SUMMER REPORT: Choctawhatchee

In the late 1970s and into the 80s, Florida's Panhandle ruled football in the Sunshine State. Some 20 years later, things are starting to look like they are returning to those glory years. One of the teams to watch is one of the most talented in Northwest Florida. Fort Walton Beach's own Choctawhatchee Indians!

FORT WALTON BEACH – There are places across Florida's Panhandle that rarely get exposure when it comes to the sport of football. Thanks to the stepped up patrol in the state of Florida by, where we now have as many as 10 reporters, writing stories on any given week, things have improved when it comes to the Sunshine State.

Earlier in the recruiting season, Scott Kennedy introduced you to a pair of Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee rising stars in defensive end/tight end Craig Marshall (6-5, 220) and wide receiver/defensive back Demetrius Warmble (6-1, 175). While those two are impressive athletes in head coach Bobby Moore's arsenal, they are certainly not along on an Indian team that is ready to make some noise once again in 2005.

While Pensacola Catholic made it to the 2B state finals last year, Pensacola Senior came within two minutes of making a run at the 4A title, Panama City Bay, Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee all improved, the Panhandle, once an area where talented teams were the norm, has finally returned!

Demetrius Warmble
If a standout performer like Marshall, who has been on everyone's radar screen, or Warmble, who has been a two-year starter, are the players who get it all going and point the attention on this football program, so be it. But if you believe that these two are all this program, which has won nine district titles and a 1990 state championship are all about, you better guess again.

The Class of 2006 is simply impressive, and with a schedule that is certainly a challenge, there's some thinking that this Choctaw squad can be a player in the Race For Miami.

Andrew Ketchell
Tight end/ receiver Andrew Ketchell (6-5, 205) has made the most of his off season, attending camps and combines, where coaches were impressed. Ketchell and Marshall will split time at tight end.

Chris Myers
Two-year starter Chris Myers (6-2, 185) is back for his final season, and this is someone who can certainly make a difference with his outstanding hands and superb pass running ability.

Demi Dixon
Demi Dixon (6-1, 200) gets the chance to move into the starting linebacker position to begin the season. Here is one of the underrated football players that this state has, and throughout the summer and into the season, you will see colleges taking a closer look at him.

John Arthur
Another player who has long been a fixture on this program is John Arthur. Whether it's at linebacker or defensive tackle, this 6-1, 220-pounder, who has started for three years, will once again be back and ready to make a solid contribution.

Zak Mikel-Allen
The final player we will highlight in this look at the Indians' Class of 2006 is a two-year starter, quarterback Zak Mikel-Allen. I have heard about this 6-0, 180-pounder for the past three years. Fans, coaches and players have written me to talk about his promise at the position and how he was being passed over for statewide recognition.

The Class of 2007 is another place where you will have to look as the Indians are looking at some seven football players who figure to make a serious impact this season.

Jake Goray
Starting off this quality class is a player who is already being touted as a top 25 performer next year. Jake Goray, a 6-5, 230-pound tight end prospect can block, catch and run with the ball. He could easily be the state's top tight end prospect and he still has two years to play.

Jake Allen
In addition to Goray, the Indians also boast two-year starter at cornerback Jack Allen, a tremendous and physical 5-10, 180-pounder who was one of the area's top defensive backs last season.

Jarrell Grant
One of the players that everyone is starting to take a longer look at in this class is running back Jarrell Grant, a big (6-1, 205), physical back who could emerge into one of the elite backs in the state.

There are three linebackers who will be juniors that are expected to be solid performers. With Chris Jackson, Sean Thom and Mark Crawford all gone, Josh Courtney, Josh Cragin and Sid Cupples are very impressive and a trio that the coaching staff is excited about plugging into the lineup.

Josh Courtney
Courtney (5-10, 175) is a quick football player who has strength and enough athletic ability to give this team plenty to look forward to.

Josh Cragin
Cragin (6-2, 195) is projected as a safety at the next level, but with his size and football skills, he could become one of the top linebackers in Florida by the 2006 season.

Sid Cupples
Cupples (6-1, 180) is yet another line backing prospect who also can get it done on the offensive side of the ball as a receiver.

While there are other athletes who figure to make this team better, there's one thing for sure: The Indians will be heard from plenty this coming season.

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Immokalee, Blountstown, Miami Central, Naples Lely, Fort Myers, Tallahassee Godby, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson, Pompano, Boca Raton, Greenacres John I. Leonard, Ocala Trinity Catholic, Miami Booker T. Washington, Melbourne Florida Air Academy, Fort Myers Dunbar, Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, Davie Nova, Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee and North Fort Myers knows what it's like to have their program exposed for all to see!

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