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Big shoes to fill
Even without last year's record-breaking QB, the Knights have plenty of players ready to step up.
By JIM REESE
Published August 25, 2006
TAMPA - Robinson, one of only four county schools to gain more yards in the air than on the ground last year, must find a way to win without Marcello Trigg, Hillsborough County's all-time leader in career touchdown passes.
Trigg threw for 26 scores in 2005 with an impressive 17.1 yards per completion. Darrell Stevens was on the receiving end of 44 of those aerials, 10 resulting in touchdowns.
Both are gone now in addition to top runner Javier Arenas, and the Knights must replace them and find a way to improve on a young defense.
"No doubt, we have to look elsewhere now that those guys are gone, but we have some eager young football players who have been waiting in the wings for the chance, and they are ready," coach Mike DePue said.
THROUGH THE AIR: Robinson has junior Justin Le set to replace Trigg. Le sustained a hyper-extended elbow in last week's preseason game at Tampa Catholic, but isn't expected to miss any action.
"Justin is a kid with a big arm and we feel he will mature quickly as our starting quarterback," DePue said.
Wide receiver Greg Ellingson scored three touchdowns in 2005 as a tight end and looks to be the Knights' go-to guy this year. Senior Anthony Cervantes and junior Herb Hogan will fill out Robinson's receiving corps. Fullback Alex Schiwietz, a tough runner, is a threat out of the backfield, accounting for 18 receptions and four receiving touchdowns last year.
ON THE GROUND: Jermaine Doster (78 carries for 468 yards in 2005) possesses speed, strength and experience.
"Once Jermaine breaks the line of scrimmage, he's a threat to go all the way every time he carries the ball," DePue said.
Doster's average of 6.2 yards per rush in 2005 guarantees he'll get plenty of carries this year.
Schiwietz (48, 281) gets the call on third-and-short situations and is a threat in the red zone because of his bull strength at the goal line. Look for the Knights to line up behind senior Carl Davis, a strong offensive lineman who will lead the blocking for Doster and Schiwietz.
DEFENSE: Robinson had a difficult time stopping opponents in 2005, giving up 282.3 yards per game. That will have to improve for Robinson to return to the playoffs. A major part of that rejuvenation will count on the play of seniors Ryan Scott and William Paleveda on the defensive line. Ellingson and Doster will see double duty, manning the safety positions.
Shane Houghtaling and Ben Campbell will be the linebackers. If Robinson can find a way to shore up its rushing defense, a solid, time-consuming offensive ground game might be the result, which will present an entirely different picture of Robinson seldom seen when Trigg was in control of the offense.