The 2023 Sumner High School Stingrays are one of the better teams in Hillsborough County in just their fourth overall season as a program. They beat a solid East Bay Indians team 28-0 in the preseason and handled Bloomingdale 50-13 in the regular season opener.

Senior quarterback Greg Smith has been a star for the Stingrays for the last three years. He is being sought after by D-I colleges as an athlete. Smith also plays safety for his team. The dual-threat QB threw for four touchdowns and 146 yards and rushed for a touchdown as well against Bloomingdale. Head coach Alonso Ashwood said that his quarterback has a strong grasp of the offense and is a mature leader who knows what his personnel’s strengths are, and he always puts them in the right position with the ability to audible at the line. 

Ashwood is impressed with his skill players. Tyler Williams was the standout of the Bloomingdale game, receiving four touchdown passes and 123 yards through the air. Running back Devin Spencer recently committed to Arkansas State. He also likes his defensive line but said the team can improve in the secondary and on the offensive line. According to Ashwood, the team had to shift several athletes over to the offensive line because of players graduating, transferring or getting hurt.

Other key players include junior linebacker Cameron White; senior offensive/defensive tackle Keon Webb, who will make a difference on both sides of the ball; and junior Ziyare Addison, who will help anchor the offensive line. Senior defensive end Joshua Warren will help disrupt the edge on the defensive line. Senior kicker Kevin Elsner was going to be a key player on special teams before he tore his ACL. Unfortunately, he is done for the season. The team returns six starters on offense and six on defense. According to Ashwood, at least six players will most likely sign by signing day.

Sumner has a tough schedule and is in one of the better districts in Hillsborough County. They have to beat Newsome, Durant and Riverview if they want to win their district. Ashwood always has goals of winning the district, but he also wants his program to improve year by year, become more disciplined and have a full buy-in as a team. Ashwood also always tells his team that they need to have their best day on their worst day. He thinks that if his team stays healthy and plays to their capability, they’ll be very good. Expect this very talented Stingrays team to win nine games, compete for their district and make the playoffs for a third straight year.


8/25 vs. Bloomingdale High School

9/1 @ Chamberlain High School

9/8 vs. Jefferson High School

9/14 @ Gaither High School

9/22 vs. Wharton High School

9/29 @ Durant High School

10/6 @ Lennard High School

10/13 vs. Riverview High School

10/27 vs. Newsome High School

11/3 @ Middleton High School

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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.