FLEMING ISLAND - With the spring seasons eliminated from competition, there is a handful of senior athletes that been on the fields of play since freshman year.
These photos are some of those athletes that grinded each of the last four years for their shot at a varsity roster.
Look for more in upcoming Clay Today Sports Pages.
Jennifer Fleiss, Fleming Island High cross country and track. Fleiss has been a steady performer in post-season races for the Golden Eagles with a fifth place team finisher at the Class 4A cross country championships in 20:29.30 as her senior finale.
Dylan Nelson, Oakleaf cross country and track. As a skinny freshman Nelson was still on the bubble of regions and state meet invites with a 19th place 17:43.48 in 2016’s district 1-4A cross country championship. Nelson made the state meet as a junior with a 16:33.64 20th place in Class 4A. As a senior, Nelson was 18th in 16:29 and just missed a state invite in a very fast region field.
Ridgeview High senior infielder Sarah Anderson has seen the rise of Panther softball under coaches Roger Harvey and present coach Casey Thompson who orchestrated a Final Four finish last year. Anderson, an agile infielder, used guile on the basepaths as a dangerous baserunner for the Panthers.
Fleming Island High basketball center Aaron Brown has battled the inner circle of the painted circle for the Golden Eagles with a Final Four junior year and a region playoff senior year halted by a fourth quarter near miss.
Daniel Hinkle, an Orange Park High four year swimmer, ranged in talent from sprints to the dreaded 500 free in his state meet visits for four years.
Britany Range, Middleburg High basketball, has been sprinting the floor for coach Michael Hayward for four years with a district title as a freshman and junior years and a district top seed as a senior. Range will head to Seton Hall University in the fall.
Katie Kistler, Oakleaf High softball, has been one of fastest runners in centerfield and on the bases for Knights championship teams for four years.
Courtney and Kendall Sage
Courtney and Kendall Sage, St. Johns Country Day School twins, have been peppering opponents in track, swimming and basketball for more than four years as Spartans. Hurdling specialist Courtney was top three ranked state wide prior to track shutdown with a third in the 300 hurdles as a freshman in Class 1A, plus was a 50 and 100 free swimmer in the Bolles-dominated region 1-1A ranks. Kendall was a 100 meter track specialist and a high-flying 1,000 point hoops scorer for Spartans with three district finals on her resume.
Madelyn Stevenson, Fleming Island High freshman sensation that emerged as a freshman cross country ace, but tragically died a year later. Stevenson was as promising an athlete as any and surely would have competed in four years at the varsity level. She is sorely missed for her tough, gritty running in cross country and track in the 3200 meters.
Luke Bybee, Clay High cross country and track. Bybee was a motivated runner that year after year was on the roads training and competing to be ready for Blue Devil cross country and track. Bybee had a 22:07 as a freshman and a 21:05 at districts as a senior for cross country.