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Wolfe looking to check the Winning Season box

Randy Lefko
Sports Editor
Posted 6/6/24

MIDDLEBURG - For a coach with four years in his pocket with two playoff appearances by himself among the Clay County programs, Middleburg High head football coach Ryan Wolfe is looking to check one …

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Wolfe looking to check the Winning Season box


Posted

MIDDLEBURG - For a coach with four years in his pocket with two playoff appearances by himself among the Clay County programs, Middleburg High head football coach Ryan Wolfe is looking to check one more box that has eluded him thus far.

"When I came in, Middleburg had not had a winning record for probably a decade," said Wolfe, who put together three 5-5 regular season records with two region playoff berths. "For a coach, saying you got a winning record is what I want."
Wolfe likes this fourth season as a stepping stone because the guys with him as seniors have been under his tutelage for those same four years.
"The biggest things for us; first, win a state title, win a district title, though the district is really hard," said Wolfe. "The thing that underlies my goals in my head is that having that winning record. In the playoffs, we've played a state runner-up in the first round and had to travel 12 hours for the second year."
In his spring game down in Gainesville against a solid Oak Hall team, Wolfe was satisfied with the energy of his team, despite a handful of mistakes.
"We had 22 new starters against Oak Hall," said Wolfe, who came away with a 7-0 varsity win for the two-quarters of varsity play with three interceptions as the highlights of the game and a 76-yard scoring strike from quarterback Carson Stewart to wideout Deshun Green. "I would not call them new players, but some like Charles Little, our starting tackle last year and now a guard, and B.J. Carter a defensive end started at noseguard just so we could see how different positions might go. Our junior varsity is always very good, but kids just have to step up to a varsity level of play."
Wolfe, noting Little is a two-and-a-half-year starter on the offensive line, planned on moving players around and testing younger players in different slots to see how the team would mesh.
"We didn't do much first-team offense vs. first-team defense during our spring practices just so we could move players around," said Wolfe. "We get after it in the weight room and know how our guys get after it and we didn't really want to bang heads but more learning of our schemes."
With the likes of gone players like quarterback Jaydan Jenkins, defensive end Tucker Cody, linebacker Austin Cruce and secondary ace Errick Fryer, plus all everything kicker Kaleb Robison, Wolfe was confident in the new faces in the lineup after the spring sessions and the Oak Hall game.
"Gabe Baker and Brad Arnold played well on the D-Line, we had no live kicking during the game and Carson Stewart at quarterback looked sharp," said Wolfe. "Jayden Boyd, who had an interception, and Wein Sulph, also with an interception, had to run the ball all night because we lost Lawson Padgett to a serious injury on the third play of the game."
Neo Addison, who had a solid season last season as running back and defensive back at Clay High last year, has been a contributor on defense with an interception and can be called in to run the ball and Green, from Ridgeview, finished with the scoring bomb plus two more passes.
For the upcoming summer preparations, Wolfe is looking at three days a week; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday through June, then four days a week for July plus some 7 v 7 throwing scrimmages; June 24 vs. Hilliard at 11; June 26 vs. Stanton; July 11 vs. Bartram Trail; July 18 vs. Tocoi Creek.
"We got a few guys going to camps around the southeast," said Wolfe. "Our top players; Carter and Boyd, will be making college visits for offers that may be coming."
To push into the next elite level; win a record, and beat a region playoff stalwart, Wolfe stays optimistic.
"Every team in Florida we play is loaded in my eyes," said Wolfe. "That St. Augustine team we played probably has some guys that may get to the NFL. We just have to have the day on the right day. I think we are very close to getting that deeper region run."