Southridge Looking for Answers in Kickoff Classic - South Dade News Leader: Sports

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Southridge Looking for Answers in Kickoff Classic

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Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 1:18 pm | Updated: 10:10 am, Sun Aug 19, 2018.

The Southridge Spartans have a talented team, but head coach Sedrick Irvin is not expecting much in the beginning of the season.

Irvin, who is in his first year at his alma mater where he was an All-American and won a state title before playing in the NFL, will get to see how his team looks in a preseason kickoff classic game at Ely on Friday at 7 p.m.

“Friday, I don’t expect much,” Irvin said. “If they shock me, that’s good, but I just know the game of football. I’d love to sit here and say we are going to average 40 points this Friday, but I just know right now that’s not happening. We don’t have the cohesiveness, we don’t have the unity. It’s going to take a minute for it all to come together and I know that.”

The Spartans have a number of players looking to step into larger roles this season after a 5-5 campaign last season.

“We have an inexperienced team,” Irvin said. “I think out of 22 starters now, I think probably only seven or eight have played varsity so this team won’t be good until we’re entering our first district game only because you get better when you play to have a chance to correct or whatever it may be. It will take this team about three or four games to get going, that’s what I see.”

One of the questions Irvin will be searching for an answer for against Ely, a 2-8 team last year, is at quarterback. Junior Jaylin Willis, a pocket passer, is in a battle with senior Antwan Anderson, a lefty with an ability to run. Freshman Kevin Smith is also in the mix.

“We have inconsistency there with guys missing workouts, guys missing practices, so it’s going to take two or three games,” Irvin said. “It’s one of those situations we have to grade on the run, pick a guy, go with him, and the other guy will be ready. Hopefully it can work.”

While it may take some time to get the quarterback situation sorted, Irvin will rely on senior Tyrique Stevenson, a four-star prospect considering Miami and Georgia among others, to help lead the way on both sides of the ball as a defensive back and wide receiver.

“I want to see how we bounce back from things,” Stevenson said. “After we lost that spring game (10-8 to Coral Gables), a lot of negative things came towards us and a lot of people shut down. I want to see how we bounce back and then on top of that, I just want to see go out there and dominate.”

Stevenson has help as the Spartans feature four players who have verbally committed to colleges including senior cornerback Chris McDonald (Akron), senior safety Joe Smith (Toledo), senior running back Courtney Reese (UNLV), and junior wide receiver Marcus Fleming (Miami). Over 10 others are Division I prospects.

“I feel we’re going to have a great season,” Stevenson said.

Kickoff Classic Friday Schedule

Southridge at Ely, 7 p.m.

Palmer Trinity at Coral Springs Charter (Ansin Park), 7 p.m.

Palm Glades Prep at Westminster Academy, 7 p.m.

Somerset Silver Palms at Coral Shores, 7:30 p.m.

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