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Prose and Kohn

Sarasota football players find new homes for their talents

A breakdown of the notable football players who changed high schools for the 2023 season.

Former Sarasota High quarterback Alexander Diaz will play for Booker High in 2023.
Former Sarasota High quarterback Alexander Diaz will play for Booker High in 2023.
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The wait is over. 

Florida High School Athletic Association-sanctioned fall sports practices began July 31, and football was among them, in non-contact form at least. Contact practice can begin Aug. 5, and preseason games can be played Aug. 14-19. Then the real games start. It's the best time of the year. 

But until the games begin, there's some learning to do. Namely, which players have changed teams during the offseason? Thanks to Florida's lax rules on the subject, it's a long list. It's tough to keep track of it all. 

That's why I have put together a cheat sheet of sorts. It doesn't contain every player that has changed schools, of course, but it's a start and gives fans an idea of which impact players may be making an impact at a different school in 2023 than they did in 2022. 

Zy'marion Lang, Cardinal Mooney High

Of all the new players on area teams in 2023, Lang carries the highest profile. The three-star wide receiver committed to the University of South Carolina on July 30. In 2022 as a junior, the 6-foot-2 Lang had 28 catches for 470 yards and five touchdowns at Palmetto High. He also showed some ability as an emergency/gadget play quarterback, completing nine of 15 passes for 130 yards. 

At Cardinal Mooney High, he should be the No. 1 option in the team's passing attack, but he'll be far from the only option. 

Johnny Squitieri, Sarasota High

Squitieri, a rising senior quarterback, played for Manatee High in 2022, throwing for 702 yards, four touchdowns and one interception as a junior while splitting time with then-sophomore Andrew Heidel. He also ran for 151 yards and five touchdowns. 

Squitieri played for Port Charlotte High in the spring, but ultimately landed on Sarasota High as the right place to play his senior season, per his social media. With the Sailors, he'll be reunited with Head Coach Josh Phillips, who was the defensive coordinator at Manatee in 2022. 

Alexander Diaz, Booker High

Diaz, a rising junior, comes to Booker High from Sarasota High, where he was the starting quarterback for much of the 2022 season. Diaz threw for 911 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a sophomore. His best performance came against his new team, when he threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns. 

Booker also added Noah Obaseki, a senior quarterback from Southeast High, who could figure into the team's positional competition. 

Michael Valentino, Cardinal Mooney High

Valentino, a rising senior quarterback, spent his 2022 season at Charlotte High, where he threw for 1,090 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions with the Tarpons. Charlotte averaged just 19 points per game last season, but Valentino — or whoever ultimately snags the starting QB job — should have much more talent to work with at Cardinal Mooney High, including Lang and the next player on this list. 

Former Lakewood Ranch High wide receiver Chase Edens (14) will play for Cardinal Mooney High in 2023.
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Chase Edens, Cardinal Mooney High

Edens, a wide receiver, caught 29 passes for 465 yards and seven touchdowns for Lakewood Ranch High in 2022 as a junior. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds according to MaxPreps, Edens gives Mooney's offense a ton of options alongside Lang and returnees like senior cornerback/wide receiver Teddy Foster, a University of Florida commit, and senior running back Carson Beach. Edens gives the Cougars a reliable option in the slot. 

Anthony Miller, Riverview High

Rising sophomore quarterback Anthony Miller comes to Riverview High from Venice High, where he impressed on the Indians' freshman team. He's joining a crowded quarterback room that includes incumbent starter Jeremiah Dawson, who threw for 759 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2022, but also Braxton Thomas, a senior transfer from Desert Vista High in Arizona who threw for 2,275 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season.

No matter who wins the starting position, Miller's unique skills with the ball in his hands should earn him playing time: he ran for more than 100 yards in the Rams' spring game win over Lehigh High in May. 

Nick Sinacore, Riverview High

Miller and the rest of the Rams' QB room will be glad to have Nick Sinacore to hit in stride with a pass. Sinacore, a 6-foot wide receiver, caught 20 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown for Lakewood Ranch High in 2022. Now a senior, Sinacore should be a consistent option for the Rams on the outside. 

Nick Bryan, Cardinal Mooney High

The rising senior defensive back will join a stacked Cardinal Mooney secondary that includes Foster and rising junior Chris McCorkle, who holds several NCAA DI offers. Bryan had seven tackles, three passes defensed and an interception in 2022 as a sophomore at Lakewood Ranch High. 

Cash Waldrip, Riverview High

Waldrip, a senior tight end/wide receiver, comes to the Rams from Manatee High, where he was used sparingly in 2022. But new Rams offensive coordinator Brody Wiseman has posted his belief in Waldrip's skills on the social media app formerly known as Twitter, and Waldrip has the size — 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, per MaxPreps — to prove him right if given the opportunity. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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