Despite graduating a tremendous amount of key players following the 2009 season, including Lamarcus Joyner, Cody Riggs, Gio Bernard and Brandon Linder, the Raiders reloaded in 2010 and finished No. 2 in the country, a testament to the tremendous coaching and player development at Aquinas.
In 2011, the Raiders will not miss a beat, as young players will meld with some key returners to make Aquinas the favorite in Florida's newly created Class 7A.
Speedy quarterback Max Lescano
will provide a new dimension to the team's offense, with his ability to break down defenses with his legs. Dami Ayoola
and Fred Coppet
combine to form a running back duo that will be hard to top.
New head coach and defensive whiz Rocco Casullo will have plenty to work with, especially in the front seven, as jumbo defensive end Jelani Hamilton
and hard-hitting linebacker Cole Champion
return. Bryan Cox Jr., who played his junior season in Ohio, could also join the team before the season.
Despite the new faces at wide receiver and in the secondary, it will be extremely difficult for any Florida team to topple the Aquinas juggernaut.Local look:
"Even though George Smith retired, he definitely didn't leave the cupboard bare. It's common knowledge around here that St. Thomas Aquinas never rebuilds, but simply reloads. Until they have a mediocre season - which no one sees for a long time - they will be a top 10 or 15 school nationally every year."
- Steve Dorsey, 2001 Palm Beach County Hall-of-Fame sports writer and MaxPreps freelance contributorContinue to School Profile