Coach: Bill Jones (fourth season, 20-12)
Last season: 6-4
Colors: Royal blue, gold and white
Stadium: Canterbury Field, 901 58th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg
Playoff appearance: 2011
Last appearance: Beat St. John Neumann 36-8; lost 38-24 to Admiral Farragut.
Aug. 29 vs. New Generation Prep, 7
Sept. 5 vs. Shorecrest, 7
Sept. 12 vs. Oak Hall, 7
Sept. 19 at Bradenton Christian, 7:30
Sept. 26 at Zion Lutheran, 6
Oct. 3 at Carrollwood Day (Skyway Park), 7
Oct. 10 at Indian Rocks Christian, 7:30
Oct. 24 vs. Northside Christian, 7
Oct. 30 vs. Cambridge Christian, 7
Nov. 7 at Gateway, 7
Mark your calendar
Shorecrest at Canterbury, Sept. 5: This will be the first time that former Shorecrest head coach and current Canterbury defensive coordinator Phil Hayford will meet his old school in the regular season. The teams met in last year’s spring game with the Crusaders shutting out the Chargers 24-0.
Numbers crunch: Like other small private schools in the area, the Crusaders will struggle with numbers. Coach Bill Jones expects around 20. And out of that, somewhere around eight will start on both sides of the ball.
Tough district: A 3-3 record in district play put Canterbury right in the middle of the standings. With juggernauts Indian Rocks Christian and Carrollwood Day on the schedule, it may be hard for the Crusaders to make up any more ground.
More transfers: No one’s sure where junior receiver Dontell Green will be playing in the fall; a move to California or to Admiral Farragut is a possibility. All that is known is Green won’t be wearing a Crusaders uniform this year. Sophomore receiver Zion Roland, who had flirted with attending Clearwater Central Catholic, will likely be at Lakewood this fall.
QB Josh Belton, So.: Belton will be one of the more experienced Crusaders to take the field. An impressive freshman campaign, in which he threw for 681 yards and six touchdowns in a run-heavy offense, was enough to earn the sophomore the starting role again.
WR/DB Alex Nestor, Sr.: Nestor was third on the team last season in receptions and yards, but his experience will be valuable on a team full of underclassmen. At 6-foot-2, his size will be a valuable asset for Belton.
WR Hunter Coia, Sr.: Coia will line up opposite Nestor and will be asked to fill the void left by Roland. Coia had more than 150 receiving yards in 2013, but those numbers will have to improve if the Crusaders don’t want to miss a beat on offense.
WR/DB Da’Quan Person, So.: Person will be a third option out of the slot for Belton. The Crusaders will need him to grow up fast on defense, however, as he will be asked to shut down opponents’ top receivers.
“Everything we do has to be quick. We’re not going to blow anybody up off the ball this season, so everything has to be quick and precise.” — Jones
Photo: Josh Belton