Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Pinellas County
Coach: Kenny Crawford (second season, 5-5)
Last season: 5-5
District: Class 5A, District 9
Key losses: RB/LB Oraian Bentley, OL/DL Tra Butler, K/P Justin Cupo, WR/DB Andrew Laughery, P Tony Murphy, QB/DB Cody Nowakowski, DB Valentino Pittman, OL/DL Pornapetch Pravisay, WR/DB Kylieel Robinson, WR/DB Levi Verdell, TE/DE Justin Warren, OL/DL Anthony Yingling
Who's back: OL/DL Chris Bonny, OL/DL Thomas Cardwell, QB/DB Jesse Hevia, OL Dennis Homel, DB Kenny Hunter, OL/DL Wilbert Knight, TE/DE Chris Parrott, RB/LB Jeremi Powell, OL/DL Albert Reyes, RB Mike Smith
What's new: The Patriots will have to replace virtually their entire back seven on defense as the only returning starter is Hunter in the secondary. Crawford, though, thinks his defensive backfield won't miss a beat. Powell is moving to linebacker after starting at defensive end last season and has seen his recruiting stock increase exponentially of late. He is projected as an athlete at the next level. Knight, a 300-pound nose guard, highlights a line that is the strength of the defense. Hevia, who has been catching the eye of college recruiters, is back at quarterback, and Crawford said he expects a productive season from his rising senior both running the ball and passing. The Patriots are employing more option packages to take advantage of Hevia's running ability. Smith, the leading rusher last season, is returning, and he'll split time with Powell, though at least five different rushers will get carries. The Patriots had trouble completing passes last season but would like to utilize Hevia's arm to create more balance on offense. Powell leads a young but talented receiving corps that includes newcomer Iman Smith from the basketball team. The offensive line is made up of four seniors with starting experience and a junior in Alex Stabile who, at 6-3, 250 pounds, is the biggest of them all.
Audible: "Last year our goal was to not have a losing season and to be competitive in our district, and I think we achieved that. Our goal for the coming year is to have a winning season and make the playoffs. As hard as our team works, I wouldn't put anything past our guys. We're not the biggest team in the world, but we're some of the hardest workers." — Crawford
Did you know? Of the Patriots' five losses last season, four were by eight points or fewer.
Spring game: vs. Springstead, 7 p.m. May 28
Sept. 3 at Osceola
Sept. 10 vs. Palm Harbor U.
Sept. 16 vs. Dunedin
Sept. 24 vs. Northeast
Oct. 1 at Boca Ciega
Oct. 15 vs. Clearwater
Oct. 22 vs. Seminole
Oct. 29 at Gibbs
Nov. 5 at St. Petersburg
Nov. 12 at Dixie Hollins
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer