As juniors last season, Doug Sandberg and Logan Crouse — the Bulls’ two leading receivers — combined for 1,207 yards and 10 touchdowns. But this month, they’ve been noticeably absent from the football field during spring workouts.
They’re too busy putting in time at the next field over.
Crouse, a Florida State baseball commit, and Sandberg are also key starters for the Bloomingdale baseball team that has made an unexpected run to the 8A state semifinal, its first final four appearance in a decade. Backup quarterback Tommy McLaughlin, who started a few games in place of starter Isaiah McIntyre last season, is also on the baseball squad.
Football coach John Booth knows his standouts are working hard elsewhere, but he admits he’s missed their presence on the gridiron the past few weeks.
“We don’t have that leadership from them at that position group,” Booth said. “But hopefully after they come back and win a state championship, we’ll have that.”
In the meantime, Booth said his new players have had a chance to show what they can do, as McIntyre and a pair of offensive linemen are the only returning offensive players he’s had during practices. Booth said the Bulls will feature two new running backs this season and several new lineman.
“You leave practicing thinking, ‘We’re not where we should be.’ But then you have to remind yourself, ‘Well, Logan will be back. Doug will be back.’ So that kind of opens up our pass game a little bit more,” he said. “The nice thing is it gives the younger guys a little bit of a chance to get some reps.”
“We’re fast, and we play faster.” — Chamberlain coach Cam Jones. His Chiefs are expected to spread the offense with a faster tempo instead of focusing on the single wing. WR/S DJ Daniel will be a key component after totaling only 55 receiving yards as a sophomore last fall.
“He’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s faster, all those things that you hope for in the offseason. But the maturity of how he carries himself in school and then his poise in offense (has improved).” — Bloomingdale coach John Booth on quarterback Isaiah McIntyre, who missed games last season after receiving an in-school suspension.
“It’s a whole new atmosphere with Coach Thomas taking over. There’s a lot more hard work, a lot more discipline. There’s a lot more energy here now.” — King starting quarterback Paul Arfaras on new head coach Trey Thomas. Thomas was promoted from offensive coordinator in the offseason after former King coach Alvin Davis retired.
“The culture has absolutely changed around here. Being in it, you don’t see it quite as much, but when older players come back...man, the progress you guys have made in a few years is tremendous. It definitely is very nice for me to hear.” — East Bay coach Frank LaRosa, who guided the Indians to their first district title in 40 years last fall
By the numbers: Berkeley Prep
13.7 Yards per completion last season by QB Brad Mayes as a junior
11.9 Percent of rushing yards lost due to graduation. Berkeley could return its top four rushers, led by Gordon Stetson
265 Receiving yards by then-freshman Cade Weldon (son of former FSU and Bucs quarterback Casey Weldon), who also saw time as a backup quarterback
3 Bucs with major college offers (DT Bo Peek, WR Jacob Mathis and Mayes). Peek and Mathis both claimed UCF offers Wednesday.
7 Consecutive years Berkeley has finished at .500 or better after a five-win 2013 season
• USF offered a pair of Tampa prospects: Hillsborough 2016 linebacker recruit Azeez Al-Shaair and Robinson receiver/defensive back Jahrvis Davenport.
• Tampa Catholic receiver Nate Craig has claimed recent offers from Texas A&M and Notre Dame.
• Miami gave the first scholarship offer for Jefferson 2017 recruit Jean Marcellus, a 6-foot-4, 284-pound offensive lineman.
• Tampa Catholic lineman Mailk Barrow picked up and Ohio State offer, giving him 10 since the start of spring.
Photo: Berkeley Prep QB Brad Mayes