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'Round the County in 30 Days: Jefferson

A team-by-team look at Hillsborough County spring football.

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published May 10, 2007


Coach: Mike Fenton (second season, 9-3)

2006 record: 9-3 (lost in second round of the Class 4A playoffs)

District opponents: Blake, Leto, Plant

Jamboree date/opponent: May 17 vs. Robinson (at Blake)

Who's gone: DB Kevin Brown, DL Demarcus Cleveland, WR Evan Cromer, QB Stephen Garcia, DL Ty Hardin, TE Byron McLeod, OL Mike Williams, K Tito Zumbado

Who's back: OL Sebastian Cadavid, QB Zack Grossi, TE/DE Max Holloway, LB Gorby Loreus, LB Troy Wolfe

What's new: The starting quarterback. For the first time since 2003, the record-setting Garcia, now at South Carolina, won't be under center for the Dragons. Garcia finished his high school career as the Tampa Bay area's all-time leading passer in yardage (8, 018) and touchdowns (83). He won't be easily replaced. But in Grossi, Jefferson believes it has found the perfect successor. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder played well in a backup role last year and coaches insist he has the tools to be a major college prospect. Grossi is surrounded by plenty of talent, which should help. As usual, Jefferson will have enough playmakers at running back and receiver to make defending the Dragons a challenging task. The defense also figures to be strong. Holloway, Loreus and Wolfe, in particular, are big-time talents. Look for Jefferson to be among the area's most complete teams. But that's nothing new.

Audibles: "We're not changing anything. And we're not changing our goals. We fully expect to be back in the playoffs. And this year, we'd like to take it deeper." - Fenton

Did you know?: The Dragons have been to the playoffs eight straight seasons. During that time, they're 18-8 in the postseason.

Schedule: Aug. 24: Titusville Astronaut (kickoff classic); Aug. 31: at Hillsborough; Sept. 7: Robinson; Sept. 14: Open; Sept. 21: at Gaither; Sept. 28: Armwood; Oct. 5: at Leto; Oct. 12: Chamberlain; Oct. 18: Blake; Oct. 26: at Alonso; Nov. 2: at Plant; Nov. 9: Middleton