This fall, Tampa Catholic will have to replace one of the county’s top players in quarterback Christian Green.
The shoes are definitely large, but Crusaders coach Bob Henriquez believes new quarterback Conner Louis is a more than adequate replacement.
Louis, a former JV starting quarterback, was a starting wide receiver/defensive back for the Crusaders last season. Now a senior, he is Henriquez’s choice to be Green’s successor.
One of Tampa Catholic’s strengths this year will be depth, and the quarterback position is no exception. Besides Louis, junior Derek Martin (last year’s JV quarterback), Alonso junior transfer Luke Helms and freshman Chavasky Corbett have all been impressive in practice.
But Louis has the most varsity experience and best knowledge of the offense.
“To start off with, putting the ball in Connor’s hands gives us the best chance to make things happen,” Henriquez said. “Connor gives us a lot of flexibility and he knows the offense. He can do a lot. He was a JV quarterback. Otherwise we’re untested there. We have bodies and we have talented bodies there.”
As the other quarterbacks get accustomed to the offense, Henriquez said he’d like to get the others involved. Martin, also a pitcher on the baseball team, missed spring practice while the Crusaders baseball team was in the Class 3A state tournament. And Helms and Corbett are just learning the schemes
But eventually, Henriquez said he’d like to use the depth to his advantage, maybe by spreading Louis out wide – like Green was used on occasion.
“The last thing I want to do is go into the season with a quarterback controversy,” Henriquez said. “But we have the ability to use more than one quarterback in certain situations and it’s worked out. Conner more than willing to play some receiver, but it’s a matter that if we put him out there, it’s not just for show, it’s so we can get the ball in his hands.
Louis made 17 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown last season as a junior.
“Conner is the guy,” Henriquez added. “We’re going to start off with him. The more we get comfortable playing some other guys there, we’d like to, somewhat like Christian last year, to get him out (wide), but we’re not going to rush that.”