Lennard: The Longhorns are led by fourth-year Head Coach Matt Kitchie, who is looking to build up the football program. Sophomore Gavin Henley will take snaps at center for Lennard this season. Coach Kitchie likes Henley’s command of the offense. They aren’t going to put too much pressure on the young quarterback, primarily running the ball behind a very big and talented offensive line and setting him up with plays to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers. This spread offense likes to control the ball while heavily utilizing the running game.

Last season they had the #5 leading rusher in the state of Florida in running back Tino Hunt, who had 1,607 yards and 16 touchdowns with an outstanding 7 yards per carry average. Hunt averaged 160 yards per game in 2018, and the offense will run through the senior this season as well, giving him the bulk of the carries.

Other key players include junior running back Quay Smith, junior receiver Dax Corr, sophomore running back/receiver Jahki Davis, junior defensive lineman Jhalin Hobbs, senior linebacker Davian Papius, senior strong safety/cornerback Josh Culpepper and senior cornerback Xavier Mitchell. The Longhorn’s most talented player might be Michael Rankins. The 6 ft. 5 in., 285-pound senior right guard is committed to play college football for Georgia Tech. Coach Kitchie would like to see improvement in his defense this season. The team’s primary goal is to improve each day.

Lennard opened up against top rival East Bay and won 14-0. Coming into the game, East Bay had a 13-1 overall record against Lennard, so the Longhorns were very motivated for this game, and they would love to turn that series around in the coming seasons.

Lennard Longhorns Schedule:
8/23 vs East Bay
8/30 @ Brandon
9/6 vs Wharton
9/13 @ Newsome
9/27 vs Riverview Sarasota
10/4 @ Durant
10/11 vs Ridge Community
10/18 @ Haines City
10/25 @ Riverview
11/1 vs Blake

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.