High school spring football gets underway on Monday. In the days leading up to the first practice for schools in Lake and Sumter counties, we will take a quick look at each of the 13 football programs in the area.
TEAM: Tavares Bulldogs
HEAD COACH: Scott Armatti
LAST SEASON: 2-8 overall, 1-3 Class 5A-District 13
KEY LOSSES: James Dinkins (CB, SB); P.J. Williams (RB, FS); James Barnes (RB); Schuyler Purdy (OT)
KEY RETURNERS: Kaleb Leafers (SB, CB); Taylor Lunsford (QB, WR); Nikolas Gonzalez (RB); Parker Sears (RB, FS); Jeffery Lambert (OLB); Wyatt Johnson (C)
SPRING GAME: May 16 vs. Pine Ridge
REGULAR SEASON OPENER: Aug. 25 at The Villages
SPRING OUTLOOK: A two-win season may not sound like much, but for Tavares it was a definite step in the right direction. After going 1-9 in one season under former coach David LaMarre, the Bulldogs turned to Armatti to get things turned around. Nothing showed the progress more than a 52-20 drubbing of Poinciana late in the season. That win allowed Tavares to double its win total from the year before. This spring the Bulldogs will work on putting some new systems in place.
COACH SPEAK: “We’ve really built on what we started last year,” Armatti said. “When we came in we established a culture of how we want our players to act on campus, in the community and on the field. That carries over and permeates everything we do. Being my second year, we all have relationships with the kids now and I feel really good about the group of kids we have.”