Football: Bishop to play in 3A-District 4
Tight spirals zipping on passing plays is a little taste of what a Bishop McLaughlin practice has been like this spring.
Short dump passes are darted toward the facemask and post routes are hit right between the numbers. That's an afternoon's work for Hurricanes quarterback R.J. Perciavalle, who enters his third season as the starter and a final opportunity to impress college recruiters that might find a hidden gem off State Road 52.
The 5-foot-9 senior shouldn't be a secret, as Perciavalle has put up numbers to rival many prep careers. In two seasons as Bishop McLaughlin's starter, Perciavalle has completed 231 of 388 passes for 3,139 yards and 27 touchdowns.
These spring practices are a first for Perciavalle and his team, and coach Derrick Alexander believes his quarterback will eventually get noticed.
“First of all, he’s a great kid and a student of the game,” Alexander said. “Me being with him the last three years, I've seen the progression in him as a quarterback.’’
Those tools will be needed heading into a fall-season schedule. Bishop moves from the Sunshine State Athletic Conference (SSAC) to Class 3A-District 4, which boasts perennial state championship contenders Berkeley Prep, plus Fort Meade and Tampa Catholic. The Hurricanes are a combined 8-13 the past two seasons.
Encouragement lies in the pass-and-catch tandem of Perciavalle to three-sport athlete Will Potosky, who also plays basketball and baseball. Potosky stands 6-foot-4 and will provide a mismatch with many defensive backs and linebackers. Potosky had a decent season last fall, catching 17 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
“Coach tells me to always look for my best friend on offense,” Perciavalle said. “Will is my go-to guy on offense, and I’m always looking to get the ball out of my hands and into his. We’ve really developed a strong connection on the field. It’s the first time the school has ever had a spring ball game and we’re just ready to go out there and have a good time playing football. I know I can't wait.”
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.