tampabay.com

Maturity marks Warriors

By DOUG KATES
Published August 25, 2006


SEMINOLE - Osceola High School went 2-8 last season with a core of players primarily from the junior class.

This season the Warriors are dominantly seniors and coach George Palmer believes their maturity will make a big difference.

"These kids were the heart of the football team last season," he said.

On a down side, Palmer believes Osceola has one of its toughest schedules in recent years.

He's eager, though, to see just how well the team's experience works against the opposition this football season.

GROUND GAME: One area Osceola will shine offensively is at running back, where three seniors will be in the backfield: Justin Hart, Juan McKinney and Jeremy Davis.

Palmer said Hart and McKinney will carry the load while Davis will be called upon to use this speed to beat defenses outside the tackles.

AIR ATTACK: Speaking of experience, Sergio Allen, a senior, will play quarterback for the Warriors for the third consecutive season.

"We feel he is one of the better quarterbacks in the county," Palmer said. "He's a good runner and blocks well."

The concern, though, is the receiving corps.

"That's one of our weaknesses," Palmer said. "We don't have depth at the wideouts."

Hart and senior Nick Bennett will be asked to make major contributions in the receiving game.

DEFENSE! DEFENSE! The Warriors' defense will be anchored by senior Bryce Williams, who Palmer believes is a Division I prospect.

"He's one of the best linebackers in the county," Palmer said.

Senior defensive end Tom Lewis is an intelligent player, according to Palmer, and is one who will adjust his game according to the strength of the opposing offense.

"He can be very physical," Palmer said.

Also helping out will be another senior, lineman Josh Willett.

KICKING GAME: Three-year, senior kicker Vinnie Gianfrancesco may be capable of hitting 50-yard field goals this season.

He's another player that Palmer believes is one of the best in the county.

"He's pretty consistent from 40 yards in," Palmer said. "He has enough leg to kick a 50."