2017 Football Begins with Spring Scrimmage

Bro. Neal Golden '57 CJ reports on the spring scrimmage.

IMG_5798Spring football practice culminated with a “controlled scrimmage” against McDonogh #35 on Wednesday evening. According to head coach Mark Bonis, the main purpose of the spring workouts was to install some new features on offense and defense.  “We graduated some guys that have been great for us. We’re changing our offense slightly to match the talent of the guys we have returning.” The departures include 210-lb. all-state running back Bruce Jordan-Swilling. “We won’t have a big back this year. When I tell you we’re changing the offense, that’s what we’re looking at. We have to be creative because we won’t have a big back.” Chris Smith had an outstanding freshman season last year, but is only 163 pounds. 175-lb. senior Erick Lassair will return to tailback, but also play wide receiver and defensive back. Ryan Rouege shows promise of someday being the “big back,” but will be only a freshman next year.

One offensive problem the Crusaders do not face is breaking in a new quarterback. John-Paul Pierce improved immensely during the course of the 2016 season. “His TD production ended up just two short of (2016 senior) Jake Broggi’s performance the year before.”

Despite losing his top two wide receivers, Bonis likes his depth at that position. However, three receivers, including Davonn Moore, the basketball point guard, didn’t play in the scrimmage. That presented a golden opportunity to other players. “Counting the 7-on-7 part of the scrimmage, the Crusaders had 21 dropped passes. One guy had seven. He’ll see it today. Film doesn’t lie.”

IMG_5831An area of concern is depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. “We were very sloppy (in the scrimmage). We put in all our stuff offensively, but that doesn’t mean it’s clean. With two starters on the offensive line out, we had to play some guys out of position. We had some young guys that did some good things for us, but we also had some who were exposed.”

On defense, the two starting safeties didn’t play in the scrimmage against a team that “is very talented offensively.” The result was a number of interference penalties.  


The team has two weeks off, then will start the summer regimen.

Mondays – practice in helmets and lift weights.
Tuesdays – 7-on-7 games against other schools.
Wednesdays – lift.
Thursdays – practice and “tough man” workout.

There are no limits of the number of summer practices, but Bonis schedules only four per week. “I want to give them a little bit of summer.” Full pad practices begin August 7, 2017.

Submitted by Bro. Neal Golden ’57 CJ

Click here to read more about Crusader Athletics by Bro. Neal on the web.


Click for 2017 Football Schedule


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