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Tampa Catholic's Bentlee Sanders may not miss entire season

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Thu. August 28, 2014 | Kelly Parsons

Just three weeks ago, Tampa Catholic coach Mike Gregory raved about sophomore athlete Bentlee Sanders and what the young Crusader's potential meant for his team's success. 

Though Sanders was primarily a defense back and kick returner in 2013, racking up 31 tackles and 371 all-purpose yards, Gregory said he looked forward to using Sanders' athletic abilities on offense this year.

But in a flash, the second-year coach was forced to change his plans.

Sanders tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee during a third-quarter play against Sickles last Friday and will miss at least the first six games of the season. During the Crusaders' bye week in October he'll be reevaluated, Gregory said, and will be week-to-week from there. 

"He's disappointed. He's not totally down. I think he's optimistic he'll heal and he'll be back in time," Gregory said. "He's a great kid with a great attitude."

The big loss comes as the Crusaders prepare to take on Madison County on Friday in their regular-season opener. But despite the disappointing surprise, Gregory is confident his team will regroup and be just fine.

"It just makes us have to coach a little more," Gregory said, laughing. "It's disappointing to lose such a good athlete and a good kid, but we've got guys that are going to step up and help fill that spot."

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