Photo courtesy of the Riverview football program. Head Coach William Mosel addresses the team after a game.

The Riverview Sharks football program made tremendous strides this season by achieving its first winning record since 2007 and its first playoff appearance since 2006.

The Sharks finished with an 8-3 record and lost in the regional quarterfinals to Osceola on November 8. Head Coach William Mosel took over the program three years ago and has made a quick turnaround in a short period of time.

Mosel said that the process started up front on both sides of the football, controlling the line of scrimmage. He credits the turnaround to his team working hard at lifting weights starting in January and buying in during the off-season while also having great team chemistry, playing together as a team. The offense ran the ball for almost 3,000 yards and threw for just under 2,000 yards.

“They made it their personal mission to make sure that they turn this thing around and they really believed in us,” said Mosel. “It was really nice to see them achieve their goals.”

Sophomore dual-threat quarterback Stazion Gage had a big part in the 2019 campaign as anybody in his first season as the signal caller, throwing for 1,594 yards with 13 touchdowns through the air while also carrying the ball 92 times for 736 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Senior running back Cheyenne Greaves added 65 carries for 755 yards (11.6 average) and six touchdowns on the ground and 15 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Senior David Haynes carried the ball 50 times for 434 yards (8.7 average) and five touchdowns and caught one touchdown as well. Junior defensive end James Moore recorded 11 sacks and an interception on defense.

Mosel said that he will always remember key parts to the season, such as his team blocking the potential goahead field goal against Durant to win and Devin White’s game-sealing interception against Ridge Community.

“There were some great moments this season, they never quit during football games and held in there, and there were times where they could have easily not stood their ground,” he said.

According to Mosel, the team is currently working in the weight room and they will build from there. The Sharks want to continue the momentum that they built from this season. They will have a great chance to make a run next season with a lot of key players returning.

“I think we set the bar, and now we need to stay up there,” said Mosel. “These guys came together as a team and really fought and believed in each other and believed in what we talked about every single day. I couldn’t have been prouder of them.”

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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.