SPRING HILL — A year ago, Bishop McLaughlin suffered through its toughest season since the program’s inception in 2005. The Hurricanes were just starting back then, but they see similarities in the 2014 season as they did nine years ago.
Coming off a 2-8 season in 2013 and under the program’s fifth head coach, Craig Moore, the Hurricanes must start from scratch with their roster.
One bright spot, however, stands at 6-foot-5 in the form of tight end/defensive end Will Potosky, a towering target for new quarterback Noah Callahan. The senior provides the Hurricanes with a sturdy building block.
“We’ve put in a lot of good work in the weight room with coach Moore,” Potosky said. “Practices are more intense this year, even though we have a little bit smaller numbers than we’ve had in past years. There’s a little bit more running overall.”
Potosky said the squad is closer than ever, creating a brotherhood with each other. The three-sport athlete had 30 receptions for 599 yards and two touchdowns last season, and added 16 tackles on defense. If Potosky can replicate or exceed those numbers, the Hurricanes could see major improvements sooner rather than later.
“Honestly, I try to go out on the field and be a team player,” Potosky said about his expectations for the season. “I put all my effort into every play and just play my role as a tight end. If I do my job, it will help the team just a little bit more. I feel with the lower numbers we have, we fit better as an independent team. Playing in a smaller district helps us and the pressure of lining up against a Division I guy isn’t there every game.”
The Hurricanes had to completely overhaul their offense after losing three-year quarterback R.J. Perciavalle to graduation. Coach Craig Moore will insert Noah Callahan under center and says he’s a dual-threat quarterback. The team returns wide receiver Will Potosky and running back Eric Pitton (332 yards), who will also line up at wideout.
Bishop McLaughlin allowed more than 40 points per game last fall and new defensive coordinator Chris Housholder’s job is to lower that average. With the team suffering from low player numbers, many offensive players also will play defense and be well-conditioned. Potosky will see time on the defensive line and Pitton will lead the secondary.
With the Hurricanes coming off a 1-9 campaign after playing small-school powers such as Berkeley Prep, Fort Meade and Tampa Catholic, they’re looking to bounce back as an independent team this season. Moore is hoping the team can make strides throughout the season and pick up a few wins along the way. The Hurricanes have some good pieces on both sides of the ball, and under Moore’s watch, they should see improvement from 2013.
• About the Hurricanes
Stadium: Bishop McLaughlin Field, 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill
Coach: Craig Moore (first season)
Last season: 1-9
Aug. 29: at Bradenton St. Stephen’s
Sept. 5: at Northside Christian
Sept. 12: Keswick Christian
Sept. 19: at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic
Sept. 26: Cambridge Christian
Oct. 3: Seffner Christian
Oct. 17: Kissimmee City of Life Christian
Oct. 24: at Windermere Prep
Oct. 31: SSAC Playoffs, TBA
Nov. 7: SSAC Playoffs, TBA
Nov. 15: SSAC Championships, TBA