All Citrus team
By Times Staff
Published August 25, 2006
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: SETH METZ, Springstead and ANTOIN SCRIVEN, Citrus
COACH OF THE YEAR: BILL VONADA, Springstead. Vonada led a team that lost its starting quarterback, top rusher and most of its linebacker corps to an 8-2 record and district playoff berth.
QB - WALTER HOWARD, CITRUS, SR.: He passed for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns, and ran for four more. Could bomb the ball downfield.
RB - RICHARD CHANEY, LECANTO, SR.: Carried the load for the Panthers, making as much of an impact on offense as he did at safety. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
RB - JAMES THOMAS, HERNANDO, SR.: Rushed for more than 800 yards despite missing a game with an ankle injury and splitting carries with fellow senior Fabian Jackson. Played an important role early in the season when Jackson was sidelined with an injury.
RB - MIKE KING, SPRINGSTEAD, SR.: King injured his shoulder and had to sit out most of the final two games. Until then, he was on pace for 1,000 yards. He had eight touchdowns and was Springstead's best threat to break a long run.
WR - MARK XENOPHON, CITRUS, SR.: Led Citrus county in receiving with 27 catches and six touchdowns for 458 yards.
TE - CHRIS FERGUSON, SPRINGSTEAD, SR.: Led Springstead in receiving with 20 catches and three touchdowns.
OL - ANDREW HOFFMAN, LECANTO, SR.: Went both ways at tackle. Led Lecanto with three sacks.
OL - ANDY LEAVINE, CENTRAL, SR.: Perhaps the best offensive lineman in the area, Central used him at all five OL positions and occasionally at defensive tackle.
OL - CHRIS SIBILIA, SPRINGSTEAD: The Eagles' offensive line anchor.
OL - CHRIS BENDER, CITRUS, SR.: Center who held the line for Citrus.
OL - JODY BACKLUND, LECANTO, SR.: Better know as "Buddha," he was the vocal leader of the Panthers.
DL: PATRICK KRUIS, CITRUS, JR.: Best all-around defender in Citrus. Made 80 tackles, 14 for losses. Caused six fumbles, made three recoveries, blocked a kick and had 12 sacks, bringing his total to 24 for the past two years.
DL: BRANDON WHITE, HERNANDO, SR.: From his forced fumble in a preseason game against South Sumter to Hernando's playoff-clinching win over Nature Coast, White was a big component of the Leopards' defensive success.
DL: STAN KRUSLICKY, LECANTO, SR.: Formidable end who had 69 tackles, two sacks.
DL: JOSH GOLDEN, SR.: Played as an undersized lineman all year. Tallied 84 tackles.
LB: ANTHONY SCARANTINO, SR., SPRG: 106 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Eagles linebacker corps that fueled the best defense in the county.
LB: DUSTIN YOUNG, LECANTO, SO.: Led Citrus County with 121 tackles, and also helped out at running back.
LB: KENNY BEEKER, SPRINGSTEAD: Team leader and emotional sparkplug for the Eagles. Also ran a couple option plays to go along with four touchdowns on offense.
LB: MIKE ALLEN, NATURE COAST: Led the Sharks with 103 tackles and two forced fumbles. Rallied the troops during a difficult season.
S: ANDREW ORTIZ, SPRINGSTEAD: Teammates said when the Eagles needed a big defensive play, Ortiz was always there. He had six interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, one for a score.
CB: DUJUAN HARRIS, CENTRAL, JR.: Makes the squad as a defensive back, but he was also an electrifying return man and one of the best running backs in the area.
CB: JEREMY WELFEL, CITRUS, JR.: Led Citrus with 88 tackles. Had six sacks, blocked two kicks, caused three fumbles and recovered two.
P/K: CODY SHAFFER, CRYSTAL RIVER, SR.: Averaged 36 yards per punt and made three field goals of longer than 35 yards.
KR/PR: BROCK BYRD, KR, SR.: His last-second punt return for touchdown against Nature Coast single-handedly kept the Leopards in contention for the district title. Also a talented wide receiver.
UTIL: JOSH ORTIZ, JR., NATURE COAST: He did everything for the Sharks, rushing for 470 yards and passing for 642, both tops on the squad. He also accounted for 14 touchdowns.