Spectrum Sports Top 20: #11 Winter Haven

By Mike Cairns, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Monday, August 07, 2017, 2:32 PM EDT

No. 11- WINTER HAVEN BLUE DEVILS

2016: 8-3, Lost in 7A Regional Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Charlie Tate, 107-44 in 13 seasons

Key Returners: RB Ja’Veon Marlow(680 rush yds, 10TD) WR Terrance Anglin(34 Rec, 710 yds, 7TD, 2 Rush TD) WR Carlos Sneed(8 Rec, 65yds) OT/DE Reggie Harris

The Scoop: Charlie Tate’s first order of business will be to decide who replaces his son William, a 3-year starter at quarterback. Eric Williams and Randy Pritchard will battle for the starting QB position; both players were part of an undefeated season for the JV squad.

The Blue Devils will not be suffering on offense, returning their leading rusher and Vanderbilt commit Ja’Veon Marlow. Winter Haven’s offense will run thru Marlow, who is expected to be the featured piece in 2017. He will have plenty of help running the ball up front, the Blue Devils offensive line is led by All-County tackle Reggie Harris at 6-4, 275 lbs. When the ball is in the air look for the speedy Terrance Anglin to be around it. Anglin, an All-County selection in 2016  led the team in receptions and touchdowns a year ago and will team up with seniors Carlos Sneed and Tiy Duffey.

Defensively the Blue Devils will make a change in 2017, switching from a 3-4 defense to a 4-2. Winter Haven is young on that side of the ball returning just three starters from a year ago. Tate believes if his defense establishes themselves early in the season and gains some confidence his team will be in very good shape.

Player to Watch: Ja’Veon Marlow, the senior RB is a special player who is more than comfortable carrying the load for the Devils. Last season he averaged just under 10 carries a game, that number is expected to go way up in 2017.

Quotable:  “We play some pretty good football teams early that are going to challenge us and see if we are really as good as we want to be or not”- Charlie Tate

2017 Schedule

8/25 vs Auburndale

9/1  TBA

9/8  @ Lake Brantley

9/15 vs Osceola

9/22 vs Lake Region

9/29 @ Kathleen

10/6 @ Lake Wales

10/13 @ Lakeland

10/27 vs Bartow

11/3 @ Ridge Community​

A new season brings a new attitude for the Blue Devils of Winter Haven.

"I think it's important that we have a good camp, I think it's important to at least start, if you're bad coming out of camp, it's hard to get good " says head coach Charlie Tate, entering his 13th season as the Blue Devils head man.

Tate's first task will be replacing his son William, a three year starter at quarterback who led the team to the playoffs last year. Eric Williams and Randy Pritchard who also played linebacker for last years undefeated JV squad will be battling for the vacant QB spot.

"They're gonna have a real impact on the offense says senior running back J'aveon Marlow. "Once they get it going then the offense will be alot better."​ 

Marlow, last years leading rusher, a Vanderbilt commit will be the key man in this motion offense.

"The  game is going to go thru Ja’Veon. says Coach Tate. "Last year we were a little more spread out but he really finished the year very well and had a great off season".

"You can’t just set the box because were just gonna throw flys all day says the speedy Anglin. "You really gotta have a game plan when you’re coming to play the blue devils".

Defensively the Blue Devils will switch from an odd to an even man front and coach Tate is hoping all the changes are smooth ones.​

"We play some pretty good football teams early that are gonna challenge us and see really are we

As good as we want to be or not".