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Green Devils Football Is, Well, Green

St. Pete High football coach Joe Fabrizio has a talented team of newcomers. Is that enough to win?

St. Petersburg High School's football squad will play its preseason game Friday, and football season is officially under way for many players, coaches and fans.

Green Devils coach Joe Fabrizio is hoping there is strength in numbers. And talent.

Fabrizio has 95 players out for the team, many, though very talented, are as green as the team's jerseys.

The Green Devils' last season were a senior-laden squad that went undefeated through the regular season, only to get tripped up in the first round of the playoffs.

Fabrizio isn't sure what to expect from his team this year. He's excited about the talented players he has but his excitement is tempered by their inexperience.

"We lost a lot of great kids but fortunately, we have a lot of good kids coming back," Fabrizio said. "The work ethic has been outstanding. Young kids, sometimes, you wonder how they will react when they have to face the bullets."

Fabrizio hopes that the success and standards left by last year's graduating seniors has rubbed off on this year's starters.

"You hope the things they see in front of them, that they try to do and... they have the same kind of work ethic," Fabrizio said.

The least of Fabrizio's concerns, however, is the talent he has available.

"We are probably just as athletic as we have been," Fabrizio said. "It is just a matter of getting reps in game situations, as much as they can possible see. But there is nothing like being in a game situation where you have to react on your feet so we try to do as much as we can possibly can in practice."

Fabrizio believes it's just a matter of his players getting on the same page.

"Most [of the players] have played in Little League so they know the language and can talk with us," Fabrizio said. "They can adjust on their feet. Now they just need to talk our language because there are five or six different Little Leagues around here. We just need to indoctrinate them."

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