Ready for some high school football?

Here’s a preview of teams in Flagler and Volusia

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

High school football returns this week as most local teams will participate in a kickoff classic/jamboree on Friday night (Aug. 18) with the regular season starting next week. The Daytona Times takes a sneak peak at the local teams’ 2017 season.

DeLand High Bulldogs
Head Coach: Steve Allen
Location: DeLand
2016 record: 2-7
Key losses: WR Steffon Bruten; WR/DB Dee Bruten; DB Avantae Williams; DL Daniel Bright-Monroe
Key returners: LB/TE Saeed El-Zayat; OL/DL Greg Craig; OL/DL Jason Murphy; OL/DL Garrett Shurdum; OL/DL AJ Bruten; FB/LB Grant Weltman; OL Ethan Burns
Key newcomers: Athl Leon Rolle; QB/WR Travis Lemons; WR/DB Jake Ross, WR/DB Damien Nelson; LB/RB Marlon Brown; DB/WR Chris Brown; WR/DB Dionte Marks; LB Ty Shaun Woolard; WR Matthew Moore; OL/DL Jeremiah Birch
Strengths: Athleticism, depth
Areas of concern: Youth; inexperience
Outlook: Coach Allen has built winners and taken two programs in Flagler Palm Coast and Warner Christian Academy to the playoffs. He looks to turn around the Bulldogs program that has won just four games in two years. DeLand is young but talented. How quickly they buy into the new staff, philosophy and system could be key.

Father Lopez Catholic High Green Wave
Head Coach: Matt Knauss
Location: Daytona Beach
2016 record: 2-7
Key losses: QB Josh Spencer; WR Ryan Atkins
Key returners: OL Jake Sada; WR Ryan Porto; TE Brian Bowler; WR Vincente Antanassov; FB/LB Elijah Rone; OL Steven Rehrig; LB Ryan Waddle; DL Austin Martin; DB Cam Green; DB Ryan Utter; DB Parker Savas; DL Corbin Ketchum
Key newcomers: QB T.J. Lockley; WR/DB Wayne Matthews ; DB/WR Kidric Alvin; OL Chris Cespedes
Strengths: Defense; passing game
Areas of concern: Inexperience on offensive line
Outlook: A lot of optimism at Lopez with a lot of returning players. Lopez will look for balance on offense and on defense will try to hold opponents under 14 points per game to better their chances of winning.

Flagler Palm Coast High Bulldogs
Head Coach: Travis Roland
Location: Palm Coast
2016 record: 3-6
Key losses: RB Que’shaun Byrd; OL Mike Peppin; LB Kevin Pogue
Key returners: RB/WR Jimmie Robinson; WR Anfernee Robinson; WR/DB Isiah Stubbs; DL Ethan Brady; OL Vernon Henshaw
Key newcomers: DB Dennis Shorter (transfer Mainland); DB Damien Irven (transfer Spruce Creek)
Strengths: Speed talent and depth at skilled positions on offense, secondary
Areas of concern: Defensive front, offensive line
Outlook: Roland takes over the program and there is a lot of excitement and optimism. How quickly can things turnaround remains to be seen. FPC has some talented athletes at running back, receiver and defensive back. They look to compete in a loaded district with Spruce Creek, Jacksonville Mandarin and Jacksonville Sandalwood.

Assistant Coach Bill Warmington instructs linebackers at Halifax Academy during a recent football practice.
(ANDREAS BUTLER/DAYTONA TIMES)

Halifax Academy Knights
Head Coach: Shamus Dougherty
Location: Daytona Beach
2016 record: 2-7
Key losses: Ath LaShawn Wilder; DL/OL Ramel Adams
Key returners: LB/FB Treyvon Thompson; LB/WR Torre Mack; OL/DL Jude Thorn; WR/DB Khyree Isaac; QB Devon “D.J.” Kilgore; WR/DB Chauncey Williams
Key newcomers: Ath Ronquise Williams; LB/RB Anthony Lee; LB/WR Antonio Lee; OL/DL Jeremiah Henley
Strengths: Athleticism, speed, depth at skilled positions
Areas of concern: Depth and inexperience
Outlook: Dougherty, the longtime athletic director, steps in as coach. The Knights will need their offensive line to give Kilgore time to throw to a deep group of speedy receivers. On defense, Halifax is small up front compared the most teams. They will try the 3-5 scheme to use their speed and athleticism.

