It was business as usual last year for Head Coach Mark Ivey as he has won the district title in each of his three seasons at Barron Collier(both 4A and 3A). The Cougar's get it done with strength, mental toughness, and discipline. Offensively they operate out of the shotgun, but prefer to run. They will have a pair of RBs returning in Torrey Campbell and Travis Weber. Campbell was preparing for the State Track Finals on Tuesday, he will return next week. The duo combined for almost 1,300 yards last year. Tight End Jeff Heuerman(commit to Ohio State) brings an added dimension to what is an opportunistic passing game. Heuerman will help in a lot of ways. Collier always has a terrific offensive line, there were plenty of bodies competing out there today. There is expected to be competition at the QB position, Julio Gomez has experience as he picked up over 500 yards on the ground in part time duty last year.
Despite the three district titles, Collier has made early exits from the playoffs, it is the defensive side of the ball that needs to take the next step. Linebacker Joey Lohmann will be the anchor in the middle after leading the team with 119 tackles last year. Heuerman(DE) and Campbell(DB) are both expected to get minutes on the defensive side of the ball. The Cougar's have a tough road to repeat as district champions with cross town rivals Naples, Lely, and Golden Gate as well as Lee County teams Lehigh, East Lee County, and Cypress Lake in the mix. It should be as competitive of district as there is in the state.
The Golden Gate Titan's struggled to a 2-8 record in Head Coach Steve Crowley's first season. A closer look would show that they were competitive in almost all their games, they need to play better in the 4th quarter. With a year in Coach Crowley's system, the Titan's looked ready to rebound on Tuesday. The defense will have to carry this team and they have talent at all three levels. Fedney Delphonse and Shannon Lopez will anchor the defensive line, Stanley Sylverain the LB core, and Peterson Janvier the secondary. All are D-1 prospects and looked in improved shape from last year. A solid offensive line will buy time for some play-makers to emerge. They play in the same district as Collier which as mentioned should be very competitive. The Titan's are going to need to find a way to get some wins against their county rivals to make the playoffs.
We will be back later this Spring to check in on Naples, Gulf Coast, Lely, Immokalee, and Palmetto Ridge.