Tampa Catholic, the Class 2A state football runnerup last fall, picked up two key additions via transfer.
After Monday's practice, Crusaders coach Bob Henriquez said lineman Chaz Green (6-foot-6, 268 pounds) and receiver Jordan Jones (6-4, 185), formerly of Palm Harbor University, have joined the team.
Green is a particularly big catch.
The Crusaders, who graduated four of five starters on the offensive line, can use the help up front. In Green, they've got a solid tackle who has big-time potential. After performing well at various camps this summer, he earned a scholarship offer from USF — though he's only a junior. Green also could see action at tight end and on the defensive line.
"He," Henriquez said, "has a huge upside. He's an outstanding athlete. He's raw. He hasn't played a lot."
Jones, also a junior, gives TC another solid skill player.
Tigers get early start
Under cover of darkness, the only vehicles on Himes Avenue that weren't pulling into Jesuit High were the street sweepers.
The football season began just before the crack of dawn. Jesuit players began arriving before 5:30 in anticipation of their first practice of the season at 6 a.m. sharp.
Senior linebacker P.J. Hobson was working on about five hours of sleep.
"It's like the night before Christmas," he said. "You're laying in your bed but you can't really get to sleep."
These early-morning practices are a tradition at Jesuit. And this year, as the Tigers walked out for their first of two practices underneath the lights at Corral Memorial Stadium, they hoped this was the first step in returning to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2007 with a 5-5 record.
"We've been working out since before the playoffs ended last year," senior defensive end John Plasencia said. "We know that everybody here is going to be devoted to this team. If you wake up at 5 in the morning to get here and be a part of this, you want to be here. Nobody's making you."
Severino to stick with East Bay
It's official: Veteran football coach Joe Severino, who has been head coach at Gaither, Tampa Bay Tech and most recently King, will be on the sidelines this fall with the East Bay staff. Severino said he found out last week he had received the teaching transfer he requested (he teaches integrated science).
Had the transfer not gone through, he might have ended up coaching at another school or not coaching because of the lengthy commute from East Bay.
Head coach at King for seven seasons until 2006 (the Lions made playoff appearances in 2000 and '01), Severino coached running backs for the Indians this spring under coach Brian Thornton's direction. He will hold the same position this fall.