A look at the 2010 Bradenton Christian football team, coached by Allan Gerber.
NEEDS A BIG SEASON FROM: JOSH CLARK, sr., OL: Clark has a chance to become BCS’ first football player to earn a Division I scholarship, which would add a mesaure of prestige and credibility to the young program. But most importantly, Clark will be a cog in solidfying an offense that has the ability to run as well as pass.
Running back R.J. Schooler ran for 194 yards and three touchdowns running behind Clark in the spring game, and few Class 1B programs boast a nearly 300-pound lineman that stands 6-foot-4. BCS plans on throwing the football, too, and Clark will be entrusted in helping keep quarterback Sean McCarthy safe when the Panthers choose to go the air.
“For 1B football, we’re going to have one of the biggest lines in the area,” said BCS coach Allan Gerber. “We’ve got a fairly big line...So the run game, and the idea of controlling the clock and that sort of thing, will be a big priority for us.”
And the big priority for that is Clark, which is why he could find himself making school history come February’s National Signing Day.
FILLING THE VOID: Jon Prince, sr., LB: The Panthers’ defense was terriffic last season, recording three shutouts and allowing 9.2 points per game. Prince will be called on to offset the losses of Stuart Cobb and Josh Thomas, both of whom played in the PAL Bowl. “Different kind of animal,” Gerber said. “He’s not a big kid...but he’s a better athlete.”
DEEP AT: Offensive line. Clark (300 pounds) and Raleigh Alexander (250) help front a line that will encourage BCS to run the ball more often than the Panthers have in the past.
THIN AT: Wide receiver. Gerber is to quick to point out the potential of guys such as Ryan Cobb and Austin Walker — but one of BCS’ top priorities will be to establish a receiver good enough to prevent defense from crowding the box.
IMPACT NEWCOMER: Ryan Cobb, jr., WR: Formerly a quarterback, Cobb has moved to wide receiver and has embraced the role, giving BCS another skill player with potential. “He really has a done a good job taking ownership in that position,” Gerber said.
COACH QUANDRY: The receivers. Gerber knows the running game is good, and he likes what he has seen from quarterback Sean McCarthy. But he wants to know if his receivers are good enough to draw some pressure off the running game and allow BCS to spread the field. “If our receivers are able to step up,” Gerber said, “I think we’ll be OK.”
CAMP STOCK: UP: The chemistry. “We don’t have a star,” Gerber said, “but we have a bunch of guys that bring their lunchpails and work hard every day, and seem to get along...That bodes well for that 4th-and-1, game-on-the-line situation — that belief in each other.”
DOWN: Gerber wants better play out of the linebackers and secondary, or more to the point, more consistent. Gerber is hoping Prince can fill the void at linebacker and Sam Lister can step in at safety.
KEY GAME: OCT. 15 vs. OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY: The Panthers will be out to even the score after the Thunder snapped seven-game season-opening winning streak. BCS lost the following week and missed out on the playoffs.
Sept. 3 SOUTHWEST FLORIDA CHRISTIAN
Sept. 10 at St. Petersburg Keswick
Sept. 17 at Tampa Cambridge
Sept. 24 SAINT STEPHEN’S
Oct. 1 OCALA VANGUARD
Oct. 8 at Naples St. John Neumann
Oct. 15 OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY
Oct. 22 at Naples First Baptist Academy
Oct. 29 at Fort Myers Evangelical
Nov. 5 MOORE HAVEN
BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN W, 39-0
ST. PETERSBURG KESWICK W, 30-6
TAMPA CAMBRIDGE W, 28-0
at Saint Stephen’s W, 28-8
NAPLES FIRST BAPTIST ACADEMY W, 42-0
NAPLES ST. JOHN NEUMANN W, 28-6
at Clearwater Calvary Christian W, 32-7
at Out-of-Door Academy L, 17-7
FORT MYERS EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN L, 28-7
at Moore Haven W, 42-20
BY THE NUMBERS:
7 — Opponents the Panthers limited to eight points or less last season.
.700 — BCS’ winning percentage in two years under Gerber.
5 — Night games BCS will play on campus this season now that the field has lights.
ON THE WEB: www.bradenton.com/Bradenton_Christian
HEAD COACH: Allan Gerber, 14-6, third season