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Largo: 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.

By JOE SMITH
Published May 25, 2007


Coach: Rick Rodriguez (eighth year)

2006 record: 10-2

Key losses: RB Greg Harvey, TE/WR Mike Helm, DE Mark Kaigler, OL Kyle Peters, RB Antonio Patterson, RB Kim Howard

Key returners: RB Brynn Harvey, QB Leonard Johnson, C Travis Feldman, RB Desmond Whiting, WR Mario Goshay, LB Mike Marry, WR Reginald McCray

Key newcomers: OL Billy Peach, RB Marcell Durham

Spring skinny: The Packers have the tools to advance to the region playoffs again, partly thanks to Harvey. He picked up where he left off, rushing for 200 yards and two touchdowns in Largo's 14-10 win over Sarasota Riverview in the spring classic. The Packers may have lost a budding star in Howard (758 yards, 10 TDs); he was reassigned to Boca Ciega, where he'll have to sit out a year, Rodriguez said. But Whiting and Durham have shown they can help Harvey carry the Packers' run-heavy load.

Gamebreaker: Johnson, a dual-threat quarterback, has already received offers from several Division I programs, including Iowa and Iowa State. But Johnson, who combined for 1, 200 all-purpose yards in 2006, may make an equally big impact defensively, where he'll play safety against run-orientated teams and shutdown corner in passing situations.

Key questions: How will the Packers' rebuilt offensive line hold up? Can Johnson, who will play both quarterback and defensive back, stay injury-free?

Schedule: Aug. 31: at East Lake; Sept. 7: at Palm Harbor; Sept. 20: St. Petersburg; Sept. 28: Dunedin; Oct. 5: at Pinellas Park; Oct. 12: Lakewood; Oct. 19: Dixie Hollins; Oct. 26: at Seminole; Nov. 2: at Gibbs; Nov. 9: Northeast.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer