Midseason Report: Districts, Ballers, Questions and More

Shavar Manuel, Blake 2016 DE


Pinellas Park 5-0: The Patriots have out scored their opponent 155-45. The potent running game is the staple of the offense. 9.14 yards per carry and 2056 yards on the season, Pinellas Park Patriots are on a collision course with the Mighty Eagle of East Lake on 10/25.

Plant City 4-0: The Raiders are getting it done. We have been waiting for the talent to harvest big time results and now we are getting it. The Raiders have been “Riiiiight at that point” for the past few seasons and now it seems like everything is clicking. The defense has allowed just 23 points in 4 games and the offense has scored 25 points or more in all but one contest.

Land O’Lakes 5-0: A rough few seasons prior to this one, but the hard work and grind is paying off. Solid on the ground, deadly through the air, the Gators are marking their territory as the top predators in Pasco County. The defense has been nothing less than excellent this season and must be even better as the harsh part of their schedule is on the way.


James Pensyl, Land O’ Lakes 2015 QB – 1277 passing yards to date. Tops in our area.

Garrett Young, Cambridge 2015 QB – 1007 passing yards of his own.

Ray Ray McCloud III, Sickles 2015 RB/ATH – 801 rush yards. On pace to hitting the 1500 yards mark this season.

T.J. Simmons, Lakeland Christian 2015 RB – 851 rush yards and 8 TDs. Top rusher in our coverage area.

Justin Henderson, Lake Wales 2015 RB – 11 TDs. Simply put, he knows which way the end zone is.

Caleb Lewis, Victory Christian 2015 QB – Just 3 interception and 1134 yards with 12 passing TDs. Escalating on the chart of 2015 QB prospects.

Anthony Rhynes, Middleton 2014 WR – Middleton has struggled. But this Tigers leads the area in receiving yards with 565 big ones.

Tobias Culpepper, Fort Meade 2014 WR – 13 receptions for 248 yards and 4 receiving TDs.

Kendrick Holland, Winter Haven 2014 WR – The popular prospect has not been targeted much, but done as much as possible with the ball when he gets it. 14 catches, 391 yards and 1 receiving TD.

Nekari Jones, Victory Christian 2014 WR – Big time sleeper and has done nothing but produce. Product of great route running and solid QB play, Jones has 464 receiving yards on the season.

Dereck Boles, Lakeland 2014 DT – As the Dreadnaughts has suffocated their competition, the defensive line is feasting on QBs. Boles leads the team in sacks with 7 and 34 tackles to add.

Xavier Gaines, Frostproof 2016 QB – completing 51% of his passes for 678 yards and 9 big TD passes. Only 3 interceptions.


Gaither 2-3: The rollercoaster season continues for Gaither. One week they look like a playoff team. The next, not so much. The Cowboys are having trouble producing positive yards on the ground and trough the air. As a result, they are not producing enough points to win ball games.

Wharton 3-1: How good are the Wildcats? Wins vs. Riverview and Spoto were convincing but don’t scream “Killer Cats”. Blowout loss to Plant City and dogfight with a gritty East Bay team, make us wonder, “Are the Wildcats as good as we thought they would be?” This half of the season, will tell. District play continues and their 8A-6 district is wide open. Is this the year Wharton is the Top Cat in the County with the Plant Panthers showing a little vulnerability?

Pasco 2-2: Comes to a shock to us all, but Pasco has 2 losses on their record. This hasn’t happened since 2009 when the Pirates finished the season 9-2 with a district championship. The most shocking number is not in the “L” column, but the turnover column. In just 4 games, Pasco has lost 10 of 13 fumbles. That means, they have given opposing teams 10 opportunities to score points and stopped themselves from scoring 10 times. If Pasco cleans up the turnovers, this is a different story.

Haines City 3-2: Let’s take a look at the Hornets. 3-2 with losses to one of the better teams in Polk County (Winter Haven) the first game of the season by 3 points and a 21 point loss to the best team in Polk County (Lakeland). Other than that, 3 wins by a total point spread of 141 points. That includes one of the more talented teams in Polk County (Lake Wales). We think they are pretty good.


