By STEVE LEE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 19, 2001
WESLEY CHAPEL -- The trash talk began early last week and reached its zenith Friday, with each side looking for an edge in Wesley Chapel's Blue/White spring football game.
Wildcats coach John Castelamare heard all the locker-room banter.
"The White team told the Blue team, "Do you know why you're wearing blue?,"' Castelamare recounted. "Because it's going to be a dark night."'
To add even more fuel to the fire, Castelamare put the Blue and White teams in separate locker rooms when practice began May 1. "These guys couldn't wait to get to one another," Castelamare said.
A summer of bragging rights went to the Blue squad after its 17-14 win.
"That's huge for us," said Derek Zabko, who turned a screen pass from quarterback Spencer Honeycutt into a 46-yard touchdown that gave the Blue team a 6-0 lead. "We're all teammates and stuff, but this is a real big thing."
The Wildcats are taking a business-like approach to their third season. "We'll be a lot better than last year," vowed Honeycutt, who passed for 726 yards and six touchdowns last season.
"We've still got the speed and everybody got stronger."
One would be hard-pressed to find more offensive weapons on another county team. The Wildcats are talented and deep with runners such as Kenny "Junior" Roberts, Chris Roberts, B.B. Roberts, Marcus Stewart and Tyrone Tomlin, who led the county in receiving last year (30 catches, 602 yards, 5 touchdowns).
Deven Blackmon, Stewart and Zabko also showed Friday that they will be favored targets for Honeycutt and backup quarterback Chase Polston.
Those players form the core of a large group of veterans who could give Wesley Chapel its first winning record. The team finished 5-5 last season after going 2-8 in 1999 without any seniors.
The improving Wildcats could also earn one of two district playoff berths since they are in realigned Class 3A, District 7 with Gulf, Hernando, Hudson, Pasco and Zephyrhills.
As if Wesley Chapel didn't have enough offensive firepower, it also has a new kicker in camp. Gilbert Montelongo, a transfer from Pasco, booted a career-best 55-yard field goal last season and should bolster an explosive offense.
But just as he was last year, Tomlin is the player other teams will focus on. In Friday's scrimmage, Tomlin returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown and zig-zagged his way through the defense for a 60-yard scoring run.