08/15/17 — PREP FOOTBALL: 'ATH' aptly describes Gators ... up to this point

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PREP FOOTBALL: 'ATH' aptly describes Gators ... up to this point

By Justin Hayes
Published in Sports on August 15, 2017 5:52 AM



The designation, used en masse by prep football analysts as a means to classify players without a tried-and-true position, is very much en vogue this fall at Spring Creek.

In fact, a perusal of the team's roster, updated Monday by interim head coach Daniel Robinson, confirmed that 16 of the school's 30 players have been assigned such status -- which could mean a couple of things.

To some, the abbreviation will undoubtedly mean these Gators haven't pushed hard enough to be defined by position just yet -- a notion as absurd as it is anything else.

What's most likely, however, is that SC is hitching its gridiron wagon to a newer version of a now-familiar, rapid-fire offensive scheme.

Good-bye, air raid.

Hello, get-to-the-edge spread.

Driven by matchups and a program's best athletes, the concept calls for good on good, all the time.

It's the "greatest show on turf" mentality, and according to Michael Clark, southeast regional recruiting analyst for scout.com, a concept that is very much here to stay.

"The main thing schools want to do -- and it sounds simple -- is get as many of their best athletes on the field at one time...there's a lot more finesse than there was 15 or 20 years ago -- the game is all about those one-on-one matchups."

And if the Gators are to find success in the talent-rich East Central 2-A Conference this fall, they'll need every available ATH to step forward and ensure the transition is made peaceably -- no exceptions.

Thus, the aforementioned status.

"We've got a lot of kids that ... we aren't sure where they're going to help us," head coach Daniel Robinson said. "We've got several who are borderline (between positions), but we're ironing that out right now."

Perhaps the only player not on the transition list is senior quarterback Collion Kittrell, a southpaw who has impressed the Gator staff all summer -- from June workouts to the meeting room to finally, the August practice field.

"He's gonna be our guy," Robinson noted with a smile. "He's a gamer. He was a gamer last year."

He'll have help as well, most likely from senior wideout Jamerion Dawson and Trae Roa, a freshman from Grantham. Adding more depth to the offensive side of the ball will be Exavion Garcia, an excellent all-purpose athlete who recently returned to Seven Springs from West Virginia.

Defensively, Robinson glowed about the effort of noseguard Aubrey Pollock, who caught the eyes of many during the team's final jamboree appearance last week.

"He's got good instincts, and he definitely worked hard in the offseason, weight-room wise," Robinson said of the junior. "He's got a great first step for a big kid ... that's gonna be key for us."

As first steps will for all of the Gators this season -- a group of 10 seniors, 11 juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen.

Athletes, if you will, breaking their mold.