Victory Christian was slated to play its spring game at Melbourne Central Catholic Thursday but with heavy rain in the forecast, the game was canceled and the Storm’s spring football season came to a close on Wednesday.

5 things to look for in Victory spring football

Giving back to the community

Victory Christian football has partnered with the Dream Center in Lakeland. The players and coaches go door-to-door handing out food and helping with neighborhood clean-up efforts.

“We don’t want the kids to be about themselves. The coaches are the same way, we want to be about helping. It is bigger than football to us. We want to get out in the community and help in any way,” Victory head coach Kenrick Stewart said. “It’s not about us, it’s about giving back to the community.”

Stewart is setting up several community outreach events for this summer and has already taken a bus-load of players to go serve the community after workouts.

“They will go blood, sweat and tears during workouts and then go serve the community. We will do more things in the fall, as well. Whether it is cleaning up down the street, we just want to help. We will rake or sweep at different places,” Stewart said.

A rebuilding season

The Storm had 46 players report for spring camp, which is only down four from a year ago. Victory lost nine starters on offense and seven on defense from last year’s 2A semifinalist team.

“I lost pretty much the whole offensive line except one,” Stewart said. “Colton Jenner-King and Jose Peralta will return. Nathan McKenzie saw some action last year and will step in as a starter with Jiare Jackson.

“I need our offensive line to create holes for us to run in and give the quarterback some time to throw the ball. At any level of football, these guys have to come to work every single day and keep fighting,” Stewart said.

The good hands people

Jeremiah Bryd returns after starting as quarterback last season and is in a battle for the starting nod with Andrew Mayne.

“They are both battling very had. In our Red and Black game last week, Mayne kind of took over the roll. It is a battle each and every day,” Stewart said.

Cornelius Shaw appears to be the front-runner to nail down the starting running back job. James Zoffinger and Dontavious West will also see plenty of reps at the position.

“We are pretty young in the backfield, but those guys are running downhill,” Stewart said.

Ja’Quan Randolph, a rising junior, returns at wide out and should be the primary target. Also look for rising-senior Hagen Brown to see a lot of balls thrown to him at tight end. Jonathan Dehart is expected to step up and be a big receiver.

James Johnson returns to handle the kicking duties. Eighth-grader Ethan Onusz, a soccer player, will be the backup.

On and behind the D-line

Jose Peralta will start a nose guard this year and is the lone returning starter. Zoffinger and West will start at outside linebackers. Jaydon Hunter and Gabe Jean-Simon will take the inside slots.

Summertime News

Victory will compete at the annual FCA Old Rugged Cross 7v7 tournament at Lakeland Christian in July. They will also hold team camp at Masterpiece Gardens in Lake Wales.

The Storm also plans to send some players to camps at South Florida, Florida and Florida State.

2018 Victory Christian Schedule

Aug. 16: at Tampa Berkeley Prep (kickoff classic)

Aug. 24: Orlando Agape Christian

Aug. 31: Tenoroc

Sept. 7: St. Petersburg Northside Christian

Sept. 13: at St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut

Sept. 21: South Daytona Warner Christian

Sept. 28: Frostproof

Oct. 5: Zerphyrhills Christian

Oct. 12: open

Oct. 19: Tampa Cambridge Christian

Oct. 26: at Fort Meade

Nov. 2: Kingdom Prep

(Home games at Southeastern University)

Bill Kemp can be reached at Bill.Kemp@newschief.com; follow him on Twitter @BillKempSports.

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