Eastside Rams spring football game is Thursday


Head football coach Jeff Parker talks with his team during spring practice for the Eastside High School Rams.

MATT STAMEY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:58 p.m.

The Eastside High School Rams football team will end its spring practice season with a game against Trenton High School that will feature the third edition of the Rams under the leadership of coach Jeff Parker.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday at Citizens Field in Gainesville. Tickets are $7.

Parker said the game will culminate a nearly month-long spring practice session, where he and his coaching staff focused on the fundamentals of the game, such as tackling and blocking.

“We are focusing on the little things that make teams successful,” said Parker, who coached the Rams last season to the District 5-5A title.

Parker said Eastside fans attending the spring game should expect to see a defense flying to the ball and a play-making offense.

He also said competition for all positions on the team will last until fall practice, and it is important for all of his players to know that is the case. He said this year’s team must understand that the district championship the team won last year is history and they must work hard if they want to repeat that feat.

He said the team will be led this spring by tight end Seth Brown, defensive end Barry Johnson, defensive lineman Michael Linton and quarterback Landon Rogers, all juniors, and sophomore defensive back/wide receiver Malachi Lofland.

Parker said although the team will be graduating a lot of players from the defense, he said both the offensive and defensive units have had some really good days this spring.

He said once spring practice is complete, the team will begin offseason drills beginning June 10 and will practice Monday through Thursday.

“We will go strong in the weight room and we will spend time on the field throwing the ball around,” said Parker, adding that his program is on solid ground because most all of the players have had multiple years getting used to what he and his staff expects from them.

Parker said he places a lot of emphasis on offseason drills because the offseason is what determines the success of teams in the fall.

He also said Willie Jackson, a former wide receiver at the University of Florida who had a lengthy career in the NFL, is no longer on the coaching staff as the offensive coordinator.

Parker said he will be calling the offensive plays next season.

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