High School Blitz
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.
6 things of note in area sports
■ Former Buchholz volleyball standout setter Gaby Rubeis, The Sun's 2012 Big School Player of the Year and The Scholar Athlete of the Year, has started all three games for the University of South Carolina as a setter/defensive specialist. In three games, she has 21 digs, six service points, one kill and one assist. The Gamecocks play at rival Clemson tonight.
■ Eastside will retire volleyball jersey of Chloe Mann at 6:45 p.m. on the Sept. 12 in the gym, before the Rams take on Buchholz. Mann is a senior on UF's volleyball team and the SEC Player of Year last season.
■ Oak Hall cross country senior Brittney Olinger was rececently recognized as the New Balance Local Hero winner for her ReRun Sneakers program that has provided more than 300 pairs of shoes to Andros Islands in The Bahamas. She selected Andros Island after seeing photos of runners from Oak Hall's sister school running in bare feet or socks. Olinger worked with local running stores, area runners and the running community nationwide. Olinger has been named The Sun's Cross Country Runner of the Year four times and helped lead the Eagles to their first state title in the sport in 2012.
■ Former Oak Hall standout running back Leon Cummings had five kickoff returns for 145 yards, including an 88-yard return in Marist's season-opening loss to Sacred Heart.
■ Deon Aldrige, a 6-foot-6 forward who graduated from Bradford High, recently signed a basketball scholarship with Florida National University in Hialeah as part of the school's first basketball class. Under new coach Scott Schmidt, the Conquistadors will play its first season in the NAIA.
■ The FHSAA has extended its partnership with the University of North Florida to hold the track and field championships through 2015. As part of the agreement, the track finals are moving to a one weekend format in which all four state meets will be held with two classifications competing each day. The 2014 track and field finals are scheduled for May 2-3.
Games of the Week
(All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted)
■ 6A GAINESVILLE (0-1) AT 5A EASTSIDE (0-1): The Hurricanes dropped out of the Class 6A poll for the first time in three years after a 42-point season-opening loss at Columbia. The Rams, for the first time since 2010, opened with a loss to city-rival Buchholz, so both teams are looking for their first win of the season. Eastside has the edge in QB experience in junior Landon Rogers over GHS sophomore Caelan Christian, who struggled in his first start. GHS senior speedster Tony James didn't find much room running last week at Columbia and was held to just three yards. Christian did connect with Kenric Young on a 25-yard TD pass, but turnovers also plagued the 'Canes. Rams also struggled offensively last week, but defensively played solid behind tackles Barry Johnson and Mike Linton. Last year GHS posted a 40-0 shutout in this game, its second straight shutout over the Rams. Eastside is looking for its first win over GHS since 2008.
Broadcast: Online at theprezone.com (audio only)
LS: GHS; JB: GHS; LB: GHS; PK: GHS
■ 1A NEWBERRY (1-0) AT 4A FORT WHITE (0-0): The Panthers, under first year coach Kepa Sarduy, got off to an impressive start with a win over area-rival Santa Fe and an outstanding game from Monte Seabrook. The senior defensive back/wide receiver had 3½ tackles, an interception return for 86 yards, a 51-yard TD run and two receptions for 80 yards and a TD in a 29-14 win over Santa Fe. The Indians' opener at Hamilton County was never played because of lightning, so Fort White, led by QB Andrew Baker and Miami, Ohio commit LB Kellen Snider, is really ready to play.
LB: FT WHITE; JB: FT WHITE; LB: FT WHITE; PK: FT WHITE
■ DIXIE COUNTY (1-0) AT JEFFERSON COUNTY (0-0): The host Tigers, under first-year coach Vic Culley, had a bye week the first week, so this is their season opener and the first of four area teams they will play. Dixie is coming off a solid start with a 22-7 home win over 4A Taylor County, led by RB Kendall Copeland (164 yards, 1 TD). But this is the Bears' first road game of the season against Jefferson County, the Class 1A state champion in 2011. This should be a good 1A battle.
LS: DIXIE; JB: DIXIE; LB: DIXIE; PK: DIXIE
■ 1A BELL (1-0) AT 3A P.K. YONGE (0-1), 7 P.M.: Super 11 RB Austin Ritchey got off an impressive start for his senior season, rushing for 247 yards and four TDs in a 52-40 win over Tampa Cambridge Christian. The host Blue Wave opened with a loss at Williston. Kent Johnson makes his home debut tonight for P.K. Yonge.
LS: BELL; JB: BELL; LB: BELL; PK: BELL
■ 4A TAYLOR COUNTY (0-1) AT 1A WILLISTON (1-0): Former GHS coach Ryan Smith brings his Bulldogs into Levy County to take on the Red Devils, who opened the season with a convincing win over P.K. Yonge. Taylor, a 4A school, is playing its second straight 1A opponent. Can Williston have similar success that Dixie County had last week?
LS: TAYLOR; JB: TAYLOR; LB: TAYLOR; PK: TAYLOR
■ 3A JACKSONVILLE EPISCOPAL (1-0) AT 4A SANTA FE (0-1): Not only did the Raiders lose their opener but also lost safety A.J. Mack for six games for throwing a punch against Newberry. Former Jaguars QB Mark Brunell is in his first year as head coach at Episcopal.
LS: EPISCOPAL; JB: SANTA FE; LB: SANTA FE; PK: SANTA FE
■ 4A INTERLACHEN (0-1) AT 1A HAWTHORNE (0-0): This is the season-opener for the Hornets, who didn't play last week, because their original opponent cancelled its season. Last year the Rams' only victory of the season came against Hawthorne.
