2006 predictions

By Times Staff
Published August 25, 2006

Class 3A, District 6 Predicted Order of Finish

1. Citrus

2. Nature Coast

3. Crystal River

4. Hernando

5. Lecanto

Preseason Favorites

It's always a risk to pick the best games of the season before play actually begins, but the Times staff tried its best. Here's what we came up with:

Belleview at Crystal River, Aug. 25.

Normally, this first-week, out-of-district matchup would mean little. But it's Pirates coach Anthony Paradiso's first game as Crystal River's leader. In fact, he has never been the head coach at any level. Will everything go well in his debut? Will he go for two or kick an extra point late in the game? Will he win? We'll find out.

Citrus at Lecanto, Sept. 15

The first district game for both teams, this rivalry matchup will help indicate whether Citrus might run away with the championship again, or whether Lecanto has turned around its program. Though the Panthers have struggled the past two seasons, coach Bob LeCours is fond of saying his team lost to the Hurricanes by just 11 points combined in their past two meetings. And both games, he says, were winnable. He's looking forward to this year. "We beat Citrus, and we're in the driver's seat," LeCours said.

South Sumter at Citrus, Sept. 22

The last time Citrus won against South Sumter was in 1995 by a score of 10-7. Both teams like high-octane no-huddle offense now. No matter what the outcome - and last year's was a 42-7 South Sumter romp - this matchup is sure to be interesting.

Crystal River at Citrus, Oct. 20

Three years ago the Pirates won 50-8, then Citrus coach Rik Haines took over the 'Canes and they haven't lost since, winning 28-0 in 2004 and 38-7 last season. With Paradiso at the helm, things could be different.

Lecanto at Crystal River, Oct. 27

It's late in the season, but sure to be a doozy. Two years ago a fake Lecanto punt led to the Panthers' first win over Crystal River since 1987. Last year the Pirates sought, and took revenge, with a 17-7 win.