Monday, May 28, 2018
Sports

Bloomingdale High fired up for big season under new coach

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
LeBron James, Cavs beat Celtics, advance to NBA Finals

LeBron James, Cavs beat Celtics, advance to NBA Finals

Times wiresBOSTON – LeBron James scored 35 points and played all 48 minutes Sunday night  to lead the Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to advance to the NBA Finals.James added 15 rebo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Austin Pruitt has started and worked out of the bullpen, in both short and long relief.But he did not expect to pick up his second career save Sunday by having to log 5⅔ innings, allowing only three hits whi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

So the team that just got back from a 10-day, 11-game road trip in three time zones is headed back out west for Memorial Day? The Rays travel to Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Washington, D.C. It's the first time they visited the West Coast on back-to-...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Martin Fennelly: A column to match Rays’ upside-down pitching

Martin Fennelly: A column to match Rays’ upside-down pitching

  In the spirit of the Rays' topsy-turvy pitching alignments, last goes first in this column. Go to the end to start reading. "The buy-in that we get, the buy-in to each other, and the team effort has been really fun to be part of to this point," C...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 10 hours ago
For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking of openers, the Rays will start RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA) for the fourth time this season, the second time in 48 hours vs. the Orioles. The 35-year-old Romo did not make it out of the first inning Friday, allowin...
Published: 05/27/18
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Published: 05/26/18