East Lake: Spring football report

Published May 24, 2007

Coach: Bob Hudson (fifth season)

2006 record: 7-3

Key losses: LB Brent Hill, DL Josh Petkovich, OL Adam Trump, OL Will Sloat.

Key returners: FB/LB Billy Byrne, FB Erin Murray, OL Phil Trump, RB/LB Micah Powell, OL Phil Varanay.

Spring skinny: The Eagles have always relied on a bruising running game and a stifling defense. Both units looked strong in East Lake's 43-3 win over Port Charlotte last week. But the Eagles also showed they can throw the ball. Quarterback Blake Robles threw 12 times. "That's probably more than we threw all last season, " Hudson said.

Key questions: How will the Eagles cope with the loss of T.J. McPhee, a junior quarterback/cornerback who was killed in a car accident in March? Can East Lake get through a tough schedule that includes six games against teams that had winning records last season?

Gamebreaker: Powell, a junior, got off to fast start last season, scoring on a 50-yard run in a win against rival Tarpon Springs. His season, however, was cut short when an ankle injury forced him to miss the last three games. Stronger, focused and injury-free, Powell is back and will run behind two hulking fullbacks and a dependable offensive line.

Schedule: Aug. 31: Largo; Sept. 7: at St. Petersburg; Sept. 14: Tarpon Springs; Sept. 20: Clearwater; Sept. 28: at Pinellas Park; Oct. 5: bye; Oct. 12: at Northeast; Oct. 19: Dunedin; Oct. 26: at Palm Harbor University; Nov. 2: at Countryside; Nov. 9: Gulf.