LS: INTER; JB: HAWTH; LB: INTER; PK: INTER
■ BRANFORD (0-0) AT 1A NO. 3 TRENTON (0-0): Both teams are playing their season opener since last week's games were cancelled because of weather. The host Tigers, 1A state finalists a year ago, have one of the area's top athletes in Super 11 QB Stephen Smith.
LS: TRENTON; JB: TRENTON; LB: TRENTON; PK: TRENTON
■ 2A JACKSONVILLE EAGLE'S VIEW (0-1) AT 1A CHIEFLAND (1-0): The Indians, which totally dominated Pierson Taylor (48-0) on the road last week, play their home opener against a team that has reached the playoffs the last two years. This is the first of four straight home games for Chiefland, which is eyeing its District 7 opener in two weeks against Newberry.
Broadcast: WZCC 93.3 FM, AM-940 and AM-1240
LS: CHIEF; JB: CHIEF; LB: CHIEF; PK: CHIEF
■ 4A BRADFORD (0-0) AT 5A BAKER COUNTY (0-1), 7 P.M.: The Tornadoes are playing their season opener after lightning cancelled last week's game at Suwannee. Bradford has one of the area's top players in Super 11 WR Kenny Dinkins. The host Wildcats, which fell to Westminister (Ga.) 34-6, are hoping for a repeat of last season in which they lost their opener (50-0 to Columbia), then won four straight and went two rounds in the state playoffs.
LS: BRADFORD; JB: BAKER; LB: BAKER; PK: BAKER
■ OAK HALL (0-1) AT MONTICELLO AUCILLA CHRISTIAN (0-0), 7 P.M.: The Eagles have one of the top receivers in senior Brad Pita but have a lot of underclassmen, including a freshman quarterback. The host Warriors have had winning seasons the last three years.
LS: AUCILLA; JB: AUCILLA; LB: AUCILLA; PK: AUCILLA
■ ST. FRANCIS (0-1) AT TALLAHASSEE JOHN PAUL II (0-0), 7 P.M.: The Wolves look to bounce back in their second of three straight road games to open the season. Last year John Paul pulled out a 9-7 win at St. Francis.
LS: JP II; JB: JP II; LB: ST. FRANCIS; PK: JP II
■ 1A BRONSON (1-0) AT ST. AUGUSTINE ST. JOSEPH (0-1), 7 P.M.: The Eagles won their first season opener in a long time, led by the running of fullback Brad Cates, who had 181 yards and three TDs. A win tonight, against former St. Francis coach Matt Olesnevich and the Flashes, would make Bronson 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
LS: BRONSON; JB: BRONSON; LB: BRONSON; PK: BRONSON
■ 4A KEYSTONE HEIGHTS (0-0) AT 1A WILDWOOD (0-1), 7 P.M.: The Indians, who were trailing West Nassau when lightning cancelled the contest before halftime, are looking for some offense going into their first road game of the season. The host Wildcats, who were crushed 42-0 at home by South Sumter, are also looking for some offense.
LS: KEY; JB: KEY; LB: KEY; PK: KEY
■ 3A TALLAHASSEE MACLAY (0-1) AT 1A LAFAYETTE (0-0): The Hornets and Trenton were tied at 7-all last week at halftime when lightning forced a cancellation, so Lafayette is hungry to play a full game. Maclay, which lost at Liberty County (40-13), is playing its second straight road game against a 1A opponent.
LS: LAFAY; JB: LAFAY; LB: LAFAY; PK: LAFAY
■ 5A SUWANNEE (0-0) AT 1A HAMILTON COUNTY (0-0): Two more schools that were also affected by last week's storms. The visiting Bulldogs gave Madison County a tough game in the fall classic, but both teams are sort of a mystery heading into this one.
LS: SUWAN; JB: SUWAN; LB: SUWAN; PK: SUWAN
■ 1A NO. 2 UNION COUNTY (1-0) AT 4A WEST NASSAU (1-0): This is the first meeting between these two teams since 2008. The Warriors were leading Keystone Heights before that game was called last week due to lightning. The visiting Tigers haven't given up a point yet.
LS: UNION; JB: UNION; LB: UNION; PK: UNION
Laura Bernheim 11-1; Larry Savage 11-1; John Boothe 10-2; Paul Kardasz 9-3
Gainesville Preps Power Rankings
Area's Top 10
1. Columbia (2-0)
2. Buchholz (2-0)
3. Union County (1-0)
4. Gainesville (0-1)
5. Eastside (0-1)
6. Fort White (0-0)
7. Bradford (0-0)
8. Trenton (0-0)
9. Lafayette (0-0)
10. Newberry (1-0)
Prep Zone Power Poll
The Prep Zone Power Poll covers 26 counties in North Central Florida and includews all classifications (www.theprepzone.com)
1. Columbia (3) (6A) 1-0 – 135
2. First Coast (1) (8A) 1-0 – 128
3. Jax Trinity Christian (1) (3A) 1-0 – 122
4. Madison County (1) (4A) 1-0 – 118
5. Neptune Beach Fletcher (8A) 1-0 – 117
6. Jax Bolles (4A) 1-0 – 112
7. Daytona Mainland (6A) 1-0 – 95
8. Ocala Trinity Catholic (3A) 1-0 – 90
9. Jax Raines (4A) 1-0 – 89
10. University Christian (2A) 1-1 – 71
11. South Sumter (5A) 1-0 – 68
12. Jax Sandalwood (8A) 1-0 – 64
13. Jax BIshop Kenny (5A) – 60
14. Ocala Vanguard (6A) 1-0 – 39
15. Gainesville (6A) 0-1 – 37
16. Trenton (1A) 0-0 – 30
17. Fleming Island (7A) 1-0 – 26
18. St. Augustine (6A) 0-1 – 21
19. Union County (1A) 1-0 – 10
20. Ponte Vedra (5A) 1-0 – 9