Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Berkeley Prep: Season preview

Stadium: Newman Stadium, 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa

Playoff history: 1980, 1984, 1985, 2003, 2004

Last appearance: Beat Naples St. John Neumann 49-8; lost 43-23 to Lakeland Evangel Christian

A-listers Julian Crockett

Multi-faceted player who excels on offense and defense, always a plus for the Buccaneers program. Crockett combined for 400-plus yards of offense last season as a running back and returner.

Keith Bexley

A middle linebacker Ciao said played "super" last season, Bexley led the defense with 28 tackles. He will again line up at the heart of the Berkeley defense.

Jordan Crockett

Will be the Bucs' top threat in the passing game. Also is an above-average cornerback for the defense. Twin brother of Julian and one of nine seniors and 20-plus returning players on the Bucs roster.

Rising star Kevin Laddon

Laddon earned the quarterback job during spring drills. Laddon, who tossed two touchdowns in the spring game against Orlando Lake Highland Prep, takes over for graduated signal caller Archie Barnes. Laddon scored 19 points as Berkeley's place kicker a season ago.

Stunt man Kevin Yent

Guy who does the dirty work

A junior running back, Yent handles the task when the Buccaneers need hard-to-come-by inside yards. Yent averaged 5-plus yards a carry last season and scored two touchdowns. He also provides lead blocking for fellow back Julian Crockett.

Cutting-room floor

Three things the Bucs need to avoid

1. Injuries. With a roster of about 40 players, health is always an issue. Coach Dominick Ciao hopes to increase those numbers but he fully plans on platooning players at certain positions as well as having key athletes playing multiple positions on both sides of the ball.

2. Costly mistakes. The Buccaneers led at some point in eight of their 10 games in 2007. But miscues, namely turnovers, helped lead to Berkeley Prep's 5-5 record. Ciao said his team has to improve come the fourth quarter.

3. Going winless in league play. One thing Ciao did not accomplish in his first season with the Bucs was a victory in Class 2B, District 6 play. Berkeley lost to league foes Clearwater Central Catholic, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney and Frostproof by a combined 83-38. "We lost the wrong games," Ciao said.


"(Bucs coach Dominick Ciao) is one of the top guys in what we do. His experience and knowledge of the game makes them a better team. When we play them, we know we have to be on our A-game as a coaching staff." — Clearwater Central Catholic coach Michael Jalazo

Rod Gipson, Times correspondent

Berkeley Prep: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.