Bloomingdale returns 14 starters from last year’s 4-6 campaign, the most successful year since 2008, when the Bulls made their only playoff appearance in the school’s 26-year history.
One starter who won’t be back, though, is rising senior quarterback Cody Crouse, who quit football to focus on baseball, coach John Booth said.
Crouse, who stands 6-6, 195 pounds, threw for 1,354 yards and 14 touchdowns as last year’s starter. More recently on the baseball diamond, he was the ace of Bloomingdale’s staff, carrying an 8-2 record and 1.56 ERA through 67 1/3 innings.
“It’s tough with dual-sport athletes because we both wanted him for ourselves, but Cody’s best option is baseball,” Booth said. “You can’t argue with that; he made a good decision for himself.”
Adam Posateri, last year’s leading receiver, will slide under center, Booth said, and the offense will become less passing focused.
Booth said he hopes to run a similar offense to the one he used as the coach of the East team in the Hillsborough County all-star game, when Durant’s Nick Fabrizio was his quarterback. Rising junior Alex Regland, the tailback on last year’s JV team, will help fill the void at wide receiver.
Passing the baton
There aren’t official captains at Durant, but before every new season, a former offensive and defensive player come back to pass their lockers on to the next leaders.
This year, former quarterback Nick Fabrizio gave his to Alex Wood, a rising senior who started at center, and defensive back Mike Stephens selected rising senior free safety J.J. Garrett.
Garrett, one of Durant’s top prospects with interest from UMass, Ball State and FAU, said he focused this offseason on getting noticed. Not just him personally, but the rest of his teammates.
“We knew we were good as a team, but I didn’t feel like we were getting noticed as a team after making the playoffs which was pretty big, and winning districts,” said Garrett, who registered 48 total tackles last year. “This offseason, as a team (with offensive line coach Wesley Wyatt), we went to combines, bringing 20 people in Durant blue.”
Davis, Pats play Thursday
The strained knee that kept Carrollwood Day TB Robert Davis out of the track and field postseason has healed, meaning the 1,800-yard rusher should see plenty of handoffs in Thursday’s spring game against Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
Kickoff at Lutz’s Oscar Cooler Park is set for 7:30. Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin, who returns 17 starters from last season’s 6-4 team, said Davis is at “full speed.”
Other spring games on tap this week:
• Admiral Farragut at Berkeley Prep, 7 Friday
• Tampa Catholic at Crystal River, 7 Friday
• Agape Christian at Cambridge (Skyway Park), 7:30 Saturday
Compiled by staff writers Laura Keeley and Joey Knight.