tampabay.com

Something old, new

By DOUG KATES
Published August 25, 2006


ST. PETERSBURG - Admiral Farragut Academy plans on using the West Coast offense to keep opponents guessing this season. A veteran quarterback and freshman receiver could team up for big plays through the air, while senior leadership in the backfield should power the ground attack.

GROUND GAME: Coach Chris Miller compares senior Kreg Brown to movie characters Rambo and Rocky.

"He keeps coming at you," the coach said. "He's the leader on the team. He's a real good player. We're going to try every way to get him the ball."

Also in the backfield is sophomore fullback Noah Silverburg. "He'll get his touches," Miller said, but primarily his duties will be blocking.

AIR ATTACK: Senior quarterback Richie Vetter split time with Brown last year, but still threw for more than 450 yards. Miller has high hopes for Vetter as he takes over the quarterback position full-time.

"We expect him to have a solid season," Miller said. "We really want to have a balanced offense."

Freshman Josh Burch is nearly 6 feet tall and caught two touchdown passes in the spring game. "He's very fast," Miller said. "We try to have three to four explosive plays per game. He had three alone in the spring game."

Senior tight end Bill Tierney will be asked to execute quick routes and block when called upon. Miller calls Tierney "a complete player."

DEFENSE! DEFENSE! The Blue Jackets' defense will benefit from the strength of experienced players. Brown will be a leader from the safety position. Junior Hayden Buttner should be an excellent run-stopper from defensive end. "He's outstanding controlling the perimeter," Miller said.

Senior outside linebacker Zak Wides, who didn't play last year, had a great spring game with two sacks and six tackles.

KICKING GAME: Senior David Gans is talented in all aspects of the kicking game. Miller said Gans kicked a 47-yard field goal without a tee in the spring. Miller speculates a 50-yarder is possible during the regular season.

"He's a converted soccer player," Miller said. "He kicked for us last year and did a nice job." Gans also will handle punts and kickoffs.

"Eighty-five percent of his kickoffs were in the back of the end zone," Miller said. "When the other team starts at the 20, it's huge for us."