Prep pulse: LaMarre set to debut as Wolves' coach
Published: Sunday, July 14, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:13 p.m.
For David LaMarre, St. Francis' new football coach, the nearly two-hour commute from the Orlando area to Gainesville isn't too bad these days. Especially when he sees the kind of progress his team is making.
So far, it has been a good summer for the Wolves.
“The players have been working hard and we have had a pretty good turnout,” said LaMarre, who replaced Matt Olesnevich, who now coaches at St. Augustine St. Joseph. “Players have been in and out with vacations, and I couldn't interrupt plans at this point. I have been very happy with the results so far. You can tell the difference in strength in a lot of players.”
One of the many positions to fill is at quarterback, and it appears it is between junior Danny Veilleux and sophomore Nick Oelrich to run the gun triple option offense that LaMarre will use as his primary offensive set.
With the gun triple option, there are two wide receivers, two slot backs, a quarterback four yards back and a running back at five and a half yards behind the line of scrimmage.
“With any new system, there is a learning curve,” said LaMarre, who has been an assistant at Winter Springs for three years and an assistant previously at Bishop Moore for six years. “It is user friendly, there are not a lot of plays. The quarterback has the option to make three reads. It fits nicely with a quick passing game. It is designed for teams that don't have a lot. It is a great equalizer. It is going to be a bigger challenge for opponents to stop it.”
Two players LaMarre is especially excited about are senior lineman Eric Junior, who will play center and along the defensive line, and junior running back/linebacker Austin Manning. Manning, who is 6-foot, 200 pounds, is getting some attention from Division I schools. The Wolves open the season with three straight road games before hosting four straight, beginning with P.K. Yonge on Sept. 20 and their big rivalry game against Oak Hall on Oct. 4.
“Both of our quarterbacks are athletic,” LaMarre said. “Whoever doesn't start will probably be a slotback. They both played in our jamboree.
“I'm really excited about it. I anticipate we will have 25 once we get started on Aug. 5. Everyone has been very welcoming. It has been a great situation so far. I'm looking forward to the season. We are moving in the right direction.”
Huge transfer: Jordyn Saulsberry, a two-time first team all-area outside hitter for P.K. Yonge and The Sun's 2011 Small School Volleyball Player of the Year as a freshman, is transferring to Ocala Trinity Catholic, according to her father, Richard Saulsberry. Jordyn recently led Ocala 16 Rox to the USAV Girls Junior National Championship, defeating North Texas Premier 16 Black last week in Dallas. She was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
The Blue Wave have plenty of talented players returning in senior setter Kayla Simmons, sophomore hitter Jac'cara Walker and sophomore middle blocker Gabby O'Connell, along with a new coach in Chad Davis. Davis, who is executive director of Gainesville Juniors, replaces Nirelle Hampton, who resigned after one season to pursue other opportunities. Davis is the third volleyball coach in three years at P.K. Yonge.
Trinity Catholic coach Cristie Mitchell has led the Celtics to two regional finals in the last three years.
“We have a great team coming, I hope she (Saulsberry) does well at the school she is going to,” Davis said. “It gives an opportunity for someone new a shot to play. We have a lot of players coming back and are extremely excited about getting ready to start on Aug. 5 (opening day of practices).”
New coach: Eastside athletic director Mike Monaghan announced this week that Lloyd Siegendorf will take over as girls soccer coach, replacing Jonathan Munoz, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. Siegendorf has more than 20 years of experience coaching in high school and club teams in Salt Lake City, Utah. He coached the Highland High girls soccer team to a state runner-up finish in 2007 and the Highland boys to the state final four in 2011.
“Lloyd will be a great fit for our program,” Monaghan said. “We are looking to make a deep run in the state playoffs and believe he is the coach that can take us to that next level.”
The Rams (11-6-2) won their fifth straight district title this past season, led by junior forward Sarah Collings.
Verbal pledge: Trenton's upcoming senior Stephen Smith recently verbally committed to play baseball at Virginia Military Institute. Smith, a shortstop/pitcher for the Class 1A state champion Tigers, hit .453 with five home runs and 45 runs scored this past season. He was the winning pitcher in the title game against Chiefland in Fort Myers. Smith was named first team all-state and academic all-state. He is also the Tigers' starting quarterback, who helped lead them to the 1A state championship game last season. Smith, who has spent four weeks in Germany this summer as part of a foreign exchange program sponsored by Trenton Rotary, is expected to sign his letter of intent with VMI during the early signing period in November.
WANTED, a good tailback: With the loss of running back Tyler Stankunas, who transferred from Newberry back to Buchholz after an impressive spring game, new Panthers coach Kepa Sarduy sent me a text message: “Newberry needs tailbacks!” Stankunas, an incoming junior, ran for 181 yards on just 11 carries in Newberry's 21-6 win at Dunnellon in the spring game. The Panthers were edged by Trenton, 36-35, in overtime in the Class 1A state semifinals last year.
All-Americans: MaxPreps, although sort of lagging since we are in July, just came out with its All-American list in softball for this past season and two area players were included, one who has graduated and one who will at the end of the 2014 school year. Both incoming senior Kalen McGill of P.K. Yonge and recent Lafayette graduate Lindsay O'Steen were named second team All-Americans for small schools. McGill edged out O'Steen for The Sun's Small School Softball Player of the Year. O'Steen is heading to Central Florida College in Ocala, while McGill already has offers from Mississippi State, South Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast.