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Nucleus has Tornadoes primed to rebound

After two down years, Clearwater hopes for a return to respectability.

By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2002

After two down years, Clearwater hopes for a return to respectability.

CLEARWATER -- The math is simple: Clearwater won eight games in 1998 and eight in 1999. Then the Tornadoes won eight again -- in the past two seasons combined.

After two dismal years, Clearwater has something to prove.

"I certainly hope we're better than what we've shown the past two years," coach Tom Bostic said. "We've only been out here a few weeks, but I've been pleased so far."

Instability, with the coaching staff and players, was the biggest reason for the drop-off to 5-5 and 3-7 records.

In 2000, Bostic overhauled his staff after longtime assistant Rick Rodriguez left to coach at Largo, taking several assistants with him. Last year, the Tornadoes were young and learned on the job.

THROUGH THE AIR: Derelle Houser battled two quarterbacks for the starting job last season and solidified himself as the starter in the third game. This season, Houser holds the spotlight and has many options when he throws.

Clearwater has three returing receivers, Chad Harris, Brad Sommerville and Ryan Repp.

ON THE GROUND: Sophomore Jason Harris will be one of the running backs. The other will be Jason Bruce.

Both will run behind a veteran offensive line that has three returning starters, Miguel Master Cerda, Louis Frazier and Tim Powers.

DEFENSE: Though the Tornadoes have many players back, some will continue to play on both sides because of depth. Frazier and Master Cerda will team with Gary Jones on the defensive line. Bruce and Adam Fuzi return as starting linebackers, and Mike Zenatos will play in the secondary.

JUST FOR KICKS: Clearwater has two kickers, Ryan Gregg and Sommerville, who kicked winning field goals in two of the Tornadoes' three wins last season. Chad Harris will punt.



COACH: Tom Bostic (20th season, 125-77).

ASSISTANTS: Mike Davis, Otis Dixon, Tim Hinz, Joe Holt and Charlie Spelman.

COLORS: Gray and red.

STADIUM: Jack White Stadium, 540 S Hercules Ave., Clearwater.

CLASS: 5A, District 7.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: 1964, 1969, 1970, 1978, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999.

LAST APPEARANCE: Beat Plant 28-3, lost to Bradenton Southeast 49-14.

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