Football preview: Pasco — Aug. 1


At a glance

Coach: Alphonso Freeney, first season

Class: 3, District 7 (Suburban)

Last season: 0-8

Key players: QB/TE/MLB Sid Allen, Jr.; RB/CB Tayshaun Balmir, Sr.; WR/CB Nazyrh Freeman, So.; OT/MLB Tyreese Grose, Jr.; DE Cody Juarez, Sr.; WR/CB/FS JJ Johnson, Jr.; WR/SS Enrique Matos, Sr.; C/OT Kenneth Meeks, So.; QB/WR/FS Angel Miles, Jr.; OT/C Mason Pippin, So.; OG/DE Anthony Pratt, Sr.


Aug. 19 vs. River Ridge, 7:30 (preseason)

Aug. 26 at East Ridge, 7:30

Sept. 2 at Fivay, 7:30

Sept. 9 at Hudson, 7:30

Sept. 16 vs.Hernando, 7:30

Sept. 23 Bye

Sept. 30 vs. Cypress Creek, 7:30

Oct. 7 vs. Auburndale, 7:30

Oct. 14 vs. Zephyrhills, 7:30

Oct. 21 vs. Crystal River, 7:30

Oct. 28 at Wesley Chapel, 7:30

Nov. 4 vs. Central, 7:30


Former Mitchell offensive line coach Alphonso Freeney took over a winless program that had just 24 players on the roster. He put together a staff of assistants, such as Bruce Patterson and Cortez Stubbs, among others. They all worked increasing the numbers – and the enthusiasm. It worked. The Pirates now have 68 players who attended workouts regularly this summer. And Freeney was just as proud of getting the 6-7 players who were academically ineligible cleared to play this fall. The running game could be electric, especially with Tayshaun Balmir leading the way. In the spring, Balmir totaled 170 yards on just six touches against Cypress Creek. The offensive line is led by Kenny Meeks and Mason Pippen. There will be some balance with a passing game that has big-play potential. Angel Miles is a dual-threat at quarterback who will also play in the secondary on defense. The top two receivers are Nizer Freeman and JJ Johnson. The defense will be young but athletic with defensive linemen Anthony Pratt and Cody Juarez and linebacker Tyreese Grose leading the way. Enrique Matos will be used in more of a utility role.