BUCHHOLZ BOBCATS (7A-District 3)
2014 RECORD: 4-6
HEAD COACH: Mark Whittemore (4th Year)
KEY PLAYERS: Jackson White (Sr., QB), Barry Moore (Sr., WR), Taylor Garrison (Sr., OLB/DE), Tyler Mott (Sr., DL), Darius Wilson (Sr., OL), Marcus Clayton (Sr., DB), Coby Weiss (Jr., K)
2015 PREVIEW: Despite posting their 10th consecutive non-winning season, the Bobcats showed signs of improvement. They won their first district game in two years. Buchholz also beat rival Gainesville, 23-20, on a 40-yard game-winning field goal by Coby Weiss on the final play of the game. The win snapped a five-game losing streak to the Hurricanes and also clinched the Bobcats’ first city title since 2006.
The Class 7A ‘Cats stayed in District 3, but Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) and Fletcher (Neptune Beach) moved out. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) and Creekside (St. Johns) join Buchholz, district favorite Oakleaf (Orange Park) and Fleming Island (Orange Park). The Bobcats have a young, but unselfish and hardworking team. They showed a lot of promise when they lost to Lincoln (Tallahassee), 42-35, in the spring jamboree. The Trojans have been to the playoffs 19 consecutive seasons and played for the 7A state title in 2012.
“Our spring was definitely a big step forward for our players and program,” Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore told the Gainesville Sun. “I’m really, really pleased with the quality of play against a strong program like Lincoln.”
A total of 10 starters return, including key senior leaders.
Senior Jackson White (1,569 yards & 14 TD’s) is a veteran quarterback who runs the offense well, while senior Barry Moore (25 receptions, 359 yards, 4 TDs) leads a receiving corps with good craftsmanship.
Senior defensive back Marcus Clayton, who had an interception return and a kickoff return for a score last season, is a play maker on defense, and senior Taylor Garrison (6.5 TFL & 3.5 sacks) leads a good linebacker corps. Weiss, who made three FG’s in the win against GHS, also returns.
According to their football website, Buchholz is undertaking a fund raising effort to add a 1,500 seat grand stand, press box, additional bathrooms, and field improvements so that they can host games on their own campus, at Jessie B. Heard Field. There are approximately 1,000 bleacher seats currently at the field, so they will end up with a seating capacity of 2,500. However, they will open up the 2015 season against Eastside (Gainesville) at Citizens Field, where all home games are currently played.
Aug. 28 – vs. Eastside (Gainesville)
Sept. 3 – vs. Citrus (Inverness)
Sept. 11 – at Columbia (Lake City)
Sept. 18 – at Oakleaf (Orange Park)*
Sept. 25 – vs. Vanguard (Ocala)
Oct. 2 – OFF
Oct. 9 – at Gainesville
Oct. 16 – vs. Bartram Trail (St. Johns)*+
Oct. 23 – at Fleming Island (Orange Park)*
Oct. 30 – vs. Creekside (St. Johns)*
Nov. 6 – at Santa Fe (Alachua)
All home games at Citizens Field
“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