The 2023 Lennard High School Longhorns look to have their first winning season since 2019 under first-year head coach K.B. Belton. He returns to Lennard after he was the receivers coach in the 2021 season. Former head coach Matt Kitchie was a big factor in getting Belton back to Lennard. The head man hopes to change the culture of the program. He has brought in a new coaching staff, and new offensive and defensive systems.

Lennard has a very young, inexperienced team. They will play six seniors on both sides of the ball. The Longhorns return five starters on defense and seven on offense. Their major strength will be the offensive line, which returns all five starters. They have about 110 kids on the JV roster. Associate head coach/defensive coordinator Khristopher Ramsey is back after taking a few years off and will lead the defense.

Sophomore quarterback Jacob Mobley will lead the offense. The young QB hasn’t played much football, primarily playing basketball. Belton said that the pocket passer has a great arm, is a strong leader, watches a lot of tapes and takes extra reps after practice. He has a willingness to learn, challenges his teammates to get better every practice and believes that his team can compete with anybody. The Longhorns are rallying around him. 

Belton thinks that his linebacking core is the best in Hillsborough County. He said that they have four solid linebackers that can play anywhere in the county. Key players include: Sumner transfer running back/cornerback Dorian Burns; junior running back Gavin Fields, who is a track runner as well; senior outside linebacker Elijah Darcueil, who returns after a productive offseason; and senior linebacker Anthony Hunt, who is a potential D-I player. Captain kicker Aidan Gibbons is a big weapon, consistently hitting from 47 yards. He kicked a 45-yard field goal against Braden River in the preseason game. The soccer goalie will handle punt, kickoff, extra point and field goal duties.

The Longhorns have a tough schedule, having to play Durant, Sumner, Hillsborough, East Bay, Steinbrenner and Armwood. They will have to gain experience on the fly and limit mistakes in order to get better. Belton has high expectations for his program in his first season, hoping to take home the district championship and host the first playoff game in program history. He has been asking his team all offseason, “Why not us?” They will have to knock off Bloomingdale and East Bay in order to do that.


8/25 @ Hillsborough

9/1 vs. Robinson

9/8 vs. Middleton

9/14 @ Steinbrenner

9/22 vs. Durant

9/29 @ Bloomingdale

10/6 vs. Sumner

10/13 @ East Bay

10/27 vs. Spoto

11/3 @ Armwood

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Nick Nahas
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.