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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Looking for answers
By DOUG KATES
Published August 25, 2006
PINELLAS PARK - Matt Lance left Countryside High School to take over the Pinellas Park football program in May.
He has had little time to learn the players, making training camp as much of an educational experience for him as it has his players.
"The talent has always been here at Pinellas Park," Lance said. "That's what attracted me. I'm just trying to get everyone on the right page and trying to get them to do the right things."
ON THE GROUND: Dominick Bell, a 6-1, 165-pound senior, will key the offense. He will not only power the running game, but will be counted on to catch many passes. "We're going to ask him to do a lot," Lance said. "We're going to ask him to be our Slash."
Sharing backfield duties will be Matt Hitchens, a senior, who spent most of last year as a fullback.
THROUGH THE AIR: Early in preseason, Lance figures junior quarterback Jesse Redden will get the starting nod. Lance is planning on bringing the Countryside offense to Pinellas Park. That means he has to have a smart quarterback.
"He has shown a knack for picking up the system," Lance said. "It is not an easy offense to run."
Quinton King, a senior, should be a favorite receiver.
DEFENSE! DEFENSE! Lance admitted early in preseason he didn't know how his defense was going to shape up. He will count on junior Jesse Woods to make a big impact on the line.
JUST FOR KICKS: Don't ask Lance about his kicking game until opening night. Learning his kids, teaching them a new system and trying to fill positions is a tough assignment. Who kicks off on opening night may be a game-time decision.