7A: East Lake, Lakeland, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Sickles
6A: Armwood, Land O’Lakes
3A: Lakeland Christian
2A: Canterbury
Sunshine State – South: Seffner Christian

BEST GAME (We have seen in person)

Lake Gibson at Lakeland – Fall Classic: Yes, a Fall Classic. Line Lakeland up vs. Lake Gibson in sporting event and be ready for sparks to fly. This game was a perfect example of two programs that don’t lose sleep over the other. The game was bursting with big plays, big hits, lots of hustle, key moments and in front of a full-size crowd. The game came down to the last series of the game and Lake Gibson forced an interception to preserve the win and beat their crosstown rival. The Braves celebrated as if it was a championship contest and Lakeland showed their disappointment in more ways than one. Even though the game did not count in the books, it counted to those kids, coaches and fans.


Isaac Holder, Sickles 2015 QB – Is having a monster year so far. 674 pass yards, 264 rush yards and 11 total TDs. Vs. Newsome, he passed for 215 yards, 2 TDs. Followed that performance up with a 301 yard night, add 3 passing TDs vs. Steinbrenner. The Gryphon QB has proved to be a handful and a great compliment to RB, Ray-Ray McCloud. Sickles is currently 4-0.

Caleb Lewis, Victory Christian 2015 QB – Check out this stat line for this young man: 77 completed pass, 139 attempts, 3 interceptions, 1134 passing yards and 12 passing touchdowns. The 2015 prospect leads Polk County in passing yards. We have hinted about this young man on twitter without mentioning his name several times. The cat is out of the bag now and there is no going back.

Colby Brown, Plant 2014 QB – First year starter, Colby Brown has done some good things in a short time for the Panthers. Equipped with a strong arm and good pocket presence, the senior QB has thrown for 979 yards in the first half of the season.


Mark Kantor, Hudson – On the field, Hudson lost 20 straight games from 2010-2011 (1 forfeit win in 2010). Exit Justin Fenton as head coach and enter Mark Kantor as the new head coach in 2012. The Cobras won 3 games in 2012 under the new regime and have already matched that total this season. Kantor and his Cobras are 3-1 so far and 1-0 in the district. The team has been competitive with the majority of their offensive yards coming by way of the ground. 991 total rushing yards and 300 passing yards. His defense has forced 6 interceptions and recovered 3 fumbles. They are playing well and winning. The confidence level is at an all time high and the Cobras have a chance to win their district.


Pierre Johnson, Pinellas Park 2014 – Has done just about everything for the Patriots. 2nd on the team in rushing yards (516) and receiving yards (76). 1st on the team in All purpose yards (592, 118 ppg), 43 tackles, 23 solo, 3 interceptions, 3 force fumbles and 8 pass defended.

Chavez Pownell, Jefferson 2014 CB – Check this out
Receptions – 15 (1st on team)
Receiving yards – 341 (1st on team)
Total TDs – 2
Tackles – 32 (2nd on team)
Interceptions – 4 (1st on team)
Sacks – 2
TFL – 2

Shavar Manuel, Blake 2016 DE – 9.5 sacks this year. Will be one of the best prospects in the 2016 class. The Florida “Big 3” will be all over him. Playing like a big time prospect thus far half way through the season.


6A-8: Armwood, Chamberlain, King, Jefferson, Hillsborough, Blake, Robinson, Lennard, Leto – The 9 team district is about to get interesting. Armwood and Chamberlain are both undefeated in the district. King and Jefferson have one loss. Hillsborough opened up the season with the two best teams in the district (Armwood and Jefferson) and lost both games, but recovered with wins over Leto and Lennard. Blake and Robinson are also sitting with 2 losses in the district. Anything can happen especially if King or Chamberlain knock off Armwood. Lets say Armwood wins the district as we expect, Hillsborough can be in the mix for a three-way tie for 2nd place if they beat King and Chamberlain, King beats Jefferson and Chamberlain loses to Armwood and Jefferson. Don’t count out Blake and Robinson just yet. This district is far from over as 2 playoff teams from the 2012 season will be left home when it is all said and done.


8A-6: Wharton, Newsome, Plant, Alonso, Riverview, Bloomingdale – The district is as wide open as it has ever been. Favorite Plant has showed a weak spot, Wharton has shown potential, Alonso and Newsome have been “up and down” and we can’t figure out Bloomingdale just yet. Each team has one game of district play in the books. Wharton, Newsome and Plant are 1-0. Alonso, Riverview and Bloomingdale are 0-1. The cream will rise to the top especially with Wharton and Newsome playing tonight.