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Zephyrhills looks to rebuild

The Bulldogs will have fresh faces at quarterback and running back as they try to rebound from a sub-.500 1999.


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2000

ZEPHYRHILLS -- When the Zephyrhills defense lines up against the Bulldogs offense in Thursday's Orange and Black game at 1 p.m., all eyes will be riveted on new quarterback John Briscoe.

And when the other defense takes the field, those players might have to blink to check if they're seeing double.

"He may quarterback both of them," Zephyrhills coach Tom Fisher said of Brett Cimorelli's heir apparent.

Quarterback is only one block in the Bulldogs' rebuilding effort. Zephyrhills was not too good to begin with last year. And that was before a 3-7 record became 0-10 after three wins were taken away by a Florida High School Activities Association ruling that the Bulldogs used an ineligible player.

"The kids who came back, they know we won those three games," Fisher said.

"We'll just have to build on that."

So far, spring practice has brought a few changes.

And we're not talking just among the players. Coaching roles also have changed in an effort to avoid a third consecutive losing season.

Quarterback is not the only vacancy in the offensive backfield. With running back Terry Allen out of the picture, Michael Moody and A.J. Devonshire are auditioning for the key rushing role.

Len Sones, a bruising blocker, should occupy the other backfield spot.

Who calls the plays also could change. Fisher has spent the spring calling the defensive signals while longtime defensive coordinator Chris Bounnell and assistant Gary Butler have been co-offensive coordinators. "We had most of the defense coming back. That's why Fisher fired me," Bounnell said jokingly. "None of the offense is coming back.

"That's why he hired me for offense."

"We wanted a fresh look on both sides of the ball," Fisher said. "It's just getting somebody else's viewpoint as far as play selection."

Fisher said the coaching roles might be switched back when players return to practice in August.

"We don't know yet," he said.

For now, Bounnell said, "We're still Tom Fisher's offense, multiple sets, mix them up."

Frustrating the coaches is ongoing absences due to tutoring for finals, field trips or unforeseen reasons such as the memorial service for Wesley Chapel freshman Amy Eifel, who died Friday in a car crash. "If we had our first team here every day, we'd be in good shape. It's just every day, it's somebody (missing)," said Bounnell, noting that eight players missed Tuesday's practice.

Added Fisher, "Nobody's actually skipping practice that I know of. It's just that they've got to do this or do that."

Next on Fisher's to-do list is coming up with a defense to stop Briscoe. Or should it be two defenses?

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