- October 23, 2015
WINDERMERE — Roughly six months after hoisting the Sunshine State Athletic Conference trophy, the Windermere Prep football team was back on the practice field last week as the Lakers kicked off spring practice.
“It feels awesome just to get back out here, going again,” head coach Jacob Doss said as his team wrapped up its first week of practice on Friday. “The enthusiasm is high from the kids.”
The excitement from the new and returning players for the Lakers to be part of a championship-caliber program is important, because if Windermere Prep is going to be a contender once again in 2015, it is faced with the daunting task of finding enough players to step up after the departure of its remarkable senior class.
Standouts such as running back Chris Granjean, receivers Michael Stones and Isaiah Curry, tight end Kevin Babich and utility player Rayan Rafae, among others, are not players who can easily be replaced at the skill positions.
“We still need to figure out who’s going to be carrying the ball and who’s going to be catching it,” Doss said, evaluating the situation. “We’re having to revamp the offense a little bit to make it more suited to what we’ve got.”
One of the most important factors will be the play of Parker Davis, the Lakers’ rising senior quarterback — someone who, after having to sit out the championship game because of an injury, is happy for the moment just being out on the field.
“It’s nice to be back out — I haven’t played since that game I got hurt in October,” Davis said. “(My job is) getting (my teammates) acclimated and to make them feel comfortable out here.”
Davis, a quiet leader by nature, has an understanding of what will be needed of him through this transition, Doss said.
“I’ve seen it a lot — he’s changed. He’s been a little bit more vocal,” he said.
Already, both Doss and Davis have noticed players who have come back to spring camp improved. Doss said the offensive line is more experienced and stronger, and the coach-quarterback combination mentioned strong play and potential from rising seniors Zack Heaney, Brett Dioguardi and rising junior Mitchell Darrow — Windermere’s backup quarterback who led the team in Davis’ absence in the SSAC Florida Bowl finale.
“Mitchell Darrow — he can play any position on the field,” Doss noted. “He’s played them all, and he does it with a smile on his face.”
Windermere Prep will get its first taste of game action since its SSAC title painted a big target on its back in the program’s spring game on the road against CFCA.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].