Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'03 Tornadoes Were Loaded with Talent | Booker Reached the State Semifinals and Featured Terrence Jones and Chris Zellner, the H-T's Players of the Year

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'03 Tornadoes Were Loaded with Talent | Booker Reached the State Semifinals and Featured Terrence Jones and Chris Zellner, the H-T's Players of the Year

Article excerpt

SARASOTA -- The 2005 Booker High football team reached the state championship game in Miami, where it lost to St. Augustine. So, the school's best ever, right?

Not according to its head coach. "The 2003 team was deeper,'' said Fred Gilmore, who was coming off a 4-6 campaign in '02, his first as Booker head coach.

Indeed, that '03 team was deep. It featured the Herald-Tribune's Offensive Player of the Year, running back Terrence Jones, who ran for 2,621 yards, then an area record, and 37 touchdowns.

It also featured the Herald-Tribune's Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end Chris Zellner, who recorded 17 sacks, 13 tackles for losses and 56 tackles.

Zellner also played tight end, joining a receiving corps that included sophomore Sam Shields and Delvis Fernandez, all of whom caught passes from quarterback Anthony Salgado.

"(Anthony) threw for about

1,600 yards," Gilmore said. "It was a very prolific offense. We could throw it and run it. Terrence was the player of the year, and Sam still had almost 1,000 yards receiving. A lot of the guys on the 2005 team played young on the 2003 team."

Offensive lineman Dumaka Atkins recorded 57 pancake blocks and signed with FSU. Fullback/linebacker Greg Weeks signed with Indiana, and defensive back Daniel Phelps with North Carolina. A total of 13 Tornadoes signed national letters-of-intent.

"It was a great group of guys," Atkins said. "We were also the same junior team (in 2002) that broke the streak of Booker High teams going to the playoffs, so we were embarrassed. We went through that offseason with a big chip on our shoulders because we had let the torch down."

The Tornadoes finished the regular season 10-0. Atkins recalled a couple of those games. At Venice, the Tornadoes trailed the Indians 14-0 at halftime. Rather than go to the visitors' locker room, Gilmore took his players onto the Venice tennis courts for his halftime talk. …

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