1St. Johns Country Day School blows out Miami Country Day for astounding 10th Class 1A title for coach Mike Pickett and his girls soccer team. Abbey Newton wins player of year award is gravy on the …
1St. Johns Country Day School blows out Miami Country Day for astounding 10th Class 1A title for coach Mike Pickett and his girls soccer team. Abbey Newton wins player of year award is gravy on the season. Newton then become integral part of LSU womens soccer team that goes deep in NCAA tournament.
2Three wins in three weight classes for Fleming Island High wrestling; including two first period pins and one undefeated champion. Briar Jackson, Paul Detwiler and Ryan Smenda can walk the walk. Jackson returns, Detwiler is ranked 10th in nation in NCAA Div. III for Coast Guard Academy and Smenda is riveting linebacker for Wake Forest with Birmingham Bowl game played on Sat., Dec. 22.
3. Fleming Island High soccer ace Reed Davis gets unprecedented second in a row Gatorade player of year award. Fifty plus goals for two straight years is hefty. Davis then wins ASUN All-Freshman and second team All-Conference nomination at Jacksonville University.
4. Oakleaf High tracksters Loren Johnson and Melvin Briley punch up titles in their specialties with Briley going unbeaten in triple jump and Johnson taking the Class 4A title in the long jump plus a second in the triple jump. Johnson returns, Briley heads to University of South Florida.
5. Keystone Heights High golfer Camille Jackson makes it two in a row for Class 1A golf tournament with a best finish in 2018; 24th, up from 45th in 2017. Jackson also big part of four straight district titles for Lady Indians, worthy of a Congressional Letter from Rep. Ted Yoho. Jackson, a sophomore, returns with most of the Lady Indians golf squad for a fifth shot next year.
6. Fleming Island High volleyball made its deepest playoff run in history with a region final, but the Golden Eagles tide started to turn in a blastoff weekend at the St. Johns River Athletic Conference tournament that saw Fleming Island beat Nease in the final after dispensing of Ponte Vedra twice in the weekend. From there, the Golden Eagles rolled to their best finish under coach Amy Walker.
7. St. Johns Country Day School freshman cross country ace Matthew Stratton manned up in the Class 1A championship race after injuring a foot prior to the district championship race. Stratton raced hard to advance with a third at districts and a fifth at regions before beating all but onerunner, Tallahassee Maclay’s Junious Brown, the region champ and third at the 1A race, from region to take eighth at state as the first medalist for coach Jay Birmingham, who sadly, will be retiring.
8. Ridgeview High football, despite a less-than-expected overall finish, pulled off the back-to-back monumental upsets with wins of Pedro Menendez High (region quarterfinalist and district runnerup) and Baker County High (5A region semifinalist and district champ) to end their season with a glimmer of possibility of playoffs that did not happen. The Panthers also took out Nature Coast (5A region finalist) in the season opener as a bonus. Quarterback Tyler Huff, with a school best passing year with 5,073 yards and 52 touchdowns, was the catalyst for the Panthers who were beset with injuries throughout the year. Huff is to be commended for standing tough in the grind as his weapons watched from the sideline. Kudos to the team for having guys step in at the end for an exciting finish.
9. Ridgeview High soccer, behind Miguel Ortiz and goalie Adam Mineo, lived and died by the proverbial “overtime penalty kick sword” with an overtimer for the district title versus Matanzas and an overtime loss in the region final versus Arnold High of Panama City. Ortiz scored a lone second half goal to beat Matanzas a second time in the region semifinal.
10. Clay High baseball dug deep to take a 4-2, nine inning region semifinal win over rival Ponte Vedra High in dramatic fashion with the scored tied at 2-2 and the Sharks just finishing off a scintillating double play to put two outs on the board, it was Nick Barrie who singled in Dylan Faulkner who slid under Ponte Vedra catcher Mason McLeod for the go-ahead run. An infield error later scored Barrie, but the damage was done and Clay, with pitcher Andy Yarbrough finishing off the Sharks final at-bats, was on to a region final win and a state semifinal loss to Tampa Jefferson.
11. Oakleaf High senior weightlifter and football player Jakobie Baker defied most odds of becoming a weightlift state champion after shattering one of his legs in a football camp the previous summer. Not only did Baker come back to walk again and be able to workout, but he dominated his Class 2A weight class with a 25 pound winning deficit. Baker had the second best bench press at the Class 2A championships and was giving up 20 pounds before crushing the clean and jerk segment over leader William Davis of Lake Region High by 45 pounds. Bench press is predominately arms; clean and jerk is predominately leg power and speed.