Coach: Ryan Hearn (second season, 5-4)
2013 record: 5-4
Colors: Gold and navy
Stadium: Al Ross Field, 501 Park St. N., St. Petersburg
Playoff appearances: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011
Last appearance: Beat Evangelical Christian 48-24; beat Canterbury 38-24; beat Belle Glade Glades Day 42-16; lost 69-0 to North Florida Christian.
Aug. 29 vs. Victory Christian, 7
Sept. 5 at Cardinal Mooney, 7
Sept. 12 vs. Indian Rocks Christian, 7:30
Sept. 19 vs. St. Petersburg Catholic, 7:30
Sept. 26 vs. Carrollwood Day, 7:30
Oct. 3 at Calvary Christian, 7:30
Oct. 10 at Lake Highland Prep, 7:30
Oct. 17 vs. Shorecrest, 7
Oct. 24 vs. Clearwater Central Catholic, 7:30
Nov. 7 vs. Warner Christian, 7
Mark your calendar
Admiral Farragut at Calvary Christian, Oct. 3: Assuming CCC is the class of the district, this game could be for the second playoff spot. Both schools have beefed up their rosters in the offseason, so expect this one to come down to the wire. AFA won 35-21 at home last season.
New attitude: Last year, Admiral Farragut was a team in transition. Coach Ryan Hearn took over after the spring game and the dismissal of coach Buster Davis. Hearn’s goal then was to keep the team together. This fall, the attitude is different. “There’s much more intensity,’’ senior quarterback Dalton Collins said. “We’re all hyped for the upcoming season.’’
Filling the void: The Blue Jackets lost promising linebacker Isadore Wood to IMG Academy. And their best offensive weapons, Cortavious Givens and Napoleon Maxwell, graduated. But Hearn is adamant that there is talent to replace them. Donnie Crum, Dontae McGee and Armando Diaz will step in at running back, and plenty of others are expected to fill in on defense.
Depth to spare: Hearn has 39 players to start fall practices. But as is the case every year at Admiral Farragut, he expects about 10 more players once boarding students show up prior to the first day of school.
Streaking: The Blue Jackets have not had a losing season since 2008. That includes a run to the Class 3A state championship game in 2011. All signs point to a sixth straight winning season.
In the trenches: The key for the Blue Jackets will be the offensive and defensive lines. Returners Aaron Rodriguez, Jacob Bettencourt and Carson Chiariello provide size and experience. With time to throw and holes to run through, AFA could be much improved. But those players will likely be asked to play both ways, which could take its toll.
QB Dalton Collins, Sr.: Collins is in his second year as a starter, and he could be one of the best AFA has ever had. He can run and throw, and has plenty of weapons at his disposal.
WR/DB Jestin Green, Sr: Already signed with Florida International, Green is a speedy slot receiver and solid defensive back. Look for him to be on the end of several Collins’ passes. “Last year we had about two or three receivers,” Green said. “This year we’ve got eight or nine. It’s going to make things easier to spread the ball around. I’m very excited about what we can do.’’
OL/DL Aaron Rodriguez, Sr.: At 6-foot-3, 326 pounds, Rodriguez is hard to miss. His best position is on the defensive line, where he is athletic enough to chase quarterbacks and make downfield tackles.
CB Caleb Dials, So.: A returner in the secondary, Dials provides stability. He has been with the varsity team since he was in eighth grade.
RB Donnie Crum, So.: Crum was stuck behind Givens and Maxwell last season. The speedy sophomore doesn’t have size (5-10, 178) but he does have speed to burn. He could be a 1,000-yard back.
WR Alex Gray, Jr.: A St. Petersburg Catholic transfer, Gray could be the fastest player on the team. He provides the Blue Jackets with a legitimate deep threat.
RB Dontae McGee, Sr.: The brother of hurdler Brittany McGee, Dontae was a state champion wrestler at 170 pounds for Brandon last year. He’ll be a bruising back for the Blue Jackets.
LB Cole Fagan, Jr.: A transfer who should fit right into the defense, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has the size and speed to make an immediate impact.
“We’ve just got to teach them to be mentally and physically tough. We’re going to work hard around here. We’re going to have two-, three-hour practices. It’s all going to make them better football players.’’ — Hearn