He’s a look at the 2010 Bayshore High football team, coached by Jean P. Gordon.
NEEDS A BIG SEASON FROM: WENDELL WILLIAMSON, sr, DT/T. He’s tall and big. And he helped create the holes that running back Alex Jackson burst through for so many yards last season.
If Bayshore is going to make the playoffs for the first time in the Jean. P Gordon era, then they’ll need Williamson to turn in a huge season on the offensive line.
Jackson tallied 1,300 yards in 2009 thanks in part to the front line opening the holes and laying out blocks.
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Williamson was a key to that and is back to help a senior-laden line widen the gaps for the ground game to burst through.
He’s 6-foot-4 and entered camp at a shade over 300 pounds.
Gordon, the Bruins’ head coach, said Williamson will trim down to about 280 by the Kickoff Classic.
That will make him quicker and a touch more agile without losing his imposing physique — something that Bayshore will lean on come the regular season.
“He’s a kid that should be getting Division I looks,” Gordon said. “... Wendell is one of our key fixtures on this team. He’s a guy that we expect big things out of.”
And being a senior, means a few seasons with the same playbook and what the opposition has in store.
“We’ve experienced everything,” Williamson said. “There’s nothing we have not seen yet. We’ve seen all kinds of blitzes and all kinds of defenses.”
FILLING THE VOID: CEDRIC WASHINGTON, sr., DB/RB and DOMINIC EVERETT, jr., LB/RB
Washington and Everett combined for almost 200 rushing yards in the first half of the spring game victory against Palm Harbor University High. They’ll need to replicate that performance game after game for the Bruins to find the missing yards left by the departing Alex Jackson.
DEEP AT: Running backs. Gordon said he has about six backs that are more than capable to sit in the backfield and attack the opposing defenses. That should help fill the void left by Jackson, as Bayshore will try to get those yards with a collective effort and not a sole workhorse tailback.
THIN AT: The Bruins have 20 seniors among their 34 players, which means an experienced group that gives Bayshore its best shot at the playoffs in some time. But what about in 2011, when more than half the current roster is gone?
IMPACT NEWCOMER: NOBDOY. Gordon said this year’s team, with 20 seniors, is the most he’s had during his tenure.
Of the 34 players on the roster, there’s just one sophomore listed and Gordon said everyone on the roster played in 2009.
COACH QUANDARY: If there’s one worry heading to the season opener for Gordon, it has to be the wide receivers catching passes. Gordon said he went over each game film and spotted too many open receivers dropping balls thrown right into their numbers. To get to the postseason, Bayshore will need to catch passes to avoid becoming a predictable, one-dimensional offense.
CAMP STOCK: UP: IMPROVING FROM THE SPRING GAME. The Bruins gouged Palm Harbor University High with several big running plays in the spring game blowout. But several players have improved since then and has brought enthusiasm to the club and Gordon.
Aaron Jones (DB/WR), Joshua Maugherman (DB/QB) and Tyderian Jenkins (DB/SE) have all improved in their various roles on the team.
DOWN: SECONDARY. Gordon points to the secondary as needing to sharpen before the season gets underway. “Everybody slings the ball,” Gordon said. “And that was another reason we went into the 7-on-7 — to get our secondary better.”
KEY GAME: Nov. 5 vs. Southeast. It’s the last district game of the season and while getting off to a good start in districts is usually a pivotal moment in a team’s season, for Bayshore it’s about the end of the year.
The Bruins had a shot at the playoffs with a 2-1 district record heading into the showdown with Seminoles, with a postseason spot on the line. But they fell behind early before a second-half surge saw the club nearly pull off a miraculous comeback.
Sept. 3 JACKSONVILLE BOLLES
Sept. 10 PORT CHARLOTTE
Sept. 17 CARDINAL MOONEY
Sept. 24 BRADEN RIVER
Oct. 1 at Palmetto
Oct. 8 at Booker
Oct. 15 at Lakewood Ranch
Oct. 22 at Englewood Lemon Bay
Nov. 5 SOUTHEAST
Nov. 12 at Arcadia DeSoto
Home games in ALL CAPS
at Manatee L, 45-0
at Port Charlotte W, 14-5
at Cardinal Mooney W, 23-12
at Braden River L, 39-0
PALMETTO L, 27-9
BOOKER W, 50-14
LAKEWOOD RANCH L, 35-14
LEMON BAY W, 26-7
at Southeast L, 34-27
ARCADIA DESOTO L, 35-21
BY THE NUMBERS:
20 — seniors on the Bayshore roster, the most Gordon said he’s had during his tenure.
2 — number of district wins the Bruins had, doubled from the 2008 season and one shy of a playoff berth.
0 — number of playoff berths at Bayshore under Gordon.
ON THE WEB: www.bradenton.com/Bayshore
HEAD COACH: Jean P. Gordon, 16th season, fifth at Bayshore. 64-98 overall. 13-26 at Bayshore.