Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Winless in 2009, Bloomingdale Bulls take hope into new season


When the prep football schedule came out last season, Bloomingdale lineman Christian Kerr scanned the list. He checked off the games he thought the Bulls would win.

Kerr ended up putting a slash through every opponent on the schedule.

"Honestly," he said. "I didn't see a team on that list we couldn't beat."

As it turns out, the smartest kid on the field couldn't have been more wrong.

Kerr, who holds a 6.1 weighted grade point average, and the Bulls suffered through a disastrous 0-10 season under first-year coach John Booth. To make matters worse, the Bulls' winless season came a year after reintroducing themselves to the student body and reaching the playoffs in 2008 for the first time in school history.

"We had a lot of setbacks (in 2009)," Kerr said. "It was tough."

The season seemed doomed from the beginning. Bloomingdale's weight room was under renovation during the summer, so the team had to cram some weights inside a tight locker area.

"We could only get a few weights in there," Kerr said.

Combine that with losing nearly 30 seniors from the 2008 team, and last year's Bulls had two strikes against them before the first kickoff.

"We were so young," Booth said. "And then to boot, you add a whole new offense and a whole new scheme into the mix. It was a lot to ask of these guys."

As many as five freshmen started on various Fridays. Even the more experienced players struggled with the new terminology that came with the program's third coach in as many years.

"This is the first time in my high school career I've had the same coach for two straight years," Kerr, a senior, said.

Although the Bulls struggled last season, Kerr is optimistic heading into his final year.

"For us it was a lot of little things," he said. "It was a play here or there and if those go our way, momentum changes."

Bloomingdale lost five of its games by two touchdowns or less, proving the Bulls could hang with most teams on their schedule. And even though it was "little things" that prevented them from pulling out close games, it doesn't necessarily feel better than a blowout.

"It may have been easier to take if we got beat 50-0 every game because at least we would know we got beat by better teams," Kerr said. "Losing close games is more frustrating. But either way you look at it, a loss is a loss."

Kerr will help make up the offensive line. Bloomingdale returns four starters up front, led by tackles Jake Smith and Kerr.

"Having that continuity, especially on the offensive line, is so important," said Kerr, who is being looked at by Harvard. "You have to work in unison up there, and we know each other's tendencies so well now."

Booth said even though last season was difficult, he was pleased with his players' resolve.

"You know when (our record) got to 0-5, 0-6, 0-7, it would have been easy to say 'Why bother?' " the coach said. "It was tough. But they stuck it out, and I think they'll be a better team this year because of that."

Now the question is will the Bulls resemble the 2008 playoff team or last year's edition?

"There hasn't been a great tradition here, but we're working to change the mind-set," Booth said. "That's been the biggest challenge with these guys, but I truly believe they're capable of winning a district title."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

Winless in 2009, Bloomingdale Bulls take hope into new season 08/26/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 4:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and ... whom else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  2. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  3. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.
  4. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?


    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]