TAMPA — It seemed like Max Frankel was everywhere for Carrollwood Day last season.
In truth, he was.
In what CDS coach Lane McLaughlin calls true “old-fashioned football players” where nearly every player is called to play on both sides of the ball, it’s almost unfair to call a player like Frankel a linebacker.
Frankel, who recorded 104 tackles last season for the Patriots, helped CDS finish as the district runner-up and reach the Class 2A playoffs. Frankel also saw time at fullback, rushing for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns, and he caught 16 passes.
This year, his coach and team might ask for even more from the senior defensive captain who moves to middle linebacker this season.
Frankel’s response: “Expecting more from me from last season is something I strive for as well. I want to get better each day and that drives me to keep working harder.”
McLaughlin said he expects his senior to shoulder a big load of the leadership on the defensive side, and also termed the 6-foot, 207-pounder as his full-time fullback this season.
Frankel said the two-way mentality of his team makes the Patriots better football players.
“It’s not like our offense is separated from our defense. Our offense is our defense and I think it makes us work harder because if you take a play off on defense, all it will do is hurt you on offense,” he said. “It makes you a smarter player because you know what the other side of the ball is thinking.”
The Patriots might have less variety after the graduation of quarterback Taylor King (2,084 passing yards, 18 touchdowns), but with running backs Willie Parker and Elias Earley, speed won’t be an issue. The two combined for nearly 1,800 yards rushing last season and 20 touchdowns. And with Max Frankel working as the fullback, the trio could wear out opposing defensive lines.
Coach Lane McLaughlin said he’s excited about his offensive line: “Our tackles Carlos Acuna and Corey Shamley are both being recruited and they are as tough a tackle combination as there is in (Class) 2A.”
Both lines may get a big lift from from 6-foot-3, 360-pound Michigan transfer Jalon Corp.
The big question mark is at quarterback, as junior Spencer Peek is out with injuries sustained in an auto accident.
The unit has question marks along the line and at linebacker. However, Frankel’s experience will be a big lift. Jackson Danner, who had a pair of interceptions in the spring game, Austin Angelos and Zax Watson-Parcels (a Steinbrenner transfer) will step in at linebacker.
Aside from the graduation of key players from last year’s 7-4 team, the roster is down after other departures from the program. However, McLaughlin said that hasn’t hurt the program — he points to a commitment issue from players who looked to “take from the school” instead of giving to it.
The schedule starts with a bang as the regular-season opener is against 2013 2A quarterfinalist Jacksonville University Christian and includes Admiral Farragut on top of a challenging district.
One question mark is where the Patriots will call home. Looking to create more of a high school experience, CDS will play just one game in the field adjacent to campus and its other “home” games are slated for Skyway Park.
♦ About The Patriots
Stadium: Home games will also be played at various sites. The school is located at 1515 Bearss Ave., Tampa.
Class-District: 2A-5 (with Bradenton Christian, Cambridge Christian, Canterbury, Indian Rocks Christian and Northside Christian)
Coach: Lane McLaughlin (43-20, seventh season)
Last season: 7-4
Aug. 29: at Jacksonville University Christian
Sept. 5: Indian Rocks Christian
Sept. 12: Winter Garden Foundation Academy
Sept. 26: at Admiral Farragut
Oct. 3: Canterbury (Skyway Park)
Oct. 10: at Ocala Trinity Prep
Oct. 17: at Bradenton Christian
Oct. 24: Cambridge Christian (Skyway Park)
Oct. 31: at Northside Christian
Nov. 7: at Shorecrest Prep