SEFFNER — Some players have been playing football their entire life. Not Logan Hampton. The Seffner Christian senior had never played a team sport until middle school.
He heard about Seffner Christian starting a football team in 2010 and decided to see what it was about.
“When I first heard they had a team I was hesitant, but I owe who I am today to football,” Hampton said.
Hampton plays on the offensive and defensive line, although he admits he enjoys the defensive line a bit more.
“I do like to hit people,” Hampton said.
Opponents might not want Hampton to hit them this season. He said he has been in the weight room a lot more and is the strongest he has been.
“I’m weight training at a much higher scale. I didn’t use to take it as serious, but we log everything and I can see the results,” Hampton said.
This will more than likely be the last season of organized football that Hampton plays. He plans to attend USF and join the Marine Corps ROTC program. He eventually wants to get into missionary work in Jamaica.
Hampton is one of two remaining players from the 2010 team that went 2-7. He has seen the growth of the team and hopes to go out a winner in his final season.
“I remember how we started,” Hampton said. “I would be honored to be on a championship team.”
Seffner Christian will be looking to replace several key players from 2013, but running backs Marcus Richardson and Kami Mackay return.
Head coach Steve Lewis is excited about the potential of Mackay, only a sophomore.
“(Mackay) will be part of a very good group of football players by the time he is done. He will be sought after by colleges (when he is a senior),” Lewis said.
Seffner Christian is also coming off its most successful season of 7-on-7 play and is hoping it translates to the regular season. Junior Jacob Couch transferred in and will be the starting QB.
“We are getting better at the passing game. (The 7-on-7) really helped us a lot,” Lewis said.
Trent Puleo was a tackling machine last season, as the junior averaged 15 a game. He had meniscus surgery in the offseason but Lewis said Puleo is healthy and ready to go.
“His motor is just running all the time. He loves contact,” Lewis said.
Senior Logan Hampton will lead the defensive line. He has been part of the Seffner Christian team since it began play in 2010.
“He bounces around pretty good for a guy his size,” Lewis said.
This will the fifth season Seffner Christian fields a football team. When Lewis started the team in 2010, he said his staff laid out a five-year plan. Lewis said the plan has been working.
“We are right on time,” Lewis said.
This will also be the last season Seffner Christian plays as an FHSAA Independent before beginning play in the Sunshine Athletic Conference.
After going 8-2 last year, Lewis is looking to win the conference this year.
“We think we have a realistic chance to win the conference,” Lewis said.
♦ About The Crusaders
Stadium: Home games are played at various schools. Seffner Christian is located at 11605 E. U.S. 92, Seffner
Coach: Steve Lewis (149-161-6, 33rd season overall; 21-18, fifth season at Seffner Christian)
Last season: 8-2
Aug. 29: Kissimmee City of Life Christian (Tampa Bay Tech)
Sept. 5: Bradenton St. Stephen’s (Brandon High)
Sept. 12: at Windermere Prep
Sept. 26: at Calvary Christian
Oct. 3: at Bishop McLaughlin
Oct. 10: at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic
Oct. 17: Keswick Christian (Tampa Bay Tech)
Oct. 24: Shorecrest Prep (Armwood High)
Oct. 31: SSAC Playoffs
Nov. 7: SSAC Playoffs
Nov. 15: SSAC Championships