The challenges that a football team faces don't rise solely on the field.
First, Jesuit High's preseason game was rained out after they made the long bus ride to Miami.
Then came a real storm.
Assistant coach Frank Rose suddenly passed away. He was 38 years old.
But at Jesuit, the players call upon a strength that can't be honed by lifting weights to overcome obstacles.
"The students know that their talents and opportunities they have to play come from God," said Father Richard C. Hermes, Jesuit High School president.
Before each game, the football team attends Mass, then has a pregame meal in the school cafeteria. They also pray in the locker room before and after the game. Hermes joins the team for their prayer after the game and stays on the sidelines throughout the game.
"There is a brotherhood and a sense of community at Jesuit High School," Hermes said. "That's especially intense in football."
Donations in Frank Rose's name can be made to the Jesuit Scholarship Fund, or sent directly to the family care of Regan Latson, 19123 Cherry Rose Circle, Lutz, FL 33558.
Eve Edelheit, Times staff