STADIUM: Bishop McLaughlin Field, 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill CLASS-DISTRICT: 3A-4 (with Berkeley Prep, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Lakeland Christian, and Tampa Catholic) COACH: Derrick Alexander (8-11, third season) LAST SEASON: 4-5
R.J. Perciavalle, Sr., quarterback
The 6-foot-1 quarterback enters his third season as the Hurricanes' starter, and this year will prove to be the toughest.
Bishop McLaughlin enters a new district and will face some of the top competition in the state, and Perciavalle will have to top his numbers from the 2012 season (completed 89 of 168 passes for 1,319 yards and 10 touchdowns) if the Hurricanes want to be competitive.
Will Potosky, tight end/defensive end
As one of Pasco County's tallest targets, the 6-foot-5 basketball-turned-football standout adds speed and experience and will be a strong part of Perciavalle's passing game. Last season, Potosky caught 17 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns, so those numbers will need to go up in 2013 for the Hurricanes to stay competitive within their district. Potosky will also double up on defense and play defensive end.
Bishop McLaughlin's 2012 offensive line paved the way for 1,346 rushing yards in 2012, averaging just more than 5 yards a carry and helped the passing game throw for more than 1,300 yards. With returners William Beaty (6-foot-1, 260 pounds) and David Gibson (6-foot, 256) back, the Hurricanes should rack up yards offensively once again. Also keep an eye on underclassman Chandler Glover (6-1, 235) and Justin Mohr (5-9, 177).
Bishop McLaughlin went from 41 players to 31 this fall, and that numbers drop, combined with the Hurricanes moving to district play and will face teams such as Berkeley Prep, Fort Meade and Tampa Catholic, will hurt. Coach Derrick Alexander has preached his team will compete every Friday night and will do the best it can in its new district.
This will not be Bishop McLaughlin's first season playing in an FHSAA district, as back in 2007 the Hurricanes played in 1B-District 6 and went 1-8 that season. The team returns to district play during a rebuilding stage, heading into its first year in Class 3A-District 4. The new district consists of Fort Meade, Frostproof, Lakeland Christian, Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic. “We obviously are in one of the tougher districts in the state,” Alexander said. “All we can do is compete every Friday night and see where the cards may fall.”
With the graduation of running backs Austin Meyers (435 yards, eight touchdowns) and Sammy Sullivan (391 yards, four TDs), the Hurricanes are looking for new faces to step up in the backfield. Likely candidates at tailback are senior Kamran Zafar (5-foot-8, 156 pounds) and junior Noah Clanahan (6-foot-1, 162 pounds), both of whom has no more than nine carries last season. If Bishop McLaughlin's running attack doesn't materialize, it will put heavy pressure on the Hurricanes' passing game.