Walk on the campus at Lennard High School and the first thing that slaps you in the face are the new colors. The Longhorns have traded in the University of Texas burnt orange for the purple and gold stripes of the LSU Tigers. For many, it’s hard to associate Longhorns with LSU colors because we have been conditioned to associate the burnt orange with the University of Texas.
Once you get past the color change, that gold and purple look great up close. If you love high energy coaches, Matt Kitchie is your guy. Entering his 4th season as the head man for the Longhorns, Kitchie is super excited about the upcoming season. Look what he has done in a short period of time:
2017 1-9 (0-10) HC Matt Kitchie (forfeit win v Blake)
2018 2-8 HC Matt Kitchie
2019 7-4 HC Matt Kitchie Wildcard 7 Seed
Ha’Keem Monroe – A dynamic player with speed and a big frame at wide receiver. He will be able to stretch the field vertically for the Longhorns. Something they have not had since current Pittsburg Steeler Dionte Johnson.
Chauncey Jones – A big, physical running back. Coach Kitchie believes he will be an outstanding downhill runner. He adds a great 1, 2 punch at RB.
DJ Kellman – “Game changer at LB” Kitchie said. Gritty, with a mean inside presence.
Hayden Gondelman – Will anchor the offensive line. A division 1 caliber player receiving good recruiting interest.
Jhalin Hobbs – Is a USF commit. A big body defensive tackle who will clog gaps and demand double-teams.
Amari Jones – Will be used on both sides of the ball because of his physicality, speed, and football savviness.
Dax Corr – Will be an important part on both sides of the ball at receiver and linebacker.
At East Bay, the ball is being thrown more than it has ever been thrown maybe since the school changed the name in 1957 from Wimauma High to East Bay High. Head Coach Frank Larosa is an Indian through and through. “Do it right” guy. “Be about the team” guy. Just everything a head coach should be. Walks with pride, the Alpha. Here is what he has done, but the future is super bright:
2011 4-6 HC Frank LaRosa
2012 4-6 HC Frank LaRosa
2013 8-4 HC Frank LaRosa District Champions
2014 4-6 HC Frank LaRosa
2015 6-4 HC Frank LaRosa
2016 6-4 HC Frank LaRosa
2017 5-4 HC Frank LaRosa
2018 6-4 HC Frank LaRosa
2019 2-8 HC Frank LaRosa
Nathan Carter – 2023 quarterback who is big in stature, smart, athletic, and tough. He’s a Bloomingdale transfer and a weight room junkie. Coach LaRosa is high on his leadership.
Marlow Freyre – 2021 WR/DB from Philadelphia (move-in) who has impressed since he got to Gibsonton. Long, athletic, smart, high football IQ, unselfish, and coachable. Playmaker will have plenty of opportunities.
Vincent Ketchup – 2023 Slot/DB 5’11 Athlete was the junior varsity quarterback for the undefeated team in 2019. Vincent is long and athletic. We look forward to seeing his playmaking abilities on both sides of the ball. When he grows into his wide-shouldered frame, he could be scary!
Jordan Kow – 2021 OLB/WR has grown up a lot since a solid junior year. Developed into a leader! 6’2 with 6’6 wingspan and twitched up!!
Garrett Hines – 2021, OL/DL Returning Captain will be a three-year varsity starter. A coachable leader that is unselfish! Strong, tough technician has been solid upfront for East Bay the last two years.
Armone Bostick – 2022, RB/DB Junior athlete will carry the load offensively.
Explosive back combines strength and speed and WANTS to be the man for the Indians.