Mainland High Buccaneers
Head Coach: Scott Wilson
Location: Daytona Beach
2016 record: 12-1 district 6A-13 champ; regional finalist
Key losses: QB Denzel Houston; RB CJ Wilson; DB Dennis Shorter; DB Cyrus Fagan; DB RJ Stokes; LB Maurice Headen; DL Daryl Bush; LB Roman Mack; OL Charles Fordham
Key returners: WR DeMarcus Adams; WR/KR/PR Brian Jenkins; DL Kevon McCrary; WR Tank Dell; OL Raymond Horton; OL Dallas Boone; LB Demarez Bellamy; DB Cameron Lee; S Andrew Plumer
Key newcomers: S John Huggins (transfer Pine Ridge); OL/DL Shane Brennen; OL/DL Cam Brennen
Strengths: Defensive front seven, receiving corps
Areas of concern: Quarterback play
Outlook: The Buccaneers are a state powerhouse and this season they will just once again reload. With an influx of transfers to go with returning talent, Mainland will again have state title aspirations.

Matanzas High Pirates
Head Coach: Robert Ripley
Location: Palm Coast
2016 record: 7-3, district 6A-13 runner-up, lost in first round of playoffs
Key losses: WR/LB Phillip Moultre; DE/TE Nick Kubeit; OL Bailey Sattar; Tylee Austin; RB Trent Stewart; TE/WR Jacob Miley
Key newcomer: OL/DL Seaton Waldhauer
Strengths: Talent and experience on defense and offensive skilled positions
Areas of concern: Depth
Outlook: The Pirates are thin for a Class 6A school with just 41 varsity players. Matanzas got a taste of success with back-to-back winning seasons and the playoffs last year. They are looking for good things from QB Ryan Thomas. The key will be how the offensive line holds in both the passing and running game. If they are healthy, the Pirates will compete for a spot in the postseason.

New Smyrna Beach Barracudas
Head Coach: Kevin Hubbard
Location: New Smyrna Beach
2016 record: 4-6
Key losses: WR/RB Dadrian Wood; QB/WR/DB Anthony Butler
Key returners: S Jaleen Wood
Key newcomers: DL Nazir Rodgers; DB Deionta Payne; OL Josh Cox; OL Luke Warner; RB/DB Antonio Mascote
Strengths: Offense
Areas of concern: Run defense
Outlook: The Cudas believe that they will have a good season. NSB wants to be aggressive on defense and to stop the run to improve from a season ago.

Seabreeze High Sandcrabs
Head Coach: Mark Coake
Location: Daytona Beach
2016 record: 1-9
Key losses: DL Mark Zipperer; OL Sean Smith; LB Dylan Carey
Key returners: DT Braden Buswell; LB Jalen Miranda; DE Chase Garzio; OL Skylar Hutchinson; RB/DB Deshaun Hugee
Key newcomers: WR Devonta Phillips; WR Colin Doane; QB Jaydn Nirchl; OL Cam Coello
Strengths: Defense; especially defensive line
Areas of concern: Offensive line and lack of depth on roster
Outlook: The once-mighty Sandcrabs have fallen on hard times in recent years. Seabreeze should be much better offensively, especially at receiver. Run blocking and pass protection are concerns. The defense is expected to good, especially on the line. With little roster depth, the Sandcrabs must stay healthy to have a chance to win.

Spruce Creek High Hawks
Head Coach: Andy Price
Location: Port Orange
2016 record: 7-4; district 8-1A champs, lost in first round of playoffs
Key losses: LB Isaiah Poku; DB Josh Powers; LB Jelani Bland; WR Josh Tse; P Cody Franco
Key returners: QB Kyle Minckler; RB/WR Hayden Flood; DE/LB Tyler Berrong, RB Jacquez Lord, WR Kyle Thiel, DB Jhemez Hull
Key newcomers: DB Trayvon Killins (transfer Mainland); LB Peter Hinson (transfer Maitland); DB Terrance McMillon; DL McKenzie Davis (transfer Atlantic).
Strengths: Experience on offense
Areas of concern: Inexperience on defense
Outlook: Offensively, the Hawks look to be balanced in a spread offense. Minckler and Flood return to solidify the offense. The offensive line is led by seniors Ryan Severinsen and Caleb Valentine. On defense, the Hawks use a 3-4 scheme and will be led by Davis, Berrong and Hull. Spruce Creek should again compete for a district title and the playoffs.

