Lakewood: Pinellas Progress Report

Over the next couple of weeks, the Times will offer a comprehensive report on each team and its progress during spring practice.

Published May 25, 2007

Coach: Otis Dixon (third season)

2006 record: 3-7

Key losses: QB Corey Henderson, WR Ronnie Lane, RB/DB Jeff Ardis, LB Kevin Hartzog, S Cedric Sutton, NT David Woods, RB Jonte Green

Key returners: DB Paul Britten, QB Jacquez Jenkins, RB Bernard Reedy, K Eric Cuoco.

Spring skinny: Lakewood will boast several young, first-time starters in skill positions; but if Friday's 27-21 win over Barron Collier is any indication, the Spartans should be fun to watch. Jenkins showed his dual threat capability - and his poise - by tossing two touchdowns to Joe Powell in the final 69 seconds for the come-from-behind victory. The Spartans will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, but Dixon said even with new offensive coordinator Shannon Brooks, the offense should remain the same.

Gamebreaker: Reedy. The 5-10 speedy sophomore served as a kick returner and defensive back last year, but should get plenty of touches this season as tailback, receiver and return specialist.

Key questions: The Spartans struggled against the run last year - with Woods gone, can they keep their defense off the field? Will Lakewood take advantage of an early-season schedule with four of the first five games at home?

Schedule: Aug. 31: at Gibbs; Sept. 7: Pinellas Park; Sept. 14: Clearwater; Sept. 20: Boca Ciega; Oct. 5: Bayshore; Oct. 12: at Largo; Oct. 19: at Osceola; Oct. 26: at Northeast; Nov. 2: at Southeast; Nov. 9: St. Petersburg.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer