1. Linebackers and secondary. With the transfer of senior linebacker Jakobi Wheeler from St. Petersburg Catholic, the back seven of Keswick's defense should be particularly stout. The linebackers run the 40-yard dash in less than five seconds according to Darden. In the secondary, Trevor Angell starts at corner and Doug Sanson is slotted at safety. Both are seniors and returning starters.
2. Under center. The quarterback position has been settled with Sanson beating out fellow senior Isaac Huntley for the job following spring drills. Huntley will move to receiver and team with youngster Armani Lonardo to give the Crusaders a sure-handed duo.
Coach: Rick Sanson (11th season, 52-54) | Last season: 11-1 | Class: B, District 6 | Colors: Green and white
Lightning forced the Crusaders inside to watch film on what was supposed to be the team's first day in pads. As the occasional flash lit up the room, Daniel Darden, a second-team all-state defensive end last season, peeked out the window. He had heard the whispers all summer, heard how the Crusaders had lost too many players and how there was no way they could go undefeated again this year. The doubters fueled Darden. "I'm ready to hit somebody," he lamented.
1. Can a running back with no experience playing organized football carry the load? The first time sophomore Reeze Rucker suited up for a game was Keswick's spring scrimmage against Tarpon Springs. Rucker, who claims to have 4.49 speed, had never played anything but sandlot football.
2. Will an inexperienced offensive line trip up the Crusaders? Two seniors on the line will be starting for the first time. Ethan Engelhardt, who has the most experience of the returning linemen, Josh McKay and tight end Scott Oliver will be counted on heavily to contribute on both sides of the ball.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer