Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Bloomingdale High fired up for big season under new coach

RECOMMENDED READING


VALRICO — Brian Surcy has made his way around the local high school football scene.

There's been stops at Freedom, Brandon and Tampa Bay Tech, to name a few. He has been a position coach at Bloomingdale High School the last two years but all that experience, all that seasoning, still didn't prepare him for the step up to head coach.

"It's like overnight you're the CEO," he said. "You're dealing with everything from boosters to parents and fundraising. And then you have to prepare your kids for Friday nights."

So far, so good. Surcy will look to improve his record to 2-0 tonight when Bloomingdale hosts Brandon at 7:30.

"I've been coaching in this county since 2003," Surcy said. "All the different sceneries have prepared me. But even saying all that, there are still things you can't be prepared for."

Ready or not, Surcy has made an immediate impact at a school known far more for girls soccer than tackle football. Receiver Doug Sandberg said even though he felt former coach John Booth was "a pretty fired-up guy," Surcy is on another level.

"He's running around, really energetic," Sandberg said. "Coach Surcy is very passionate about the game."

Practices have been crisp and efficient, but with a yeoman-like work ethic. Sandberg said the players have responded.

"I think we're a lot more optimistic, as a team," he said. "And we have the biggest (offensive) line I've seen in my four years."

Surcy didn't exactly inherit a clunker. The Bulls could also put up a lot of points this season thanks to a potentially high-octane offense.

"I'm seeing a lot of growth at all the (offensive) positions," Surcy said. "And I like the progress."

Junior Isaiah McIntyre holds the keys to the ride. A starter since his freshman season, McIntyre was benched last season for a few games due to off-field issues.

Surcy said McIntyre is a new man this season.

"In his freshman and sophomore years, (McIntyre) hated practice," he said. "I mean he was lazy. But in the spring a light switch turned on. He comes to work hard now every single day. Something clicked."

Surcy said he can't pinpoint the exact moment McIntyre turned the corner. But his maturation hasn't been lost on his teammates.

"He's working harder on and off the field," he said. "Now you're seeing him mature into the star athlete that he is."

McIntyre has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. Logan Crouse, at 6-feet-5, provides a sure-handed big man with deep-threat prowess. Receiver Sandberg operates out of the slot and is a mismatch nightmare. Throw in Riverview transfer running back Fred McCoy and the Bulls might count the 16 points they scored against Strawberry Crest in the opener as their lowest total of the season.

"It's difficult to cover us both," Sandberg said. "Because we bring different aspects to the game."

Bloomingdale, a school with just one playoff appearance to its credit, has a tough Brandon team tonight and a rematch of last season's thriller with Plant after the bye. Sandberg said they're taking one game at a time but mentioned his lofty goals.

"I see this as a 10-0 season," Sandberg said. "I really do."

Comments
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?Mike Evans is back from his su...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Red-hot Lightning leading NHL in more than wins

Nikita Kucherov, top left, celebrates with teammate Steven Stamkos (91) after scoring against Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer. [AP photo]The Lightning (15-2-2) enters tonight’s game against the visiting Islanders (10-6-2) leading the leagu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?’’ there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Both are defensive tackles. Both went to, what were at the time, Big 12 schools. Both were ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first? Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL players. S...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday’s Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.He talks about key matchups to watch for, from perhaps the NFL’s best slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, to Miami’s vulnerabilities at right tackl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders’ 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday’s Class 3A region final. The win placed the Marauders (11-0) in their fifth state tournament since...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling block to...
Published: 11/17/17