Union County football preview

Union_County_Tigers
Union County (Lake Butler) Tigers (Class 1A-District 7)

2013 Record:  10-2

Head Coach:  Ronny Pruitt

Key Players:  Caleb Cox (QB, Sr.), Isaiah Johnson (RB, Jr.), Charlie Watkins (C, Jr.), Zak Lee (WR, Jr.), Alden McClellon (DE/LB, Sr.), Josh Smith (DT, Jr.), Joseph Merrix (DT, Jr.), Casey Driggers (LB, Jr.)

Outlook:  This year’s team will be required to accept a lot of new roles as several players have had to switch from one side of the ball to the other to help the team be successful. The Tigers will run the same offense & defense with some different twists to cater to the type of athletes they have this season.

They will be smaller and quicker on the O-line with a much smaller backfield. However, Cox (1,500 yards passing, 14 TD & 5 INT) returns at QB, along with Johnson and Lee at wide receiver. They will be expected to help carry a lot of the offensive load this year.

Defensively, the Tigers expect to be stronger and seasoned up front with three returning starters, including McClellon (120 tackles, 8 sacks), while rebuilding on levels two and three with several sophomores & juniors.

“We feel we can build on the success we have had the last few years with the kids we have,” said Pruitt. “We are just going to have to coach smart and utilize the talents we have and make them fit into the system efficiently. Overall, we feel good about our chances.”

2014 Football Schedule
Friday, August 22 – at Hilliard, 7:30 p.m. (Preseason)
Friday, August 29 – vs. Potter’s House Academy (Jacksonville), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 5 – vs. West Nassau (Callahan), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 12 – at Keystone Heights, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 19 – vs. Interlachen, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 26 – vs. Hamilton County (Jasper), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 3 – vs. Dixie County (Cross City), 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, October 17 – at Newberry, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, October 24 – vs. Chiefland, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, October 31 – at Williston, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, November 7 – vs. Wildwood, 7 p.m.

*District game

Union County High School website

“The Prep Zone” will count down to kick-off with a daily preview of high school football teams in the North Central Florida area.  Here are the future release dates:

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 7
July 3 – Williston

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 8
July 4 – Wildwood

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 2
July 5 – Trinity Catholic (Ocala)
July 6 – PK Yonge (Gainesville)

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 2
July 7 – Fort White

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 4
July 8 – The Villages
July 9 – Bradford (Starke)

CLASS 5A-DISTRICT 5
July 10 – Belleview
July 11 – Crystal River
July 12 – Dunnellon
July 13 – Eastside (Gainesville)
July 14 – North Marion (Citra)
July 15 – Santa Fe (Alachua)
July 16 – Suwannee (Live Oak)

CLASS 5A-DISTRICT 6
July 17 – Central (Brooksville)
July 18 – Weeki Wachee
July 19 – Hernando (Brooksville)
July 20 – Nature Coast (Brooksville)
July 21 – South Sumter (Bushnell)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 3
July 22 – Columbia (Lake City)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 5
July 23 – Citrus (Inverness)
July 24 – Gainesville
July 25 – Lake Weir (Ocala)
July 26 – Vanguard (Ocala)
July 27 – Forest (Ocala)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 6
July 28 – Springstead (Spring Hill)

CLASS 7A-DISTRICT 3
July 29 – Buchholz (Gainesville)

CLASS 8A-DISTRICT 1
July 30 – West Port (Ocala)