The Spring action heats up over the next 48 hours like it is a midsummer’s night as seven jamborees take place in Hillsborough County, plus a prime-timer down in Bradenton when Lakeland heads down to face Venice and Manatee along with several other teams that will play four-quarter games throughout the other three counties in the BCP area. Here are six games (jams and full games) tonight that we feel if you haven’t made plans yet, then you should consider making the trip for this evening.
Game #1: Armwood vs. Tampa Bay Tech -(Jamboree)
So many things to check out in this quad with athletes and big-time prospects everywhere, and on every team for that matter. Armwood begins life without “that dude” on their roster, whether it is a Matt Jones type or a Byron Cowart type. That actually makes things pretty exciting for us given that we expect to see the Hawks hang their hats per usual on the ground game and play stifling defense. The interesting part in the equation for Coach Sean Callahan and his squad is they’ve got the ability to open it up if they so choose. The Hawks are arguably just as loaded as last season in many cases and with a little more reps they might be poised to make a seamless run back to Orlando.
Tampa Bay Tech is sans Deion Cain, but don’t you dare think this means they are without loads of talent. They’ve got Daquon Green, they’ve got QB Trent Wyatt returning and they’ve got the judge, jury and executioner in Marchalo Judge out on the island to help neutralize the Hawks studs at the wideout position. The Titans are well-coached and will be without fear or intimidation (even if it’s just two quarters) when they line-up tonight; something that many teams have experienced once they go from the film room to the actual field of play.
Game #2: Strawberry Crest vs. Plant City -(Jamboree)
We expect big things from the Chargers this season and expect that 1-9 record from last season to be an afterthought once the playmakers we’ve seen during the offseason get the reps and chemistry set in place. Both these teams are located in the Tampa Bay area’s toughest district and will have to play near-perfect week-in, week-out. Both squads have QB’s that can spin it, they have wideouts and hogs in the trenches that will seek-and-destroy at a moments’ notice. We expect this second half of the quad to be just as entertaining as the first half.
Game #3: Lakeland at Manatee and Venice -(Jamboree)
The real attraction will be when the ‘Canes and the ‘Naughts line-up. Venice will have to replace a ton of playmakers on their roster. The Indians are not devoid of talent, but their newest version will have to take their lumps until they can get the reps and the game slows down. Lakeland is one of those squads with talent everywhere and will facing a Manatee squad that has created as many headlines in the offseason as they did during the regular one; and not in a good way. Regardless of the “outside variables” that have come into play with Manatee, the ‘Canes will give Lakeland fits if the Dreadnaughts can’t start fast. Lakeland is facing a season in which many believe they have run out of excuses when it comes to getting to Orlando.
Game #4: Plant, Robinson and Jefferson -(Jamboree)
Doesn’t matter what combo is out there when these three teams face each other. All three can boast having major impact players at key positions with one extra juicy factor being these teams naturally despise one another. All three have QB’s that will be playing at the next level plus insanely active players in the trenches that could cause problems and a little adversity for the signal-callers.
Game #5: East Bay vs. Lennard -(Jamboree)
Again, the sample size will be small with just two quarters of play, but both these squads bring big-time talent to the fold and are in the same boat as ‘Crest/Plant City in comparison that both are in the same district and will be trying to play balls-to-the-wall without giving up the goods on film when the Fall comes. Lennard’s coming off a phenomenal season and East Bay is primed to be THE spoiler in that district of doom (7A-9) if we are reading the cards correctly on this squad.
Game #6: Largo at Pinellas Park -(Full game)
There’s a lot to watch in this game as styles make fights. Largo’s got the goods to ground-and-pound as well as try and have-a-go at it through the air, but Pinellas Park is all about the Wing-T. Both sides have bruising defenses and guys in the trenches that are bonafide bullies when the lights come on. The Packers have an opportunity to get their rising sophomore QB Isaiah Bellamy some quality work while the Patriots get the chance to find out what needs to be done in order to fully prepare themselves for the hardest district in Pinellas County come this Fall.