STADIUM: Home games are played at various schools. Seffner Christian is located at 11605 E. U.S. 92, Seffner CLASS-DISTRICT: Independent COACH: Steve Lewis (141-159-6, 32nd season overall; 13-16, fourth season at Seffner Christian) LAST SEASON: 5-5
Center Browning keys Crusaders
The Crusaders offense will have a lot of looks this season, but one steady will be that three-year starting center Michael Browning will be key to the team’s success. And Browning is more than up to the challenge.
“I see my role as being the leader of the offensive line and someone the young guys can look up to,” Browning said. “That’s something I’m trying to be – a leader on the field and in the school.”
For coach Steve Lewis, the consistency from Browning has been key as the program has steadily grown heading into its fourth year.
“Michael is just a steady guy for us,” Lewis said. “He knows the ropes and is one of those skill guys for us, but also is a great leader.”
Skill “Skill guys” is a big thing for Lewis, who said as his numbers have grown year-to-year, this season’s group has a lot of athletes in positions to be successful. Senior Robbie Shell will be one of those guys as he is one of many of the Crusaders’ 37 roster players who will play both sides of the ball. Shell, who will play defensive back, slot wide receiver, running back and return man is quick and has some experience with nearly 500 all-purpose yards last season and seven touchdowns.
“If there is a strength to this team it would be in our skill players,” Lewis said. “We have more team speed, something we really worked on in the offseason, and we just look a lot faster out there.”
Junior Juvon Johnson had 52 tackles from last season and also gives the Crusaders another option at return man. Marcus Robinson will be the team’s key success at running back and on the defensive line.
Senior Caleb Newman will take over the quarterback role after playing in parts of four games at Armwood last year. Newman will be charged with running the multiple offense implemented by the new offensive coordinator. He has some skill around him with Robinson at running back and some good receiving options in Shell, athlete Nahshon Benoit and tight end Trent Puleo.
The roster is still a little thin for Lewis this season, but the program is building in the right direction. Last year’s 5-5 record and 2011’s 6-4 are helping but a breakout year this season could help the program take the next step.
Get to game 11
The Crusaders are an FHSAA independent playing in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. The nearly 20-team conference is split into four regions with the teams playing a regular season of nine games and the top four teams reaching a two-game playoff series.
In 2012, the Crusaders finished 4-1 and reached the semifinal falling 35-17 to Oviedo Master’s Academy. This season Seffner Christian is hoping to make a run to the final, 11th game a “super bowl” for the SSAC.
“Our goal this year is a perfect season,” Browning said. “We want to make that championship game and we want to win it.”
Aug. 30: Orlando Cornerstone Charter (Brandon H.S.)
Sept. 6: Oviedo Master’s Academy (TBT)
Sept. 13: at Merritt Island Christian
Sept. 27: Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic (Armwood H.S.)
Oct. 4: at Orlando Christian Prep
Oct. 11: Winter Park International Community (Brandon H.S.)
Oct. 18: Windermere Prep (Armwood H.S.)
Oct. 25: at All Saints’ Academy
Oct. 31: Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian (EL Bing Park)