LAND O’ LAKES – The growing pains the Sunlake Seahawks went through last season were tough, but they inched themselves closer to being a playoff team.
Close calls against Wesley Chapel, East Lake and Zephyrhills Christian Academy proved Sunlake isn’t far from being a winning team. This spring will give the Seahawks a chance to continue to build upon what success they had last fall.
“We are excited about the momentum that this off season has brought us,” Sunlake coach Trey Burdick said. “We are excited to see growth that our young man will show, we are excited about the additions to our coaching staff, we are excited to play football again.”
One reason the Seahawks should be very excited about the spring and beyond is the play of quarterback Kevin Spillane, who is slated to return as the starter for the spring and fall. Spillane completed 75 of 147 passes for 872 yards and five touchdowns and also rushed for another 195 yards. As Spillane goes offensively, so does the Seahawks.
“(Spillane) is a fine young man; he is the unquestioned leader of the offense and the team,” Burdick said. “Coaches dream about having kids like Kevin: 4.0 student, amazing work ethic, great teammate. We would like to see Kevin continue develop as a vocal leader, not just by example.”
Sunlake went 2-6 in the fall and are slated to play Pasco for its spring contest. The Pirates were a playoff team and should provide a stiff test, according to Burdick. If Sunlake looks to make a splash this fall, a good showing against Pasco this spring would go a long way.
“Coach (Jason) Stokes always has a well-coached and aggressive defense, so they will provide a good test for our relatively young offense,” Burdick added. “Offensively, Pasco always has speed and that always will stress defenses. I’m excited to see how our defense responds. Two years ago was a really exciting game and last year we weren’t able to play, so getting to play them again will make for a fun Friday night.”
Spring game: Pasco at Sunlake, May 21
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.