Eastside football preview

Eastside_RamsEASTSIDE (GAINESVILLE) RAMS (5A-District 6)

2014 RECORD: 4-6

HEAD COACH: Jeff Parker (5th Year)

KEY PLAYERS: Benjamin Houston (Sr., DT/G), Marquail Alexander (Jr., FS/RB), Hal Davis, Jr. (Jr., RB/WR), Desmond Littles (Sr., FS/OLB), K.J. Minter (Jr., QB), Dave Biles (Jr., DE/MLB), Pierre Williams (Sr., RB/OLB)

2015 Preview: Last year, the Eastside football team finished 4-6, going 1-5 to open the season, then winning three of its last four games to finish 3rd in District 5-5A. But this season the Rams go from a 7-team district to the 3-team District 6, which includes former league rivals North Marion and Belleview.

This year’s Eastside team is extremely young. Junior quarterback KJ Minter, who threw for almost 1,000 yards, along with 8 TD’s, and 2nd team all-area OL BJ Houston, who graded out at 82 percent with 87 pancake blocks, will give the Rams some experience on offense. Plus, the Rams picked up a key transfer last week as junior scat back Josh Brown transferred from P.K. Yonge.

But the strength of the team should be on defense, which pitched a shutout in the spring game against Land O’Lakes. Linebacker Desmond Littles is back after leading the team with 57 tackles. He is one of five players returning on defense.

Area games against bigger schools Gainesville and Buchholz will help challenge the Rams as they compete for a playoff spot. Since Belleview and North Marion are the only other two teams in their new district, one win puts them in the postseason. In fact, the Rams’ game at North Marion on October 2 could be for the district title.

2015 SCHEDULE
Aug. 28 – at Buchholz (Gainesville)
Sept. 4 – at Newberry
Sept. 11 – at Santa Fe (Alachua)
Sept. 18 – OFF
Sept. 24 – vs. Forest (Ocala)
Oct. 2 – at North Marion (Citra)*
Oct. 9 – at Lake Weir (Ocala)
Oct. 16 – vs. Belleview*
Oct. 23 – at Fort White
Oct. 29 – vs. Gainesville
Nov. 6 – at Hardee (Wauchula)

All home games at Citizens Field
*District game

Eastside High School website

 

“The Prep Zone” has been counting down to kick-off with a preview of high school football teams in the North Central Florida area.  Past team previews:

July 20 – BELL BULLDOGS
July 21 – BELLEVIEW RATTLERS
July 22 – BRADFORD (STARKE) TORNADOES
July 23 – BRANFORD BUCCANEERS
July 24 – BRONSON EAGLES
July 25 – BUCHHOLZ (GAINESVILLE) BOBCATS
July 26 – CHIEFLAND INDIANS
July 27 – CITRUS (INVERNESS) HURRICANES
July 28 – COLUMBIA (LAKE CITY) TIGERS
July 29 – DIXIE COUNTY (CROSS CITY) BEARS
July 30 – DUNNELLON TIGERS
Aug. 1 – EASTSIDE (GAINESVILLE) RAMS
Aug. 2 – FOREST (OCALA) WILDCATS
Aug. 3 – FORT WHITE INDIANS
Aug. 4 – GAINESVILLE HURRICANES
Aug. 5 – HAMILTON COUNTY (JASPER) TROJANS