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Thursday, Nov 27, 2014
Prep Football Preview

Bloomingdale: WR Crouse set for heightened expectations


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— There’s no question Bloomingdale’s Logan Crouse is a superior high school athlete. A standout in three sports, he’s committed to play baseball at Florida State, but he also has interest to play football at Sanford and South Florida. In between, he’s a starting forward for the school’s basketball team.

On the gridiron, Crouse is one of Hillsborough County’s top receivers. Last season, he caught 42 passes for 530 yards and six touchdowns and was selected to the All-Western Conference second team.

“The offensive coordinator said I’ll be playing some tight end too this year so they’ll be moving me in and out and I’m not always at one position,” Crouse said. “That will definitely give me some better looks and more receptions.”

Equipped with a dual-threat quarterback and another dynamic receiver in senior Doug Sandberg, first-year head coach Brian Surcy plans to attack through the air — and getting the ball to Crouse will be a priority.

“He’s a big target,” Surcy said.

At 6-foot-5, Crouse is a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs.

“I’m tall and I have speed,” Crouse said. “It’s hard to cover (height) and speed.”

Crouse said playing multiple sports gives him an advantage on the football field.

“Playing different sports, it comes out on the football field,” he said.

Last season, the Bulls were minutes away from securing a spot in the playoffs before losing to Wharton in the final seconds.

“Finishing,” Crouse said. “We’re going to have to finish. Coach Surcy talks about it every day at practice. We were up with 40 seconds left in the game and with 40 seconds, they came back and scored. That’s how close it was, so this year we have to finish the job.”

♦ Snapshots

Offense

The Bulls will be guided by junior quarterback Isaiah McIntyre, who had a breakout sophomore season in which he threw for 1,114 yards with eight touchdowns, and led the team in rushing with 379 yards and eight touchdowns.

“What he brings to the position is playmaking ability,” first year coach Brian Surcy said. “He is a dual-threat quarterback and you have to account for that as a defensive coordinator.”

McIntyre finished the second half of his freshman season as the starting quarterback, and though only a junior, he is regarded as one of the leaders on the offense.

At his disposal will be senior receivers Logan Crouse and Doug Sanberg, who combined for 1,200 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

“Logan is my top receiver. He’s 6-foot-5, so I can throw it up to him,” McIntyre said. “Doug is quick and fast. I give him the ball in space.”

Defense

Having watched too many opponents succeed with big plays last season, Surcy said Bloomingdale needs to focus on becoming a better tackling team. Senior defensive lineman Tyler Jahn has been charged with controlling the line of scrimmage and applying pressure on the opposition.

“The thing I like most about him is he’s a smart football player,” Surcy said. “He has a knack for getting to the ball.”

Outlook

Bloomingdale has momentum after securing its first winning season in 2013 with a 6-4 record. The Bulls were close to reaching the playoffs as the district-runner up but were edged by Wharton. The coach who delivered the first winning season — John Booth — departed the program to accept the head coaching job at Bradenton Manatee, but Bloomingdale won’t lose its direction with Surcy as head coach. He was the running backs coach the past two years and graduated from Bloomingdale in 1996.

♦ About The Bulls

Stadium: Charley Harris Stadium, 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico

Class-District: 8A-6 (with Alonso, Newsome, Plant, Riverview and Wharton)

Coach: Brian Surcy (first season)

Last season: 6-4.

♦ Schedule

Aug. 29: at Strawberry Crest

Sept. 5: Brandon

Sept. 19: Plant

Sept. 26: at Plant City

Oct. 2: at Alonso

Oct. 10: East Bay

Oct. 17: Riverview

Oct. 24: at Newsome

Oct. 31: at Wharton

Nov. 7: Middleton

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