford will be be much easier said than done.
The loss of 22 players from last season to graduation cut the Sharks’ roster in half and left question marks that still need answers.
Replacing Barrett and Crawford’s combined 2,057 rushing yards won’t be easy, but a prime candidate to fill the void is senior speedster Jonte Scott, who rushed for 195 yards as a backup.
“It’s nothing I can’t adapt to,” Scott said of accepting his new role. “I’ve been a go-to-guy before. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s a little different without the seniors around, but they taught me well. I think I can use what the seniors gave me and give it to these younger guys.”
Scott might be a wild card, but he’s also a track standout who is shifting to defensive end. As running back, he’ll try to exploit a mismatch in the secondary or when a linebacker tries to cover him one-on-one
“Right now, Jonte is my most viable senior on an every-snap basis,” coach Matt Wicks said. “He’s going to be out there and we’re going to rely on him a lot from an athletic standpoint. He played some running back and lined up out at receiver for us last season, and that’s where we’ll need him again.”
If the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder can produce on his lofty offensive goals, Anclote could see the postseason for a third straight season.
“Teams should get ready for some tough, aggressive football when they play us,” Scott said. “We should make some big-time plays this season and everyone can expect us to do what we say we’re going to do. Some of my goals this season are to rush for 1,000 yards and run back at least five kickoff returns.”
No team in Pasco County lost more offensively than Anclote, which graduated 1,000-yard rushers Willie Barrett and Trent Crawford. Anclote feels confident in the duo’s replacements: senior Jonte Scott and sophomores Dimitrius Barry and Braxton Johnson.
The unit also was gutted thanks to the graduation of 22 seniors from last season’s district championship team. Losing Barrett, Austin Rumer, Tymere Carter and others, defensive coordinator Matt Kingsley had to completely revamp his squad. Scott will anchor a defensive end position and Barry will line up at linebacker this fall.
Coach Matt Wicks has harped on his team about defending the program’s first district championship, but that task will be difficult with Hudson being the favorite and Gulf, Ridgewood, River Ridge and Wesley Chapel all improved from 2013. The Sharks should be able to compete with everyone in their district, but they have a tough task of reaching the postseason for a third straight year.
• About the Sharks
Stadium: Anclote Stadium, 1540 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday
Class-District: 5A-7 (with Gulf, Hudson, Ridgewood, River Ridge and Wesley Chapel)
Coach: Matt Wicks (18-34, fifth season)
Last season: 6-5
Aug. 29: at Mitchell
Sept. 5: at Land O’ Lakes
Sept. 12: Sunlake
Sept. 19: Ridgewood
Sept. 26: at Fivay
Oct. 3: at River Ridge
Oct. 17: Gulf
Oct. 24: at Wesley Chapel
Oct. 31: at Hudson
Nov. 7: Clearwater Central Catholic