By Kyle LoJacono
Wesley Chapel will need to find a new starting quarterback as sophomore-to-be Alex McGough has transferred to Gaither.
Both Gaither coach Jason Stokes and Wesley Chapel coach Ben Alford confirmed McGough is now a Cowboy. Stokes said the 6-foot-2, 150 pound McGough is already participating in 7-on-7 competitions and other team activities.
“He’s a good kid who is still learning the offense,” Stokes said. “We’re going to find a way to work him into the offense this year because he is very talented.”
McGough completed 42 of 102 passes for 418 yards and one touchdown as a freshman in 2010, guiding Wesley Chapel to a 3-7 record. He was also running the Wildcats first-team offense in the spring and at the start of the Pasco County 7-on-7 league.
McGough said he was looking forward to playing another season with a year of experience at Wesley Chapel, but he said he had to move. He declined to comment on what forced the change in address into Hillsborough County.
Alford said he first learned McGough was leaving the Wildcats program on June 14. He said there is no true leader for who will take over as the starting quarterback, but did say Troy Cothan had been running the second team offense during the summer.
“Troy was out of town when we found out last week Alex was leaving, and Angel Locicero stepped up and filled in for a week,” Alford said. “He stepped up big yesterday in 7-on-7 and he really impressed me with how the guys rally around him and how he is such a leader out there. You will find nobody that loves the game as much as Angel.”
Locicero has never taken a snap at quarterback in a high school game. Alford said he is likely to see time on both offense and defense in 2011.
“Losing Alex is going to hurt us, there is no doubt about that,” Alford said. “I thought he was doing a lot of things better this year and was going to take a major step forward. We’ll just need to regroup and find out who will be our starting quarterback in the fall.”
McGough’s transfer will also affect two other Wildcats programs. He was a goalkeeper for the Wesley Chapel boy soccer team as a freshman and recorded four shutouts. McGough also played in five games for the baseball team as an outfielder, where he posted a .400 batting average with three RBI and one steal in 2011.
The Cowboys have openings at both spots, as starting goalkeeper John Nardozzi and outfielder Zach Jackson both graduated. However, Gaither has an established starter under center for the football team.
Junior-to-be Shug Oyegunle has been the Cowboys starting quarterback since halfway through his freshman season. He completed 97 of 227 passes for 1,412 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010. He also posted 287 rushing yards on 94 carries and four more scores to help Gaither finish with a 3-7 record.
Gaither plays its kickoff classic contest at home against Sickles on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. The Cowboys first regular season game is also at home against Alonso on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Wesley Chapel’s kickoff classic is at South Sumter on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats first game is against cross-town rival Wiregrass Ranch at home on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
–All stats as recorded by Maxpreps.com by coaches.