Coach: Lane McLaughlin (seventh season, 43-21)
2013 record: 7-4
Colors: Red, white, black
Stadium: Unnamed. 1515 Bearss Ave.
Playoff appearances: 2012, 2013
Last appearance: Lost 20-0 to Naples First Baptist.
Aug. 29 at University Christian, 7:30
Sept. 5 vs. Indian Rocks Christian, 4
Sept. 12 vs. Foundation Academy, 7 (Skyway Park)
Sept. 26 at Admiral Farragut, 7:30
Oct. 3 vs. Canterbury School (at Skyway Park), 7
Oct. 10 at Trinity Prep, 7
Oct. 17 at Bradenton Christian, 7:30
Oct. 24 vs. Cambridge Christian (at Skyway Park), 7
Oct. 31 at Northside Christian, 7
Nov. 7 at Shorecrest, 7
Mark your calendar
Indian Rocks Christian at Carrollwood Day, Sept. 5: CDS is currently scheduled to play only one game on its campus, and that’s this district opener against the favored Golden Eagles. The 4 p.m. start features as many as five potential 1,000-yard rushers (IRC’s Theo Anderson, Damian King, Zeke McGaughy; CDS’ Willie Parker and Elias Earley), and could very well decide the district champion. It’s a big enough game that coach Lane McLaughlin says it may be moved to a stadium with lights for a television broadcast. And as a bonus: Don’t forget the Sept. 26 game against rival Admiral Farragut. The average score of this showdown the past three years? 45-35, with the Blue Jackets a perfect 3-0.
A contender: McLaughlin thinks his team will be a player in the district title hunt. The big game will be against Indian Rocks Christian, and the scores of the last three meetings between the teams have been 14-6 (2013, IRC win), 28-22 (2012, CDS win) and 58-55 (2011, IRC win).
Young guns: McLaughlin says he has his best freshman class since he’s been at the school.
Home away from home: The Patriots will play three “home” games at Skyway Park, abandoning the 4 p.m. starter at their lightless field in hopes of attracting more student support. McLaughlin wants to play a fourth home game at Gaither or another nearby high school.
Double duty: Corey Shamley started his high school career as the kicker for Hillsborough High and has grown into a 6-foot-1, 270-pound starting left tackle for the Patriots. But on kicks of more than 30 yards this season, the Patriots will call on him to dust off his kicking boots.
Scoring machine: How good has CDS been? It averaged 36.4 points a game last season, but that was still the Patriots’ lowest total since 2008.
LB Max Frankel, Sr.: Frankel had 104 tackles and two sacks, is one of the better linebackers in Class 2A and will contribute from the backfield as well (five touchdowns last year).
RB Willie Parker, Sr.: The Patriots’ top recruit, Parker ran for 1,019 yards and 10 TDs last season.
RB Elias Earley, Sr.: Already pulling track offers after a standout season in the 200 and 400, Earley is a breakaway threat every time he touches the ball.
WR/DB Nazir Achecar, So.: Started as a freshman last year, and led the team with three interceptions and averaged more than 30 yards a catch.
OL Carlos Acuna, Sr: Acuna is up to 6-3, 260 pounds, and the right tackle will be one of the anchors on an improved offensive line. He plays defense as well.
QB Aaron Angelos, Fr.: Stepped in because of injuries and looked good in the spring. He will battle Spencer Peek and Zac Watson Parcels for the starting job. McLaughlin sees Angelos as a Division I-A recruit down the road.
OL Jalon Corp, Sr.: A 6-3, 340-pound transfer from Michigan, Corp is coming off a knee injury, but once healthy should be a force.
QB Zac Watson Parcels, Jr.: The Steinbrenner transfer looks the part at 6-3, 205 pounds, but will have to battle to become the starter.
“Everybody thinks we’re a pass-happy offense, but we’ve thrown less and less. …With Earley and Parker in the backfield, and you’ll see Frankel back there, too, we plan on running the ball. We should be pretty good at it.” — McLaughlin