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Opponents have Warhawks in sight

By BOB PUTNAM

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 30, 2001


SEMINOLE -- Last season, Seminole went 10-0 in the regular season, won the district title and advanced to the regional final.

SEMINOLE -- Last season, Seminole went 10-0 in the regular season, won the district title and advanced to the regional final.

It meant everything. It means nothing.

It meant the Warhawks had turned the corner. Seminole currently has a county-best 17-game regular-season win streak, and last year's team was the first to go undefeated and advance that far in the playoffs.

It means there are bigger challenges. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world and a new season. Last year's euphoria is history.

That was not lost on coach Sam Roper. After a sluggish practice two weeks ago, he told his team they must stay focused if it wants to stay on top.

"I said, 'You can forget about reading all the newspaper clippings from last season,"' Roper said. "That's over and done with. We need to concentrate on this season. Now we have a big target on us. Everybody wants to beat Seminole."

The Warhawks lost 14 seniors, including 10 starters. Nevertheless, Seminole has the depth and talent to make another run.

"We've improved the past two years," Roper said. "Now we've gone undefeated and advanced far in the playoffs. What's the next step? Go a little deeper.

"The goal always is to win a state title. You have to be prepared for that. Who knows? Sometimes, things can fall into place, and you have to be ready."

THROUGH THE AIR: The battle at quarterback is between T.J. Layfield and Greg Wehr.

Layfield, a senior, has more experience, but Roper said he might play Wehr in order to free Layfield up to play strictly defense.

Whoever gets the job, though, will spend most of his time handing off.

ON THE GROUND: Last season's running backs are gone, including all-purpose threat Donyelle Williams. In their place, Roper will use a running back by committee system.

D'Qwell Jackson, Joey Fabrizio, C.J. Dorsey, Ryan Goshay and Morgan Riley will see time in the backfield.

Up front, the offensive line is led by Tony Lorenzetti, Brent Farmer, Ed Leverence and Ryland Galmish.

DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE! The line remains intact with Stephen Kaye, Ryan Deknoblough and Bobby Fox. Roper would like to use them solely on defense to keep them fresh.

The linebackers are Leverence, Jackson and Farmer. Fabrizio will play either linebacker or in the secondary.

Other members of the defensive backfield are Ron Perry, Riley, Goshay and Layfield.

JUST FOR KICKS: Riley and Brandon Mott will share the placekicking duties. Jackson and Riley will handle the punting chores.

SEMINOLE WARHAWKS AT A GLANCE

COACH: Sam Roper, 17th season (69-95)

ASSISTANTS: Mark DeRuzzo, Joe Fabrizio, Mike Perlin, Ray Peters, Bill Shepherd

COLORS: Orange, green and white

STADIUM: Warhawk Stadium, 8401 131st St. N, Seminole

CLASS: 5A, District 8

PLAYOFF HISTORY

ROUND OF 32: 1999 (4A)

ROUND OF 16: 1976 (4A)

QUARTERFINALS: 2000 (4A)

SEMIFINALS: 1972 (4A)

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