“What will TC look like this year?” That’s always the question circulating in the high school football space prior to the season. Tampa Catholic always seems to have a talented team. Nice size on the offensive and defensive line and skill players that could be starters at any surrounding high school. The Crusaders always seemed to be defined by their inability to take down rivalry Jesuit. However, the Crusaders are looking forward.
After 19 wins in the last three seasons for legendary and long time Crusaders football coach Bob Henriquez retired as the head man. Assistant coach Mike Gregory elevated to take command. Five seasons and two double-digit win seasons, two regional championships, three district championships, and 4 playoff appearances, Coach Gregory moved on and is now an assistant coach on the Georgia Tech Football staff.
Hiring from within seemed to work pretty well, why not try it again. Tampa Catholic great, Auburn Alum and former professional athlete Jeris McIntyre elevated from wide receiver coach to head coach. After his first two seasons, McIntyre is 15-10 and back to back playoff appearances. Something good is brewing.
Coach McIntyre is excited about a few newcomers especially on the offensive and defensive line. Chris Williams 2022 OG/OT/DT, Jaiden Giovencio 2022 Guard/DE, and Eddie Pierre-Louis DT/OL. “I feel like these three big offensive/defensive lineman will help us up front on both sides of ball” stated Coach McIntyre. Adding them to the pot with D1 prospects Jaden Sandlin and Jaden Sandlin, the line should be in good shape.
Returning is sophomore 6-0/200 OLB Lewis Carter. He will help the team all over the field. “I think he was one of the most versatile players in the state and will line up and running back, safety and linebacker.” – Jeris McIntyre
Illinois commit DD Snyder will command the secondary. Synder is rangy and has become more physical. He looks to be fitting into his leadership role. Directing traffic on the backend and making plays.
KJ Covington is a super versatile player that can play running back, fullback, and linebacker at 5-9/235. He is a load to bring down and comes downhill as a linebacker.
Sophomore QB Xavione Washington is a true dual-threat QB that can extend the play and make big-time throws. Cool and collected, has a serene leadership style that seems to resonate with his teammates. Be realistic, he should play well but will make young mistakes. We like him a lot though.