The Canterbury football team looks to continue its winning ways this year under first-year head coach Derrick Crudup.
The offensive coordinator for the Cougars last season, Crudup is inheriting a solid core of 28 players.
“It was nice to finally get some linemen this year, so now the big boys won’t have to play both ways,” Crudup said. “But all of my skill-position guys play both ways.”
Offense: The offense has seven returning starters and will feature a new look under junior quarterback Danny Cunningham. Sophomore running back Jalen Ellis and senior wide receiver Ryan Misewicz should be Cunningham’s most likely targets.
Crudup, a former University of Miami quarterback, says he will mentor Cunningham.
Cunningham will lead a pro-style offense which will feature a balance of running and passing plays. Crudup is hoping that his running game will then open up the necessary throwing lanes for his quarterback.
“We don’t really have an offensive identity, but we’ll be running the ball a lot,” Crudup said.
Defense: The defense will be relatively the same by returning eight starters. The Cougar defense will be led by first-year coordinator Tariq Humes. Crudup says the defense will begin the year in a 4-3 formation, but could transition into a 5-2 formation during the season.
Ellis and Misewicz will also lead the defense. They have been chosen, along with Cunningham, as the team’s three captains.
Humes will pin his hopes on rotating lineman to get enough pressure on the quarterback to give his secondary opportunities to make plays.
Outlook: The Cougars will lean on its 15 returning starters.
“Our biggest challenge will be coming together as a team, since we don’t have a lot of depth,” Cunningham said.
Crudup believes this is the year for his players to shine and is looking forward to seeing all their success this season.
2015 record: 5-3, no playoffs
Aug. 26: at ECS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2: Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9: St. John Neumann, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16: at St. Petersburg Canterbury, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23: BYE
Sept. 30: Ocala St. John’s Lutheran, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7: Winter Haven All Saints Academy, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14: Riverview Bell Creek Academy, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21: at Lake Placid, 7 p.m.