Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

Steinbrenner: 2014 football preview

Steinbrenner

Coach: Andres Perez-Reinaldo (third season, 8-12)

Last season: 3-7

Class/district: 7A-7

Colors: Gold and blue

Stadium: Unnamed. 5575 Lutz Lake Fern Drive, Lutz.

Playoff history: None

Season schedule

Aug. 29 at Plant City, 7:30

Sept. 5 at Alonso, 7

Sept. 12 vs. Spoto, 7:30

Sept. 19 vs. Sickles, 7:30

Oct. 2 at Tampa Bay Tech, 7

Oct. 10 at Wharton, 7:30

Oct. 17 vs. Wiregrass Ranch, 7:30

Oct. 24 at Freedom, 7:30

Oct. 31 vs. Gaither, 7:30

Nov. 7 vs. Jefferson, 7:30

Mark your calendar

Sickles at Steinbrenner, Sept. 19: Steinbrenner has never beaten its neighborhood rival in three tries. But don't tell that to coach Andres Perez-Reinaldo. He believes the group has made big strides and will be ready for the challenge in its district opener against the Gryphons. Home-field advantage for the Warriors could play a major factor as well. The last time Steinbrenner hosted Sickles in 2011, an estimated, sold-out crowd of 3,000 packed the stadium.

Huddle highlights

Youth movement: Steinbrenner lost 22 players to graduation, leaving holes at key positions, including starting quarterback and running back. Perez-Reinaldo isn't concerned though. He said this year's group developed well in the offseason, which, for him, was "fun to watch."

Airing it out? In past years, the ground game has been a catalyst for Steinbrenner's offense. That may not be the case this season. The Warriors boast a polished receiving corp, headlined by seniors Kezio Snelling and Cody Burgess, that will give new starting quarterback Quentin Poteralski plenty of targets.

No excuses: Despite a daunting schedule, Perez-Reinaldo won't shy away from having high expectations for Steinbrenner. He said a major shift in the culture and attitude of the program has convinced him that it can compete against the area's best while still building for the future. "Since this school's been open (in 2009), I feel like we've gotten better and better every year," he said.

Solid secondary: Anchored by senior Trent Shaw and sophomores Josh Edwards and Grant Wilson, Perez-Reinaldo boldly predicted that this year's crop of defensive backs will be among "the best in the county."

Known quantities

WR/KR Kezio Snelling, Sr.: The Warriors' top recruit had 1,341 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns last season. He has offers from several Division I programs, including Cincinnati, Rutgers and Purdue.

DL Andre Washington, Jr.: After missing time with an injury early last season, the 6-foot-1, 260-pound Washington rebounded to become a dominant force (70 tackles, 11 sacks).

QB Quentin Poteralski, Sr.: Poteralski is a first-year starter, but has plenty of in-game experience. Last season against Wiregrass Ranch, he stepped in after starter Curtis Fitch left with an injury and threw the tying touchdown that help lead the team to a come-from-behind victory.

DB Trent Shaw, Sr.: A leader in the team's young secondary, Shaw had 32 tackles, four passes defensed and one interception last season.

DL Andres Bautista, Sr.: Bautista, the nephew of former Major League Baseball player Danny Bautista, is described by Perez-Reinaldo as the "absolute heart and soul of Steinbrenner football."

Up-and-comers

RB Jayquese Dantley, Jr.: The former Gaither speedster should see plenty of playing time after being forced to sit out a year because of transfer rules.

DL Patrick Lukert, Jr.: The 6-foot-1 Lukert was in on three sacks against Alonso in the spring game and will benefit from a veteran-heavy front four.

Coach's corner

"It takes playing (tough) teams to make your team better, and that's what I'm priding ourselves on. These guys have got to take that as an opportunity. Each one of those games on that schedule is an opportunity to not only make yourself better, but to make a name for yourself and for Steinbrenner High School." — Perez-Reinaldo

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