By Mike Ridaught
Twitter – @ridaught
Friday, October 24
“The Prep Zone” Insider is back again for the 2014-15 season. It’s overdue, but it’s here to stay.
It will be a monthly look at high school sports in our coverage area. For those who don’t know, our current coverage area includes 26 counties – Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties.
As we head into the last two weeks of the district season, the playoff picture becomes much clearer. Some teams have already clinched district titles while others have an opportunity to do so tonight. In fact, I’ll have a complete update on all the district football races in our coverage area, along with a look at the high school volleyball playoffs, in a few days. Until then, here is a quick recap based on football games that were played last night.
In 5A-District 5, Santa Fe (5-3, 2-3) gave North Marion all it could handle. It was Homecoming and Senior Night for the Colts, who survived in three overtimes, 35-28. That means North Marion is the district runner-up, which clinched the 15th consecutive postseason appearance for the Colts (6-2, 4-1). The Raiders (5-3, 2-3) lost starting QB Jemari Ford in the third game of the season, but rushed for 253 yards on 49 carries and almost kept their postseason hopes alive. Suwannee (Live Oak) won the district and will host in the first round of the 5A state playoffs. It was the first district title for the Bulldogs (7-0, 5-0) since 2003.
Columbia (Lake City) rolled to a 56-10 win at Lee (Jacksonville) to clinch a state playoff berth. The Tigers (6-2, 4-1) would be the runner-up in 6A-District 3 if Ed White (Jacksonville) (6-1, 4-0) wins at Middleburg and wins the title for the second consecutive year. Columbia has advanced to the playoffs in all four years under Coach Brian Allen.
Gainesville seeks its third consecutive district title tonight. All the ‘Canes (4-3, 3-0) have to do is win at Citrus (Inverness) (4-3, 1-1) to wrap up 6A-District 5. If that happens, look for Forest (Ocala) to get the runner-up spot. However, the Wildcats (3-4, 2-1) have a big rivalry game against Vanguard (Ocala) on Halloween night that could determine their playoff fate.
Raines (Jacksonville) defeated West Nassau (Callahan), 40-14, last night. The Vikings (6-3) went undefeated (4-0) to win the title in 4A-District 3, with the winner of next week’s Bolles (Jacksonville)-West Nassau game getting in as the runner-up.
St. Augustine defeated Creekside (St. Johns), 49-14, to keep the streak alive in winning 6A-District 4. The Yellow Jackets (7-1) have won 46 district games in a row and 11 straight district titles.
Oakleaf (Orange Park) has clinched a spot in 7A-District 3, along with Clay (5A-District 4), Creekside (St. Johns) (6A-District 4), along with Providence & Trinity Christian, who will play each other next week for the Class 3A-District 1 title.
ON THE RADIO
Each week, there are a number of ways to find out what is going on in high school sports thanks to our newest partner: SunState Federal Credit Union. They are sponsoring our weekly updates on local radio.
Listen to theprepzone.com sports report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union every Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 7:30 a.m. on WOW-FM 104.9. We’ll post the updates here on our website. Plus, catch a high school football preview every Friday at 10:30 a.m. on WRUF-AM 850 on the Mid-Day Tailgate with hosts Jeff Cardozo and Adam Schick.
Then, join me every Monday at 7:50 a.m. on the Big Boy Radio show with Adam Reardon and every Friday on Sports Time with Steve Woodard, Scot Brantley and Mark McLeod at 4:20 p.m. as I talk high school football on Florida Sports Talk powered by NBC Sports. That’s AM-1230 Gainesville, AM-900 Ocala & FM-100.1 Ocala.
Marty Pallman joins me to talk high school sports every Monday night from 6-7 p.m. on “The Prep Zone.” You can listen to the show online at theprepzone.com
Our upcoming guests include:
Oct. 27 – Buchholz swim Coach Tina Bates and members of the Bobcats boys’ swim team, which won the Rob Ramirez city championship for the first time in nine years and will be favored to win districts today
Nov. 10 – Gainesville Sun prep editor Larry Savage and Joshua Wilson of Floridahsfootball.com will break down the high school football playoffs