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Tampa Catholic (FL) Crusaders loaded with talent, ready for 2022

Head coach and alum Jeris McIntyre may have his most talented team since taking the helm at his alma mater
Tampa Catholic

TAMPA, FLORIDA – Taking over the Tampa Catholic football program back in 2018 after coaches like Bob Henriquez and Mike Gregory led the program was a big act to follow for Crusaders’ alumnus Jeris McIntyre.

After four seasons and a 28-18 record for McIntyre, he has arguably one of his most talented teams since taking over at his alma mater and the Crusaders are slated to make a lot of noise in Class 2A-Metro. The former college standout sees his team playing a fast, physical brand of football that should correlate into plenty of wins in 2022.

"We look forward to going out every Friday night and playing fast, physical and disciplined Tampa Catholic football,” McIntyre said.

The list of Division I players littered along the roster for Tampa Catholic is a long one, as defense features some of the top defenders in the Tampa Bay Area. Leading the way on defense is Oklahoma commitment Lewis Carter at linebacker, who is coming off a 66-tackle season in 2021. Joining on defense is defensive tackle Baraka Andrews, who made 35 tackles last season and has an offer from Western Kentucky.

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On offense, junior quarterback Trey Hedden will be leading a talented group after he saw split time under center as sophomore. In 2021, Hedden threw for 484 yards, three touchdowns and currently holds offers from the University of South Florida, Toledo and Florida A&M. Four-star rated offensive lineman Eddy Pierre Louis anchors one of Hillsborough County’s top fronts on offense. Receivers TJ Moore, Jamai Rutherford along with running back Mario Mayo round out a very talented offense.

With summer workouts going strong heading into the first week of official practices getting underway, the Crusaders have themselves a talented team all across the board. Playing in the new metro/suburban state series in a new district of Class 2A-Metro, District 6 with Jefferson, Robinson and Blake pins the Crusaders as the early favorites to win the division.

“Summer workouts have been going great,” McIntyre said. “The numbers have been great and our players are working hard in the weight room and on the field daily.”

“I don’t have a problem with it as long as my guys are able to go out and compete on a Friday night and are in a state series with a opportunity to win a state title I’m okay with it.”

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.