The Gulf Coast Sharks travel to Gary Bates Stadium to face the Immokalee Indians on Friday night. The Sharks are looking to get revenge after last season’s 47-0 drubbing and avoid a three-game losing streak in the series.
The Immokalee Indians posted an 11-1 overall record last season, winning each game by an average of five touchdowns. The Indians won the District 12 championship before losing in the 5A regional final to Palmetto. Head Coach Jerrod Ackley, entering his third season, has almost his entire starting lineup back and will try to lead his Indian squad to a state championship, a title they have not won since 2004. The 2012 Indian team features Division-I talent at almost every position. Senior Tshumbi Johnson returns for his fourth year as starting quarterback for the Indians. According to Rivals.com, Johnson is the #56 ranked athlete in the nation and has committed to play at the University of South Florida. His backfield is highlighted by the #19 all purpose running back in the country in Jacky Marcellus. Marcellus has signed to play at West Virginia University. J.C. Jackson, Xavier Richardson and Jummy Victorin all return as starters to form an athletic wide receiver core. Deadrin Senat will anchor, both, the offensive and defensive line. He is ranked as the #23 overall defensive tackle. Joslin Alberique and Mackenro Alexander will round out a formidable linebacker core. Alexander is committed to play at Florida State University. Finally, Mackensie Alexander will be in the secondary as the #7 ranked cornerback in the nation.
The Gulf Coast Sharks will have a new head coach at the helm in 2012. Pete Fominaya enters to try and turn the Gulf Coast football program around. The Sharks had a disappointing 2-8 season in 2011 to extend their streak to three straight losing seasons. Zimon Brennan will lead the Shark’s offense at quarterback in his first season as a full-time starter. The backfield will feature a trio of running backs who will give the Sharks different approaches to running the ball. Senior Brandon Mulling, junior Wes Dawson and sophomore Gage Rion will all see action at the running back position. The defense will return five starters from last season. The defense will be a focal point of this year’s team. The defense gave up almost 36 points per game last season, a stat coach Fominaya hopes to quell with physicality. Hendric Olibrice and Tanner Roe will return at cornerback to help give the Sharks some experience in the secondary. John Hoppensteadt and Jake Bernard will patrol the middle at linebacker, while Will Guiterrez will anchor the defensive line.
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