Football springs into season training

Justin Baronoff, Staff Reporter

Spring football is back, and head coach Phil Ziglar is going into his third season with the varsity football team. After finishing 5-5 this past season, Ziglar looks forward to the changes coming for the team.

“We will definitely be an improved team,” Ziglar said. “We will have more leaders than last year, and it will be a new era.”
One of the changes that will be seen in the spring game and the upcoming season include new offensive coordinator Charles Nassar, and with him, a new offensive scheme, the single-wing offense.

Nassar has been a longtime assistant coach of many Orlando high schools, including Apopka ,and he was the head coach of Leesburg for eight seasons.

“I am so excited to see what Coach Nassar has to bring,” wide-receiver and safety Alex Swenson said. “He’s a really good coach who knows what he is talking about, is always ready for practice, and makes us work harder.”

Coming into the next season, the team will be without former quarterback Michael Beaudry, who will be playing at the University of West Florida. Ziglar has announced that rising senior Zach King will be the new quarterback.

“He is a very good, confident quarterback,” Ziglar said. “Quarterbacks do not really know how to handle the single-wing offense, but Zach said ‘If it will make us win, that is all that matters.’”

King did not play much last season, except on Sept. 12, when he lead the team to a comeback 15-8 win against Winter Springs after Beaudry left the game at halftime due to sickness. Before the Bishop Moore game, King suffered a broken leg in practice and did not play the rest of the season.
King rested for a couple months before getting back to work on his speed, footwork and throwing. “I feel 100 percent and can’t wait to help turn this program around,” King said.

Although there will be many changes, one thing that will stay will be running-backs Gabe Diaz and Tristan Tucker splitting the same reps.

“Nothing will change between Tristan and I, but my goal is to get 1,000 yards next season,” Diaz said.

In preparation for the spring game on Friday, May 15, the team started full pad practices Wednesday, April 27. The team will play Lyman at Oviedo High School. Tickets will be six dollars for admission.

The team beat Lyman 20-7 in the first game of the season, but will seem to not play a significant part in the game.

“It does not matter what the scoreboard says at the end of the spring game,” Swenson said. “It is a very important time to learn and for college recruitment.”

After the spring game, the team will move into summer workouts and start the fall regular season Sept. 11 against Oviedo. The team will also be playing in a new division starting next season, moving down from 8A to 7A.

“I would say next season we will be at least district champions,” King said. “I believe that moving to 7A gives the team a new mindset to make it far.”