DISTRICT: Class 3A-District 4 (Berkeley Prep, Bishop McLaughlin, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Lakeland Christian)
2012 RECORD: 8-4
KEY LOSSES: WR Zach Benjamin, DL Dominick Bourne, OL Christian Freeman, DB Kendrick Mention
KEY RETURNERS: QB Kyle Ploucher, OL Corey Martinez, RB/LB T.J. Harrell, LB Tre Watson, WR/P Justin Motlow, DB Willie Conley
SPRING FOCUS: Tampa Catholic not only has 15 seniors returning, but many of those players are extremely strong and talented. QB Kyle Ploucher leads the way after growing about two inches to 6-foot-2 while adding on some muscle. Many believe Ploucher is poised for a breakout season. It doesn’t hurt that top college recruits such as offensive lineman Corey Martinez and running back/linebacker T.J. Harrell are helping shoulder the workload. For the first time in many years, the Crusaders will have a new coach, Gregory, who took over for Bob Henriquez, who is now the county’s property tax appraiser. Gregory says he is not yet nervous about the fact he has inherited tremendous talent and high expectations. “I’m confident in my players and my coaching staff (including Richard Wood, David Lewis, Steve Bartalo and Mike Fenton),” Gregory said. “I’d put our coaching staff against anybody in the country.” Gregory also is happy to be in such a competitive district because, “playing great programs like that will only make you better.”
JAMBOREE: May 23 at Newsome
SCHEDULE Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic, at Gaither Sept. 6 – Clearwater Central Catholic Sept. 12 – at Tarpon Springs Sept. 20 – Fort Meade Sept. 27 – at Cardinal Mooney Oct. 4 – at Frostproof Oct. 11 – at Berkeley Prep Oct. 18 – Bye Oct. 25 – Lakeland Christian Nov. 1 – Bishop McLaughlin Nov. 8 – at Jesuit
Spoto COACH: Dale Caparaso
DISTRICT: Class 5A-District 9 (Jesuit, Middleton)
2012 RECORD: 3-7
KEY LOSSES: ATH Eric Moate, TE/LB Tyree Wilson, WR/S Brian Barr, WR/LB Julius Robinson, RB Andrew Henry, P Alex Eisman
KEY RETURNEES: OL Edward Hilrado, MLB/FB Traverian Williams, DB/WR James Bethea, CB/RB Willie Marshall, CB/RB Sirbaron Holmes, QB Aaron Haynes, RB Ashton Puesey, LB/SS Bennie Pierce
SPRING FOCUS: The Spartans have never been short on skill players, but will lose key contributors to graduation. Henry, an All-Western Conference second-team selection, led the team in rushing in 2012 with 866 yards and eight touchdowns while Barr, also an All-Western Conference pick, was the team’s leading receiver with 334 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line has routinely been an area where Spoto has lacked depth, so the return of Hilrado, an All-Western Conference second-team selection as a junior, is valuable for Spoto, which averaged 186 rushing yards per game last season. Defensively, Caparaso has built a reputation for blitzing and pressuring the quarterback. Williams returns off a productive junior season in which he totaled 76 tackles and 3.5 sacks, good enough for All-Western Conference second-team. Bethea was not only a standout in the secondary, but on special teams as well, finishing the 2012 season with 11 kick returns for 246 yards. Pierce led the team with seven sacks in 2012.
JAMBOREE: May 23 at Lennard, 6:30 p.m.
SCHEDULE Aug. 23 – Kickoff Classic, TBA Aug. 30 – at Wharton Sept. 6 – Strawberry Crest Sept. 6 – Steinbrenner Sept. 20 – at East Bay Sept. 27 – at Alonso Oct. 4 – Jesuit Oct. 11 – Bye Oct. 18 – Plant City Oct. 25 – at Middleton Nov. 1 – Lennard Nov. 8 – Leto Nick Williams