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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Springstead takes preseason trip to Hudson


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The county's first unofficial action of the 2013 football season takes place Thursday night, when Springstead visits Hudson for a preseason classic at 7 p.m.

Following a 28-13 victory over Anclote in the spring, this marks the second game - albeit an exhibition - under new head coach Mike Garofano.

Garofano, the team's long-time defensive coordinator, was promoted to headman after Bill Vonada stepped down, ending his 15-year tenure in December.

"We're looking for guys to compete and see how we do against other competition," Garofano said. "We're looking for the right combination on the offensive line. Defensively, we're looking for newcomers to step up.

"We're focusing on fundamentals; blocking, tackling. Offensively, we're looking for blocking, ball security and ball control."

These two teams met in last year's preseason, with the Eagles rolling to a 37-0 victory at Booster Stadium. It was a precursor of things to come, as Springstead started the regular season 9-0 and captured its first district championship since 1996.

Hudson, in its first year under head coach and Springstead alumnus Mark Kantor, went on to go 3-7, a step in the right direction considering the Cobras were a combined 1-19 the previous two seasons.

The Eagles, led by repeat All-County selection Tyler Mahla at quarterback, also return All-County fullback Daniel Wright.

Add in senior tailback Kevin Bedford, who rushed for a team-best 699 yards and five touchdowns two years ago yet didn't play in 2012, and Garofano believes his talented backfield will serve as the strength of his squad.

The entire varsity team will be on display at least for three quarters on Thursday. The fourth quarter will belong to the respective JV clubs.

With the outcome not counting and the season opener at Citrus looming next week, the primary focus will be inward.

"You always want to try to win," Garofano said. "I want to see guys compete, and seeing us be physical and disciplined and fundamentally sound."

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