In case you missed it on Wednesday, Oct. 18, Mike Ridaught joined Jeff Cardozo on “The Tailgate” on WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM at 4 p.m to talk high school sports. Here are the things they discussed on ThePrepZone.com Sports Report Presented by SunState Federal Credit Union:
The postseason begins this week for volleyball, golf & swimming. Who are some of the area teams that will either play for a district title this week or won a district title?
We’ll start with golf. In girls golf, Gainesville won the 7-team Class 2A-District 3 title by 27 strokes. Ally Cerlanek shot an 84 to win the individual title for GHS. The Lady Hurricanes will advance to the Region 1 tournament in Gulf Breeze next Tuesday. Buchholz won the Class 3A-District 2 title at Haile Plantation. Sophomore Amelia Williams improved her record at Buchholz this year to 15-4 with a score of 76.
In boys golf, Buchholz finished third in the 3A-District 2 tournament but they still advance to next week’s Region 1 tournament in Ocala. The P.K. Yonge girls and boys won the district championship with 17 individual wins, and the Oak Hall girls & boys golf teams also won district titles.
In swimming, P.K. Yonge swept the girls & boys 1A-District 3 meet. The girls actually won every event except for the 1-meter diving. The Oak Hall girls finished second while the boys finished third.
And in volleyball last night, Buchholz defeated Oakleaf (Orange Park) in four in 8A-District 4. They will play No. 2 seed Bartram Trail on Thursday for the title in a match-up of the top two seeds. In 5A-District 4, Newberry advanced to the championship with a sweep of Bradford (Starke). Gainesville lost in four sets at Vanguard (Ocala) in the Class 7A-District 4 semifinals; Belleview swept Eastside to advance to Thursday’s 6A-District 6 final against Santa Fe. The Raiders swept North Marion; St. Francis Catholic advanced to the district championship in 3A-District 2; Oak Hall and P.K. Yonge went five sets, but the Eagles advanced to the 4A-District 1 championship, and Hawthorne lost to Union County in Class 1A-District 6, so the Lady Tigers will face Crescent City for the title on Thursday night.
The high school football season is winding down. I wanted to ask you about two games in particular and what chance do Buchholz and Gainesville have of making the playoffs.
• Buchholz at Oakleaf – The Bobcats are coming off their first district win of the season last Thursday night against Creekside (St. Johns) to put them at 1-1 in the district and they face a must-win situation as far as the state playoffs go. If they can beat Oakleaf on the road this Friday, and they are a slight favorite to do so, then they host state-ranked Bartram Trail next week, and then they close against Santa Fe, which they should win.
They’ve got two state-ranked teams in their district. Fleming Island (Orange Park) is the other and they lost to Bartram Trail for their only district loss. Bartram Trail is undefeated in the district, so the district championship is a long shot, plus they couldn’t get in as district runners-up because those have been done away with. However, they could benefit from the new FHSAA playoff format as far as points.
Right now, Buchholz is 7th in Class 7A-Region 1. East Ridge (Clermont) was upset by West Port (Ocala), so that has at least helped open the door. But that wouldn’t have been possible had Buchholz not taken care of business. Going back to last week, I thought Trent Whittemore did a great job filling in as quarterback. Whittemore threw three TD’s and the Bobcats also had two kick returns for scores and scored 54 points, which is the most ever under coach Mark Whittemore. I think Friday is a winnable game. However, the Bobcats will have to win out to have any chance of making the playoffs. But I’m saying there’s a chance.
• Gainesville at Leesburg – GHS is still alive for a postseason spot despite the loss to Vanguard last week. For those who don’t know, Vanguard entered that game at Citizen’s Field last Friday night undefeated and unscored on in four of their five games. They were loaded with guys who will be playing Division-I football, and they blew out Gainesville last year by almost 50 points. Yet, it was tie game with less than five minutes to play. Vanguard’s Marquez Glover had a 2-yard QB draw with 63 seconds to play to give the Knights a 31-24 win.
Glover took over for N’Kosi Perry, who is now at the University of Miami, and this team hasn’t missed a beat. Glover had four TDs and now has 19 TDs in six games. He out-dueled Luke Matthews of Gainesville, who had two passing scores. But for Gainesville to go toe-to-toe with what is now the No. 4 team in the state in Class 6A, it definitely proved GHS might be playoff worthy. That game snapped a 4-game winning streak, and if the season ended today, the Hurricanes would receive a bid based on points.
But they have to go to Leesburg this week, which could be tough. Any time you go into a hostile territory like that you could lose. Leesburg beat Ocala Forest at home earlier this year. Gainesville held on for a win earlier this season at Forest and won on a missed field goal with 30 seconds to play. After Leesburg, the Hurricanes host South Lake next Thursday, and then four days later they have a Hurricane Irma make-good on a Monday night at home against Ocala Lake Weir. They likely have to win out too to make the playoffs, but I’m saying there’s a chance.