Dixie County football preview

dixie_county_bearsDixie County (Cross City) Bears (Class 1A-District 7)

2013 Record: 11-1

Head Coach: Brent Wilkerson

Key Players: James Horsley (MLB, Sr.), Brandon Land (LB, Sr.), James Bowers (DE/RB, Sr.), Trey Simmons (DT, Sr.), Quade Locke (DE, Sr.), Tyler Cortin (OT, Sr.), Julian Robinson (RB, Jr.), Rocky Bray (OL, Jr.), Marquez Hollis (RB/DB, Jr.), Aaron Thomas (QB, Jr.)

Outlook: Last year, it was a banner season for the Bears, who advanced to their first state semifinal since 1971. Despite the loss of several key players from that team, the defense will be in good hands with the return of Simmons, who Wilkerson calls the best defensive tackle he has had in his 16 years at Dixie County. The Bears’ best defensive lineman had 47 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. They also return most of their front eight. Horsley, who led the team and tackles, and Land, who finished second in tackles and first in sacks, will be a good mix with Simmons.

The offense should have a better passing attack in 2014 with the maturity of Thomas at QB. The Bears only lost one of their four running backs that they had last year so the rushing game should be consistent provided the offensive line matures and gains more experience. Robinson rushed for nearly 900 yards as a sophomore.

“If we can fill the loss of our secondary and offensive line, I like our chances to return to the playoffs,” said Wilkerson.

2014 Football Schedule
Friday, August 22 – vs. Fort White, 7:30 p.m. (Preseason)
Friday, August 29 – at Taylor County (Perry), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 5 – vs. Jefferson County (Monticello), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 12 – at Trenton, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, September 19 – vs. Williston, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, September 26 – TBA
Friday, October 3 – at Union County (Lake Butler), 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, October 10 – at Hamilton County (Jasper), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 24 – vs. Newberry, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, October 31 – vs. Chiefland, 7:30 p.m.*
Friday, November 7 – vs. Lafayette (Mayo), 7:30 p.m.

*District game

Dixie County website

“The Prep Zone” will count down to kick-off with a daily preview of high school football teams in the North Central Florida area. Here are the future release dates:

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 7
July 1 – Newberry
July 2 – Union County (Lake Butler)
July 3 – Williston

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 8
July 4 – Wildwood

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 2
July 5 – Trinity Catholic (Ocala)
July 6 – PK Yonge (Gainesville)

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 2
July 7 – Fort White

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 4
July 8 – The Villages
July 9 – Bradford (Starke)

CLASS 5A-DISTRICT 5
July 10 – Belleview
July 11 – Crystal River
July 12 – Dunnellon
July 13 – Eastside (Gainesville)
July 14 – North Marion (Citra)
July 15 – Santa Fe (Alachua)
July 16 – Suwannee (Live Oak)

CLASS 5A-DISTRICT 6
July 17 – Central (Brooksville)
July 18 – Weeki Wachee
July 19 – Hernando (Brooksville)
July 20 – Nature Coast (Brooksville)
July 21 – South Sumter (Bushnell)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 3
July 22 – Columbia (Lake City)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 5
July 23 – Citrus (Inverness)
July 24 – Gainesville
July 25 – Lake Weir (Ocala)
July 26 – Vanguard (Ocala)
July 27 – Forest (Ocala)

CLASS 6A-DISTRICT 6
July 28 – Springstead (Spring Hill)

CLASS 7A-DISTRICT 3
July 29 – Buchholz (Gainesville)

CLASS 8A-DISTRICT 1
July 30 – West Port (Ocala)