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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Season preview: Brandon

Size and experience key for Eagles
Perhaps the cornerstone to Brandon's offense can be found on its line. Senior G/T Darren Lester (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) will anchor the offensive line. Brandon should have an advantage as almost its entire offensive line will be comprised of seniors.
“It's comforting for every one on that side of the ball (to have so many seniors on the offensive line),” coach Dean Eychner said.
“It starts up front, starts with (the offensive line). It's a battle (on the line). It's a battle to move the defense and make the hole,” Lester said. “I lead by example. We bust our butts in practice and carry it over to the game.”
Eychner also will give Lester some snaps on the defensive line this season. Lester is a bit of a hidden gem, as so far he has no college offers.
“I think colleges are missing out (on a great player),” Eychner said.
This year Brandon will be celebrating its 100th anniversary as a school. Through the years, Brandon has its ups and downs. Last year was a down year for the Eagles, who finished 1-9. Second-year coach Dean Eychner is focusing on bringing Brandon back to the upper echelon of Hillsborough County.
“We are bringing back tradition,” Eychner said. “There is a legacy we are representing. Our motto is 'Attitude and Effort.' ”
Part of Eychner's approach is focusing on hard work and having a blue collar attitude toward the game. He said his squad is up to 90 players and that the interest continues to grow.
“We are not a glamorous program. We are a working man's program. We are not given anything,” Eychner said. “What's fun is to watch (the players') growth as players and as people.”
Stick to the plan
Perhaps most frustrating for Brandon last year was the number of close games it lost. The Eagles' losses to Freedom, Plant City and East Bay were by a combined nine points. Even after a 1-9 season, Eychner is looking at turning Brandon around with a long-term method.
“We implemented a process and that takes time. We have been moving that process forward,” Eychner said.
Pressure on the QB
For years while at Hillsborough High as the defensive coordinator, Eychner ran the 3-4 defense. This year in an effort to better suit his players Brandon will be running a 4-3. Eychner said the main reason was to try to get more pressure on the opposing offense.
“It is a change in philosophy. I'm rooted in the 3-4. I believe in the 3-4, but I believe in doing what is best for the team,” Eychner said.
Aug. 30: at Blake
Sept. 6: Brandon
Sept. 12: at Riverview
Sept. 20: at Strawberry Crest
Sept. 27: Chamberlain
Oct. 4: Middleton
Oct. 18: at Durant
Oct. 25: East Bay
Nov. 1: Plant City
Nov. 8: at Berkeley Prep
No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr.
2 Richard Self P 5-10 155 Sr.
3 Shabazz Allah RB 5-3 190 Jr.
4 Dylan Dyer K 5-10 155 Sr.
5 Yancey Jenkins CB/RB 5-8 155 So.
6 Damon Spencer S/WR 6-0 150 Jr.
7 Alfred Kerlegrand CB 6-0 160 Sr.
8 Tyler Beacom K 5-8 140 Jr.
9 Alex Bennett S 5-9 160 Sr.
10 Brandon Jones QB 6-2 185 Sr.
11 Trevor Raymond RB 5-8 170 Jr.
12 Mario Rodriguez LB 6-0 190 So.
13 John Preyer S/QB 5-11 160 Jr.
14 Dontae McGee CB/RB 5-9 175 Jr.
16 Joseph Maltese WR 5-10 170 Sr.
17 Ryan Sass CB/RB 5-10 155 So.
18 Antonio Jones WR 6-2 180 Jr.
19 John Fracesci-Rivera DB 5-4 So.5 Jr.
20 Gabriel Mendoza WR 5-8 150 Jr.
22 D. J. Thomas CB 5-8 140 So.
24 John Gianino RB/LB 5-10 210 Sr.
25 Hunter Nasrallah LB 5-11 150 Jr.
26 Brandon Colon S 5-6 130 Sr.
28 Sharnarae Oliver DL 5-11 205 Sr.
32 Johnathan Jones RB 5-10 200 Sr.
33 Sami Faraj CB 5-8 135 Jr.
34 Lavon Brown LB 5-10 250 Sr.
35 Jayson Peterson RB 5-7 155 Sr.
44 Derek Cromartie LB 5-9 205 So.
45 Peter Bryant RB 5-11 225 So.
46 Trent Whitehead LB 5-9 180 Sr.
49 Casey Lindemulder LB 6-2 225 So.
50 Braxton Kennedy G 5-11 245 Jr.
51 Nicholas Summitt C/DE 6-2 200 Jr.
53 Branden Tempesta T 5-11 245 Sr.
55 Joel Mundackal G 5-9 190 Jr.
61 Henry Amaya G 5-7 215 Sr.
62 Angelo Taogaga DL 6-1 260 So.
63 Darren Lester G/T/DL 6-5 275 Sr.
64 Brian Archer DL 5-11 225 Sr.
65 Somto Chiadi T 6-3 245 Sr.
77 Robert Enmon G/DL 5-11 240 Jr.
78 Jake Duffell C/T 6-1 280 Sr.
80 Camilo Giraldo TE 6-1 170 Jr.
82 Kyler Marchetta LB 5-11 220 Sr.
84 Michael Hackett TE 6-0 210 Sr.
86 Allen Lewis WR 5-11 155 Sr.
88 Joe Tkacs DL 6-1 205 Jr.
90 Ahmad Nassar DL 5-10 195 So.
97 Johnathan Medina DL 6-2 245 Jr.
99 John Middel DL 6-1 195 Jr..
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