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'Little League Legends' will be key

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 30, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- Dixie Hollins coach Mike Morey said his team has three things, size on the offensive and defensive lines, some of the fastest players he has seen in his four years at the school and a couple of players he calls "Little League Legends."

ST. PETERSBURG -- Dixie Hollins coach Mike Morey said his team has three things, size on the offensive and defensive lines, some of the fastest players he has seen in his four years at the school and a couple of players he calls "Little League Legends."

"They have a world of talent," Morey said. "They've shown they can play on Saturday afternoons. But can they play on Friday nights?"

Morey also has plenty of optimism. If games are won in the trenches, then Dixie Hollins should win its share of games. The entire offensive line returns from last year's 6-4 team.

There are so many talented wide receivers that Morey will have a hard time getting them enough playing time. And if the running backs look as good in games as they do in practice, it could be hard to stop the Rebels.

"Our passing game was not very good last season," Morey said. "I mean, we'd go an entire practice without completing a pass. Teams would just line up in the box and dare us to throw. This year, we have that dimension."

THROUGH THE AIR: Junior B.J. Hall is the starting quarterback after playing on the junior varsity team last season. Hall has a strong arm and should show it off. Jarrett Ponder and C.J. Davis are the top receivers, but Morey also is high on junior Kevin Marion.

Marion is one of the "Little League Legends," a star with the St. Petersburg Little Devils who suffered a knee injury before his freshman season and is just now recovering. Marion also is a sprinter on the track team.

"We have problems underthrowing him," Morey said. "He's just so fast. We haven't had anyone that fast."

ON THE GROUND: Will Posoa, Jeff Thompson, Dan Dicicco, Matt Hevel and Curtis Chance all started in 2000 and bench press more than 300 pounds. So there should be plenty of holes.

The backs are fullback George Lovett and tailback Art Williams. Williams is a sophomore and another "Little League Legend." Morey said Williams had 56 touchdowns in one season of pee wee football.

The Rebels must replace Andre Hall, last year's leading rusher.

DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE! Most of the offensive linemen will play on the defensive line as well. Posoa and Thompson will play end. Chance and Dicicco will play tackle.

There is some depth at linebacker. Hevel and Lovett will play inside linebacker. Anthony Kautz and Jeremy Homan are the starting outside linebackers.

The secondary has the most depth. Ponder and Davis will start at cornerback and free safety, respectively. Lorenzo Harrell and Ed James also are part of the rotation.

JUST FOR KICKS: This is not a strength, Morey said. Marion will punt, but there will be a new placekicker. Sophomore Vince Iacopelli, a soccer player, will handle those duties.

DIXIE HOLLINS REBELS AT A GLANCE

COACH: Mike Morey, fourth season (13-17)

ASSISTANTS: Dusty Boylson, Edwin Bryant, Brian Christopher, Todd Currence, Ed King, Clay Rustemeyer

COLORS: Royal blue and white

STADIUM: Rebel Stadium, 4940 62nd St. N, St. Petersburg

CLASS: 4A, District 9

PLAYOFF HISTORY

ROUND OF 32: 1996 (5A)

ROUND OF 16: 1989 (4A), 1992 (5A)

QUARTERFINALS: 1967 (2A), 1993 (4A), 1994 (5A)

FINAL: 1995 (5A)

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