Football: The 2023 Hernando County quarterback guide — June 26

Last season was a notable one for area quarterbacks with many setting school records for passing yards and touchdowns, all while leading their teams in deep playoff runs. This season could be memorable, too, with plenty of signal callers returning to contending teams. Here is the breakdown in Hernando County to get ready for the season.

Dual-sport dynamos

The county’s top two returning quarterbacks in terms of production last year are both multi-sport standouts. 

Braden Joyner, a senior, threw for 1,671 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading Central to a 5-5 record after going winless in each of the previous two seasons.  

He also averaged 12 points per game to help the basketball program reach the Class 4A region semifinals. 

Nature Coast’s Jackson Hoyt, who threw for 1,018 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago, is known more for his ability to hurl a baseball. After all, he committed to Florida as a freshman two years ago. 

Both can use their athletic ability to move the football on the ground, too. 

Hoyt rushed for 638 yards and four touchdowns last season. Joyner, who gained 203 yards on the ground in 2022, had a knack for finding the end zone with 13 rushing touchdowns. 

Quarterback competition

The biggest task Springstead had on offense this offseason was finding a replacement for Ayden Ferguson, a dynamic dual-threat quarterback who threw for 1,128 yards, ran for another 460 and accounted for 21 touchdowns (14 throwing, seven rushing) last season. 

Finding someone who can make up for that much production is a lengthy process. 

That is why the Eagles are going into August with a battle to take over the job. 

Kasey Kortman, a senior, and Tysen Norton, a sophomore, are vying for the starting spot. They each have differing styles.

Norton can be more of a multidimensional force. In the spring, he ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Fivay. But both could end up seeing playing time no matter who emerges as the front runner.  

End zones

After playing in a limited role last year, Hernando’s Michael Saltsman takes over as the starter. The move allows John Capel III, the team’s leading passer a year ago, to move to running back….Gio Martinez, who accounted for seven touchdowns (four rushing, three passing) last year, remains the top guy at quarterback for Weeki Wachee.