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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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Q&A: Nature Coast quarterback Josh Ortiz
By VINCENT THOMAS
Published August 25, 2006
[Times photo: Will Vragovic]
Times staff writer Vincent Thomas caught up with the senior to talk about this season’s expectations, team chemistry and his maturity under center.
Times: So you’re back at it, huh?
JO: Yep, back at it. And I’m feeling real good, too. I feel real good about this season.
JO: Because the last three years it was like everything was coming together. And now we’re here. Nobody has worked harder than us. We’re ready to come out and punch teams in the mouth. And you can print that.
Times: You know I will. Anyways, you have the whole offensive line coming back. Your coach said that their communication is so much better now.
JO: You don’t even hear them talk. They’ve been in the offense so long, they know what to do. And they’ve been together so long, they just look at each other and know what to do.
Times: Coach Jamie (Joyner) also said that he wants to throw for 1,500 yards this season. Are you ready for that? Do you have the weapons for that?
JO: Definitely. We may not have the strongest receivers or fastest receivers. But together, as a group, they’re the best. We put in a whole lot of work together. All summer. In the spring game we were like 7-of-10 for 200 yards. And the three incompletions weren’t drops, they were my bad throws.
Times: How are you feeling about the veer-option you guys run?
JO: I love it. Me and the backs. I think each back can go for a 1,000 (yards).
Times: So it won’t be like last year when Rian (Williams) goes down and you’re scrambling for Plan B?
JO: No. Everyone can step up. It’s not just one guy anymore. You have to stop all of us.
Times: So there’s no way an injury, or what have you, will have you guys back where you were last year?
JO: That’s not an option. We’ve worked too hard. There’s no other option but to win the district.