BY GENE NARDI
The short spring football season started April 24, and the Seminole Ridge High School football squad has kicked it into gear with high expectations for the fall.
FHSAA rules restrict practice sessions to a maximum of 20 at the end of the school year. The training calendar also includes the popular spring classic games.
The Hawks have several returning players expecting to make an impact on the field. Last season, the Hawks missed the post-season by one game, with a district loss to Palm Beach Central High School in James Parson’s inaugural year as head coach. This spring, the Hawks look to improve on things they realized they needed work on from last fall.
“We’re always very excited about spring football,” Parson said. “We want to quicken our pace on offense and not do a huddle unless we want to slow the ball up.”
The Hawks went to an up-tempo style of offense last season and look to continue that model. “It helped us last year, but we didn’t quite attain what we wanted to, so during the off-season, we changed the verbiage and made it quicker,” he explained.
The FHSAA has implemented a new point system to determine playoff contenders for post-season play. This will go into effect for the 2017 season. “That point system is pretty big,” Parson noted.
The Hawks will rely on rising junior Kaimyn Castilla at the quarterback position. Castilla led the junior varsity last season. The Hawks also have veteran all-purpose players Justin Allie and Jeremiah Brown. Both are impact players and will see plenty of action around the ball on offense. Allie suffered a season-ending injury early on last year, but returns healthy. According to Parson, Allie is the fastest player on the team, and he is excited about his return.
Corey Polk, a freshman last season, will occupy the backfield for the Hawks on offense, along with rising senior Devon Mcminns. Dylan Mohl will return at the fullback position. There will be many new faces in the trenches for the offensive and defensive lines. Dustin Drake, Maxwell Zimmerman and Nicholas Screciu will battle it out for the center position, all weighing in at 265 pounds.
Defensively, the Hawks have big shoes to fill with graduating senior linebackers Nick Plesca and Diamond Blair, both all-area and all-conference players who participated in the Florida/Georgia All-Star game this year. Mohl will step in for the Hawks there, being a two-way player. Jonathan Fioramonte and Peter Sinoyannis will also be a big part of the linebacker corps. “We’re really excited about them,” said Parson.
Daniel Friere has the nod for the kicking game. Friere has started as the Hawks’ kicker since his freshman year and will be a junior in the fall. Nico Pieroni will be one of the primary special team return players. “He’s worked really hard in the off-season and has run track,” Parson said.
Kaleb Costain and Royal Palm Beach High School transfer Ty’Korian Brown will also contribute in the special teams department and play receiver.
Parson is optimistic about the outlook and said the team is committed to get back in the post-season race in the fall. The team is using the spring sessions to maintain its pace in pursuit of success. The Hawks host South Fork High School for the spring game on Monday, May 19 at 7 p.m.
ABOVE: Hawks running back Jeremiah Brown catches a pass during receiving drills.