A look at the 2010 Southeast High football team, coached by Paul Maechtle
NEEDS A BIG SEASON FROM: Dyron Speight, sr., QB
Entering his third year as the starting signal caller, the success of the offense rests in his hands. The 6-0, 180 pound senior was a model of efficiency last year throwing for 20 touchdowns with only four interceptions, while completing 126 of 220 passes for 2,077 yards, which gave him the highest FHSAA quarterback rating in the County.
Speight accounted for 2,228 of the ‘Noles 3,447 yards from scrimmage (65%) and showed a great knack for spreading the ball around with three receivers hauling in 26 or more catches led by the highly touted Boe Brand (39 receptions), who averaged 18 yards per reception.
He is the also the Noles leading returning rusher and the only one from last year who gained more than 100 yards. Speight has shown to be extremely effective in the shot gun, where he can utilize his ability to avoid the rush and throw on the run while locating his secondary receivers.
More pressure will be placed on Speight this year because the team lost its two top rushers in Waymon Bowden and LeTray Fagins (combined for 202 carries) and head coach Paul Maechtle wants to put more emphasis on the passing game, particularly going long range.
In the last two seasons, Speight has been the ‘Noles passing game, throwing for 3,383 yards with 30 TD passes while completing 227 of 399 attempts. During that stretch Brand has been his favorite target with 70 receptions for 1,154 yards and 12 TDs.
Speight loses a couple of good targets in Jon Dowling and Devon Bacon, but has some young guys waiting in the wings to take their place and there appears to be good core of running backs to take the pressure off him, though they lack experience.
The 17-year-old will be operating behind a good size offensive line with three returning starters. It should give him the time dial up some long distance play with Brand and Adrian Richard, who is ready to shine after catching 26 passes for 409 yards and four TD receptions last year.
FILLING THE VOID: Brian Poole jr, DB
The Noles lost an awful lot of talent in DB/WR Jon Dowling, the four star prospect now at Florida. But in Brian Poole Jr, they have player who could figures to be on the radar screen of every major college program by the time this season ends. The cornerback is a ball hawk with excellent speed, who will be given a look at running back this season just as Mike Jenkins did when he was with the ‘Noles. “We will give Poole at shot at running back until he gets tired. He is a 196-pound guy with 4.3 speed so he obviously can be a pretty good running back,” ‘Maechtle says.
DEEP AT: WR
This has to be the fastest receiving corps in the county with Brand and Richard leading the way and a nice conglomerate of younger pass catchers with speed to burn and a lot of athleticism. Antonio Ray, who played on the basketball team as a freshman last year, could be a guy ready to explode and how about the new receivers coach (Peter Warrick). He sure can’t hurt their development.
THIN AT: DL
The ‘Noles front four will be the most inexperienced unit of the team, particularly with Giovani Francois not expected to play. Bobby Wooten (5-8, 180) was a part-time starter last year and Josh Gordon, a transfer from Lakewood Ranch, could help. Maechtle will like alternate the other two spots among four players, including using some offensive linemen on the defensive front.
IMPACT NEWCOMER: Plenty of candidates
There are a lot of candidates here, but the person who should make an impact is sophomore Eric Thompson, who is moving to cornerback and will play some receiver after backing up Speight at quarterback last year. Other new faces who could make a name for themselves this year include transfers Josh Gordon and Myles Johnson. Freshman running back Courtney Allen could be a sleeper.
COACH QUANDARY: Staying power
There is a talent on this roster, but not a lot of depth and biggest concern is whether team sustain injuries, particularly at the quarterback/receiver positions. Linebacker Desmond Blue and Poole will split some time a running back so you don’t know how that will affect them defensively. At 6-0, 155 pounds, Brand is a concern though he has been healthy for two years and shown he can take some big hits. There is no backup QB with any experience to speak of.
CAMP STOCK: UP
Speed and athleticism dot the roster, particularly in the secondary, which is why the ‘Noles led Manatee County in least passing yards allowed last year (66 yds per game). Blue was area defensive player of the year and brings it all to linebacker spot.
CAMP STOCK: DOWN
Not a lot of depth and defensive line is untested while linebacking corps is still looking for a third quality player to peg into the missing spot. Losing Dowling and Fagans in secondary are tough voids to fill.
KEY GAME: Oct. 8 at Braden River
This game determined the 3A-District 10 title last year and it could be the same thing this season if former perennial power Sarasota Booker continues to slide.
Sept. 3 at Palmetto
Sept. 10 LAKEWOOD RANCH
Sept. 17 MANATEE
Oct. 1 at Venice
Oct. 8 at Braden River
Oct. 15 at Sarasota
Oct. 22 BOOKER
Oct. 29 LEMON BAY
Nov. 5 at Bayshore
Nov. 12 RIVERVIEW
PALMETTO W 20-3
at Lakewood Ranch L 20-16
at Manatee L 30-26
VENICE L 34-10
BRADEN RIVER W 33-6
SARASOTA W 41-19
at Booker W 41-7
at Lemon Bay W 45-0
BAYSHORE W 34-27
at Riverview W 20-3
Class 3A Playoffs
LAKE WALES L 30-27
BY THE NUMBERS
66: Passing yards allowed per game last year
20: Take-aways defense gained last season.
16: District titles won under head coach Paul Maechtle
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