At a glance
Herald’s forecast: 3-7
After failing to win a game in 2016, the Bruins should be more competitive this season and pick up some victories with an easier schedule. Their non-district opponents are in similar spots — looking to rebuild and gain confidence. The district favorite is Southeast, but there are some league games that are winnable for a Bayshore squad entering the second year of head coach John Biezuns’ rebuilding project.
Deep at: Running backs. There are several options for head coach John Biezuns in a run-heavy offensive scheme.
Thin at: Offensive line. It’s a position group that needs to step up for the Bruins to enjoy some success this season.
Head coach: John Biezuns
Career: Second year, 0-9 (20-18 overall)
Needs a big season from: Its quarterback
Last year was abysmal for the Bruins, who didn’t score a point until the fourth regular-season game.
Last season is also in the past.
Former signal-caller Ryan O’Neill transferred to Manatee High and it’s given the opportunity for two players to take the reins of the offense in 2017.
Corey Von Borstel and Brian Coleman took snaps toward the end of 2016. Whoever lines up under center will be tasked with leading an offense that struggled to produce yardage last season.
“I think that means everything to us,” head coach John Biezuns said. “Going from where we were last year, obviously not winning a game, has been chronicled. Everybody knows that. But it’s kind of at the point now where, let it be.”
Part of that is the coaching staff isn’t aiming to micromanage the players, Biezuns said. Instead, it’s letting Von Borstel and Coleman deliver leadership and the two are approaching the competition battle in a friendly way.
“I think with the offense that we have with the rolling out, I think we have a pretty decent … passing game this year,” Von Borstel said.
Bayshore’s quarterback play is also dependent on getting versatile offensive weapon Miguel Rodriguez involved.
“If we have an offensive play, it’s somehow going to go through Miguel,” Biezuns said. “He’s our best player.”
Added Von Borstel: “He can catch. He’ll get on the ground for it. He’d rather get on the ground for it than complain about the throw being bad.”
1,146Total yards the offense produced last season.
56Completion percentage for QB Brian Coleman in three games last season.
11Seasons since the Bruins last made the playoffs, the longest drought among Manatee County public schools.
Who’s in: Inverness Citrus, Cape Coral Island Coast, Mulberry
Who’s out: Braden River, Palmetto, Cardinal Mooney
Upgrade: Swapping two playoff teams and a playoff-caliber squad in Palmetto for three new teams in a similar situation as Bayshore is only going to improve the Bruins’ chances of winning games and gaining confidence during the rebuilding process.
Zy’darrian James, Soph., slot/wingback
Head coach John Biezuns is high on James’ potential impact this fall. James got into one varsity game last season but showed his skill during the spring game when he ran for a 65-yard touchdown that was negated for a penalty. Despite that, it gave the Bruins an added offensive option, and he hit the weight room hard during the offseason to get himself in varsity shape.
“He broke a bunch of (weight room) records,” Biezuns said.
Games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted
at Lakewood Ranch
at Cape Coral Island Coast
at Sarasota Booker*
at North Port
Arcadia DeSoto County*
at Englewood Lemon Bay*, 7 p.m.
*-Class 5A-District 11 game
Englewood Lemon Bay