Land O’ Lakes running back Kyle Leivas racked up 1,050 yards rushing and scored a dozen touchdowns as a junior in 2017.

Land O’ Lakes High School is coming off a 4-5 campaign under former coach Brian Wachtel. The Gators head into the 2018 campaign under the direction of newly chosen Chad Walker, a former college assistant. Walker inherits a talented Gators’ group, and much is expected of Land O’ Lakes this fall. We take a closer look at Land O’ Lakes in our ‘Around the county’ previews leading into prep football season.

Head coach: Chad Walker (First year)

Last year’s record: 4-5

First game: Aug. 24th vs. Inverness Citrus

Key returners: Myron Bloom, Kyle Leavis, Clayton Hendriksen, Ethan Forrester, Nathan Howard, Isiah Wells, Corbin Doers, Trevor Jones, Jimmy Sandifer, Jacob Neary

SCOOP: Everything starts on the offensive end of the ball for Land O’ Lakes, as they’ll ride the legs of senior running back Kyle Leivas. Leivas was a workhorse last season for the Gators’ offense, as he rushed for a team-high 1,050 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Land O’ Lakes averaged 192 yards rushing as a team last fall and should surpass the 200-yard-per game mark this season. Quarterback Ethan Forrester is back under center for the Gators after throwing for 781 yards and five touchdowns last fall. Leading the defense for Land O’ Lakes will be senior linebacker Myron Bloom, who made 76 tackles a year ago.