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Northeast: Pinellas progress report

By BOB PUTNAM
Published May 29, 2007


Northeast

Coach: Jay Austin (first season)

2006 record: 7-3

Key losses: DB Cortez Gaithright, OL/DL Dylan Mundella, OL John Solar

Key returners: DL/TE Javontae Boyd, RB Jeff Brinson, OL/DL Pat Hanley, QB/LB Armando Sanchez, RB Juarez Wynn

Spring skinny: The Vikings have a star-studded team with three players - Boyd, Brinson and Sanchez - receiving several offers from Division-I schools. Brinson showed he can handle the bulk of the carries on offense, rushing for 271 yards and three touchdowns in roughly three quarters against Lakeland George Jenkins in the spring game. But Northeast will strive for balance among its backfield and could air it out more.

Key questions: How will Austin fare taking over the program from his father, Jerry, the county's all-time winningest coach who retired in December? Can the Vikings get past district rival Bradenton Southeast for the second straight year?

Gamebreaker: Wynn is the less-heralded member of the Vikings' backfield, but he has the ability to score from anywhere. Against George Jenkins, he scored on a 70-yard pass from Sanchez and on a 55-yard run.

Schedule: Aug. 31: St. Petersburg; Sept. 7: at Dixie Hollins; Sept. 14: at Gibbs; Sept. 21: at Bradenton Southeast; Sept. 28: bye; Oct. 5: Boca Ciega; Oct. 12: East Lake; Oct. 19: at Bradenton Bayshore; Oct. 26: Lakewood; Nov. 2: Osceola; Nov. 9: at Largo

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

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