A look at the 2010 Lakewood Ranch football team, coached by Shawn Trent.
NEEDS A BIG SEASON FROM: Reggie Lindsey, sr., QB
All the pieces seem to be in place on offense with a big, experienced offensive line and running back Taryn Laws entering his third season as a starter. There is also some talent at wide receiver though a bit untested.
But for the Mustangs to be operating at maximum efficiency they need a big year from senior quarterback Reggie Lindsey, who took over the job as a sophomore.
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The six-foot, 180 pounder has the talent to keep defenses honest and not allow them to key in on the Mustangs run game. He is a dual threat quarterback, who can hurt opponents with his arm and legs and is the leading rusher among the returning quarterbacks in Manatee County.
Lindsey accounted for 18 of the Mustangs 27 touchdowns last season, throwing for 11 TDs and running for seven to tie for the team lead. He was also responsible for 1,722 of the Mustangs 2,971 yards from scrimmage, completing 93 of 200 pass attempts for 1,326 yards and rushing for 396.
Lindsey showed marked improvement last year with his ability to read defenses, check off to his secondary receivers and run when it was his best option. He is a very shifty in the open field, can create opportunities for himself when things break down and knows how to use his blockers.
He earned the respect from his peers last spring when he took a fastball in the face during a baseball game that required major surgery, but was back on the field before the season was over and participated in spring football.
Lindsey learned a lot last year under the tutelage of former Miami All-American Ken Dorsey, who is playing in the Canadian Football League this summer and will not be with the Mustangs.
It puts the QB somewhat on his own this season, but he seems more than capable of handling things with his knowledge of the game, athleticism and accurate arm. It will make things easier for Laws, who hopes to go over 1,000 yards running behind the Mustangs huge offensive line.
FILLIING THE VOID: Josh Nauman, OLAustin Reiter, the heart and soul of the offensive line last year, is now at the USF. With an offense that will rely heavily on the run, the Mustangs seem to have the perfect person to replace him in the 6-5, 290 pound Nauman. Big strong and agile with good run blocking skills, the guard will be expected to spearhead the run game and provide protection for Lindsey to get the passing game going.
“Josh is a very large human being and colleges have shown a lot of interest in him. He is the leader of the offensive line, which is hands down the strength of our offense,” head coach Shawn Trent said.
Nauman will headline one of the area’s biggest and most experienced offensive lines that is expected to average about 300 pounds per man. He is the only senior among in the experienced returnees.
DEEP AT: OL
There are four returning starters on the offensive line, which is considered the deepest and most talented unit on the team. It paved the way for tailback Taryn Laws to rush for 984 yards last season and is expected to help him get over the 1,000 single season and 2,000 career rushing mark this time around.
THIN AT: DL
Though this is the least experienced unit on the team, the Mustangs still have a few players returning who put some time in with the front four last year. Trent said this unit will be filled out by committee, but two players who could shine here are seniors Brian Scott and Austin Slade.
IMPACT NEWCOMER: K.J. Brown, DB
He has some big shoes to fill at cornerback replacing Jared Brinton, who started four years and is now at Pasadena Community College in California. He has speed and athleticism, which will be needed in district games against Charlotte and Palmetto.
COACH QUANDARY: Unexpected loss
Mustangs suffered a major blow with unexpected loss of linebacker Kyle Riley-Hawkins, considered the backbone of the defense. He tore his pectoral muscle during the summer and is out for the season.
He was the leading tackler and also gone is SS Danny Zarrella (second in tackles).It means the defense will have to find someone to step up and take over the leadership role. Known for his aggressiveness and ability to swarm to the ball, Riley-Hawkins made everyone’s job on defense easier. Coaches are looking to either DB Anthony Asay or LB Harrison Skokos to take over the leadership role. They are defensive stalwarts with major college potential.
CAMP STOCK: UP
There is a lot of experience and talent on offense particularly in the three most important areas (offensive line, quarterback and running back).Laws figures to have a breakout season and could be the county’s top ball carrier and the sky is the limit for Lindsey. Turnovers hurt last season, but with both working behind a big, experienced line, look for the Mustangs to be on the plus side this year, which should add a few more victories.
CAMP STOCK: DOWN
The defensive line needs to come together and the loss of Riley-Hawkins cannot be over stated. There is also a lack of experience at wide receiver and the graduation of leading pass catcher Octavious Washington leaves a significant void. Also gone is Jake Carlton, second leading receiver last year and a hybrid on defense, who could play linebacker or safety. Top returning receiver, Daniel Clifford, had 15 receptions for 183 yards.
KEY GAME: Nov. 5 vs Palmetto
Just as it did last year, this game will likely determine the 4A-District 11 runner-up to Charlotte and post season playoff qualifier.
Sept. 3 BRADEN RIVER
Sept. 10 at Southeast
Sept. 17 EAST LEE COUNTY
Sept. 24 at Cape Coral Ida Baker
Oct. 1 at Manatee
Oct. 8 PORT CHARLOTTE
Oct. 15 BAYSHORE
Oct. 22 at Charlottte
Nov. 5 PALMETTO
Nov. 12 at Wauchula Hardee
Home games in ALL CAPS
at Braden River L, 43-14
SOUTHEAST W, 20-16
at East Lee County W, 23-20
IDA BAKER L, 37-8
MANATEE L, 35-14
at Port Charlotte W, 42-6
at Bayshore W, 35-14
CHARLOTTE L, 49-0
at Palmetto W, 17-13
HARDEE W, 35-22
Cape Coral L, 27-0
BY THE NUMBERS
16: Players with starting experience
300: Expected to be the average weight of the starting offensive linemen
-4: Worst turnover ratio among Manatee County teams last year
ON THE WEB
Shawn Trent, sixth season, 20-30 record