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New Pats coach plans plenty of changes

The team's offense, one of the worst in the county last year, is the main concern for longtime defensive assistant.

By JOHN SCHWARB, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2002


The team's offense, one of the worst in the county last year, is the main concern for longtime defensive assistant.

PINELLAS PARK -- Luke Kademoff began planning before he even got the job, drawing up depth charts to familiarize himself with how the 2002 Pinellas Park team would shape up.

He has the job now, but the planning continues. The new coach wants to make it clear, this won't be your older brother's Pinellas Park.

"We'll be mixing it up quite a bit," said Kademoff, who coached the Patriots defense for eight years but is enthusiastically jumping into the offensive duties.

Kademoff vows that opponents will no longer be able to bring nine defenders, their band and the cafeteria sink into the box to shut down the run. The Park's offense ranked fourth-worst in the county, as the run was plugged and the passing game was nonexistent.

This year, the offense is varied and the defense will also throw multiple fronts. Whether it will work for a whole season is unknown, though there were positive signs late last year when the Patriots won three of their final four regular-season games and made the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

"Any time you get a sense of what it's like to win, it's going to carry on to the next year," Kademoff said. "They know now, if you work hard it's going to make things a lot easier on us."

THROUGH THE AIR: Yes, there will be a passing game this year, or at least more than the 463-yard effort of last season. Kademoff is looking for a 60-40 run-to-pass ratio, and junior quarterback Latrez Bradley will get the freedom to make plays with his arm.

Donnell Johnson (6-3, 180) is tall and lanky with sure hands. Adam Sterry (6-0, 210) will be a nice target at tight end.

ON THE GROUND: Jamarcus Smith and Jerrick Slocumb, who each scored in the Patriots' 29-21 loss to Seminole in the spring, will continue to get the bulk of the carries. Both are speed demons, Slocumb clocking 4.3 in the 40 and Smith 4.4. Aaron Williams and Carlos Johnson will rotate at fullback.

The offensive line is the strength of the squad, with experience and plenty of size. Tackle Daryl Hill (6-5, 290) is a three-year starter and co-captain along with Bradley, and Travis Youngs (6-2, 285) will hold his ground at the other tackle spot. Tom Canto (6-2, 265) and Greg Anderson (6-2, 235) are the guards and Jason Alexander (6-1, 210) is the center.

DEFENSE: Pinellas Park ran a 4-4 set last year and at times put up a six-man front, as there were so many good linemen. That can certainly be the case again this season since some of the beef on the offensive line goes both ways.

Carlos Johnson and Williams man two of the linebacker spots and call the signals. Junior Munir Muwwakkil is the starting strong end whom Kademoff calls "unblockable" in practice.

JUST FOR KICKS: Reliable senior Cody Gelwick returns to kick and punt.

PINELLAS PARK

AT A GLANCE

COACH: Luke Kademoff (first season).

ASSISTANTS: Ed Hevia, Orel Matthews, Dan McIntosh, Shaw Webb and Tim Winburn.

COLORS: Blue, red and white.

STADIUM: Richard Allen Memorial Stadium, 6305, 118th Ave. N, Pinellas Park.

CLASS: 5A, District 7.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: 1983, 1997, 2001.

LAST APPEARANCE: Lost to Seminole 28-7.

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