Taylor High Wildcats
Head Coach: Antuarn Williams
Location: Pierson
2016 record: 6-3
Top players: RB/WR/DB Jaden Reeves; RB/DB Jaqauvis Williams; WR/QB/DB Daniel Gemeinhardt; OL/DL Ethan Jacoby; OL/DL Mike Miller
Strengths: Running game and kicking game
Areas of concern: Inexperience on offensive line and defensive front seven.
Outlook: There is optimism at Taylor that the team can garner enough points to compete for a playoff spot. The Wildcats have talent and some key players back. Taylor can score points. The Wildcats believe that if they can hold opponents to 18 points or less per game they will win.

Trinity Christian Academy Eagles, Deltona
Head Coach: Monty Vann
2016 record: 7-4; district 3-2A champs, lost first round of playoffs
Key losses: Athl Amorie Archibald; OL/DL/TE Josh Clark, DB/WR Edel Morales, OL/DL Jordan Brzozkowski
Key returners: DB/QB Eli Howell, LB Dom Hancock, WR/RB/DB Jacob Mullee, LB/FB Caleb Bulleman, OL Caleb Neher, RB/DL Caleb Lee
Key newcomers: WR/DB Jacob Rogers, John Davilla, Brandon Rodriguez,
Strengths: Depth, chemistry
Areas of concern: Inexperience, youth
Outlook: The Eagles lost 12 seniors from a year ago, including do-it-all athlete Armorie Archibald. This season the Eagles have more depth and coaches believe that the chemistry is good. Trinity is young with only three seniors. Nonetheless, the Eagles should find a way to find the points to compete for a playoff spot.

University High Titans
Head Coach: Brian Kells
Location: Orange City
2016 record: 8-2
Key losses: RB Marquise Mickens; RB/WR Lawrence Coleman; LB Peyton Henley; LB Cody Collins
Key returners: RB Lorenzo Lingard; QB Cody Braden; WR/DB Jacob Moss; DB Micah Mickens; DB Marlon Harris; DB Elijah Jacobs; DB Tranoris Davis; DL Trevor Gregory; DL Brendan Smith
Key newcomers: DB/RB Mike Williams; LB/RB Latrell Faison
Strengths: Running game, leadership, experience
Areas of concern: Youth and inexperience at linebacker
Outlook: The Titans just missed the playoffs last season and this year they will again be in the hunt in a loaded district. They run a wing-T offense led by Lingard, one of the best backs in all of high school. On defense, University uses 4-2-5 scheme.

Warner Christian Academy Eagles
Head Coach: Chris Green
Location: South Daytona
2016 record: 3-7; district 2-3A runner-up, lost first round of playoffs
Key losses: OL/DL Donovan Hovey-Franklin; WR/DB Carlos Smith; QB Zach Hulec; DL/OL Austin Provan; FB/LB Luke Lynch
Key returners: RB/LB Marvin Scott, RB/WR/DB Jamal Holmes; Ath TyShawn Blount, WR/DB Trevor Young; LB/FB Adam Domeji; OL/DL Tyler Sims
Key newcomers: DB/WR Nick Redding, QB/DL Marcel Fonua
Strengths: Skilled players, running game
Areas of concern: Defense
Outlook: The Eagles look to continue their run at the playoffs. They will still have one of the best running backs in Scott but questions remain on the offensive line. Warner will use its skilled players in the passing game. On defense, the Eagles want to improve against the pass which they believe they have.

Prep Sports Seven Pre Season rankings: 1. Mainland; 2. University; 3. Spruce Creek; 4. Deltona; 5. Matanzas; 6. Trinity; 7. Taylor
Atlantic, Deltona and Pine Ridge High Schools did not respond for information for this report.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Fortunately and Unfortunately,
    I can not comment on the entire Article for I do not have the abilities nor knowledge of. As for Mainland High Schools key returners, I believe is an enormous blunder. The young man that was not mentioned is a:
    First Team All State (DE/OLB)
    Lenard Williams Defensive Award Recipient
    Lead the County in Sacks (17/18 on the season)
    Etc…
    Key Returners? Please, research Julio Thompson
    Aaryon “Julio” Thompson

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