Dan Pearson
By:  J. Daniel Pearson

Oniel Senatus, one of the top running backs in the state, has decided to transfer from Celebration High School with his destination being county powerhouse Osceola High.

When contacted for another story, Storm head coach Jeremy Palmer confirmed that Senatus was no longer listed on the team nor was he listed on the school’s MaxPreps roster. “He came to me a few weeks ago and said he was planning to transfer,” Palmer said. “He said he was transferring for family reasons. Obviously it is huge loss for our roster.”

As a junior, Senatus shattered practically every offense single season record at Celebration. He set school marks for most rushing yards (1816), total yards (2417), rushing touchdowns (23), total touchdowns (27), and points (162). He rushed for more than 200 yards four times, including a career-high 314 yards and seven touchdowns against Lake Region on just 10 carries. He also tallied 271 yards against Gateway and had a 255 yard rushing effort against Poinciana.

Under then head coach Rich Pringle, Senatus played a huge role in leading Celebration to its most-successful season in school history. The team had just its second winning season in school history, going 7-4 overall, including a bowl game victory. Three of its four losses came to state powers Dr. Phillips, Osceola and West Orange.

For his three-year Celebration career he set school marks for rushing yards (2675), career carries (366), rushing touchdowns (28), all-purpose yards (3623), all-purpose yards per game (139.3), rushing yards per game (102.9), total touchdowns (33) and total points (200).

Osceola coach Eric Pinellas said he could only confirm that Senatus contacted him and presented his signed transfer papers. “I told him he could not work out or participate in any team activities until he was officially and fully enrolled at Osceola High,” Pinellas said. “He indicated he was working on getting that final paperwork together.”

Although the Kowboys backfield lost seniors Ja’Randy Swint (780 rushing yards – 9 touchdowns) and CJ Walls (11.6 yards per carry) and had speedster slot receiver Isaiah Jean-Baptiste (68 rushing, 319 receiving yards) transfer, Osceola still returns one of the area’s top running backs in sophomore Taevion Swint. Splitting time with his brother Ja’Randy, Taevion managed to lead the Kowboys in all-purpose yards (1125) and total touchdowns (15).

“If he does end up here, he will be like any other player on our roster, he will have to earn his playing time and his touches,” Pinellas said. “Obviously he is a tremendously talented young man.”

Osceola is coming off a 9-3 mark, where they had their season come to an end in a 16-7 loss to West Orange in the regional semifinals. With Swint, a talented wide receiving corps and the majority of a tenacious defense returning, the Kowboys will be favored to make a deep run into the post-season.

Pre-season football camps for all Florida High Schools open on Aug. 2.

Photo Source: Coastal Sports Photography