DISTRICT: 8A-6 (Alonso, Newsome, Plant, Riverview and Wharton)
2012 RECORD: 4-6
KEY LOSSES: RB Eugene Baker, DB Christian Bennett, LB James Wiehle, WR Adam Posateri, DB Favian Cartagena, DB Gerard Trott, DL/FB Javon Brooks, OL/DE Mitchell McDade
KEY RETURNERS: WR/RB Kameron Faile, LB John Hester, RB/DB Chris Wonsley, WR/TE Logan Crouse, RB/DB Austin Shear, DB Alan Yearby, WR/DB Doug Sandberg
SPRING FOCUS: Booth already saw better participation in offseason workouts, and he is looking for that type of dedication to continue in the spring. “I’m excited about their desire to compete,” he said. “That’s huge. I think that overcomes a lot of things. They’re working hard together, pushing each other, and that goes a long way.” The Bulls must replace several productive players, including workhorse tailback Eugene Baker. Booth said it will be “running back by committee” with Wonsley, Faile and Shear, a transfer from Newsome, all getting opportunities. Tommy McLaughlin takes the helm at quarterback in the spring after starting for the junior varsity a year ago. He’ll benefit from an offensive line that has all but one starter back. The return of Yearby, who played for the Bulls in 2010 and 2011 before transferring, gives a big boost to the rebuild in the secondary.
KEY LOSSES: RB DeAndre James, WR Jermaine Kershner, DE/LB John Franklin, RB/LB/DB Richard Newton, FS/OLB Javon Kitchen, FS/CB/ATH Desmond Gaines
KEY RETURNERS: QB Kristian Robinson, C/NG Josh Vizcaino, DE Shavar Manuel, WR/DB Kya’Relle Russell, WR/PR/CB Derek Mann, RB Corey Bennett, DE/LB Rico Brown
SPRING FOCUS: If there’s anything that coach Gordon plans to work on from now until August, it’s both the offensive and defensive lines. And those two lines will be centered around Vizcaino, who has garnered interest from a number of schools, including Harvard, Yale and Colgate. Also helping build those lines will be Anthony Davis and Ray Snell, the new defensive and offensive line coaches, both of whom played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We were small up front, and the reason I’m looking for improvement up front is because (the game) starts up front,” Gordon said. “You have to be able to run the football, and if you don’t have an offensive or defensive line, then you don’t have a football team.” Vizcaino will be leading the way with help from fellow linemen Richard Grayson, Joshua Rudes and Jamal Burnham. Those key linemen will look to create running paths for Corey Bennett, who had 215 yards on 67 carries. “We want big things out of him,” Gordon said. Bennett will look to combine with returning QB Robinson, who had just four touchdown passes in 2012. “You don’t want to be one-dimensional, but we were because we relied on running the ball too much with James,” Gordon said. “We have to be more accurate throwing the ball, and if we can do that and be balanced, then I think some teams are going to have trouble with us. Because there’s nowhere to go but up. This team has been down for so long, they have to and will go up.”