Coach: Craig Moore (first season)
Last season: 2-8
Colors: Blue and gold
Stadium: Unnamed, 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill
Playoff appearances (FHSAA): None.
Aug. 29 at St. Stephen’s, 7
Sept. 5 at Northside Christian, 7
Sept. 12 vs. Keswick Christian, 7
Sept. 19 at Santa Fe Catholic, 7
Sept. 26 vs. Cambridge Christian, 7
Oct. 3 vs. Seffner Christian
Oct. 17 vs. City of Life, 7
Oct. 24 at Windermere Prep, 7
Oct. 31 TBA (Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs), 7
Nov. 7 TBA (Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs), 7
Mark your calendar
Bishop McLaughlin at Northside Christian, Sept. 5: Admittedly, some of new coach Craig Moore’s marking this one down on the calendar has to do with squaring off against a fellow former pro football player in Northside head coach Mike Alstott.
Stepping out of the district: After struggling mightily in an incredibly loaded 3A-4 district — that’s the one with powerhouses Tampa Catholic, Berkeley Prep, Frostproof, Fort Meade and Lakeland Christian — the Hurricanes chose to become an independent team this year.
Playoffs still possible: Though ineligible for the Florida High School Athletic Association playoff system, the Hurricanes still have something to shoot for as members of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. With 27 members now, the SSAC conducts a three-round state playoff system among independent schools. The Bay Division includes Keswick Christian, Seffner Christian and Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic among its eight members. Last year, Seffner won the Bay Division and fell in the state semifinals to eventual state champ Leesburg First Academy.
Numbers crunch: The Hurricanes have one of the thinnest rosters in Pasco County. Moore will, sensibly, try and create an offense that takes the air out of the ball. Bishop McLaughlin’s approach will be to “slow the game down,” concentrating on the run game and utilizing the tight ends.
C/DT Will Beatty, Sr.: The anchor of both lines. Moore said if Beatty wasn’t needed to play offensive line — and by the way, if anyone gets hurt he can fill that position — he would be getting plenty of college looks as a defensive tackle. Beatty can play every position.
RB Eric Pitton, Sr.: Top returning running back had 332 yards on the ground last year — but that was factoring in a collarbone injury that caused him to miss a couple of games.
TE Will Potosky, Sr.: Had an impressive 30 catches at the wideout position last year but will transition to tight end, which befits his 6-foot-5 frame. He’s a prototypical tight end.
TE Colin Hankin, Jr.: As the aforementioned two tight end approach would demand, Hankin will lock down the other side of the offensive line.
QB Noah Clanahan, Sr.: A fullback last year, the senior is in the spotlight as the starter under center with valedictorian R.J. Perciavalle moved on. “He’s a tough hard nosed-kid,” Moore says of Clanahan. And just because he played fullback doesn’t mean Clanahan doesn’t have a decent arm.
DB/WR Joe Mastrino, So.: Made some small statistical dents as a freshman, but now has bulked up and gotten into incredible shape. No longer scrawny, look for Mastrino to be a constant playmaker.
ATH Kyle Kampsen, Jr.: Can play defense, slot receiver and a little running back.
“When I first heard we were going independent, I thought we were going backwards. Kids want to compete for a state championship. But if we can compete this year, maybe we can get those (better county) kids to come here. So maybe, for now, being independent is the best thing.” — Moore