Football Selections

  • Clay County Football Programs Excel

    Once again, Clay County witnessed a strong performance from the seven high schools.  The football season had great players exhibiting their talents and teams advancing into the State playoff system.  Individually, many football players will be playing on Saturdays in the near future. Here are the offensive selections for 2019: 

    At the quarterback position, Walter Simmons from Oakleaf High School was selected to the "1st-Team."  Simmons recorded 32 total touchdowns this year and had over 2500 total yards for the Knights. The junior was also selectd as the "Offensive MVP" of  his team and is described by his coach, Frank Garis, as "a hard worker and great leader." His future goals are "to play at the highest level and study sports science." Favorite highlight-of-the-year - "my 80-yard TD versus Gainesville High School." Teams will have a difficult time with this player in 2020.

    At the running back position, Keystone Heights Colby Townsend and Clay High's Al'Querious Ray lead the county.  Townsend, a senior, had an outstanding year on both sides of the ball. While this is only his second year playing football, he made quite an impression on opposing coaches.  His coach, Chuck Dickinson, said this about his player - "Colby is a two year letterman and was elected captain of the team. He is not only a great football player, but he is also a great student and teammate."  Townsend will serve on a church mission after graduating from high school. 

    Meanwhile, Ray earned "Offensive MVP" honors at Clay High School.  While the school had a down year in terms of their overall record, they still produce outstanding players on a regular basis.  Only a tenth-grader, Ray will be gaining yards for a long time. Coach Jay Stilianou: "Q is a special running back. It's not every day that you find a 5'10" 225 lb. sophomore running back.  He makes people miss or he simply runs over them." His dream is to play in the NFL and enjoys the Criminal Justice program at the school. "The best thing is that Q still has tons of room to imrpove," said Coach Stilianou.  Ouch! Two more years of "Q."

    Blocking for the running backs are some amazing linemen.  Cole LeClair - also a "1st-Team" selection on the Defensive Line - ends a great career at Middleburg High School.  The senior will play at Valdosta State University next year. "I have coached for 27 years, 14 of them as a Head Coach, and have never coached a kid with the work ethic and character as good as Cole," said Coach Karl Smeltzer.  His classmates, teammates, old and young look up to Cole. He is a true leader." Cole lists the "comeback victory against Baldwin" as his favorite highlight.

    Fellow senior Bennett Corey of Fleming Island will attend the United States Naval Academy and serve in the Marines upon graduating.  "Having an undefeated season and finishing my high school career with my football family was my highlight," said Corey. The Golden Eagle is also an Eagle Scout and won his teams "Best Blocker Award."  The senior also participates in wrestling, track, weightlifting, and was on the State Championship competitive cheerleading squad.

    Clay High's Joe Grelli is a familiar name in football circles.  The senior was a "1st-Team" selecton in 2018. Like others, he also was his team's "Offensive Lineman MVP."  Coach Stilianou commented on Grelli's abilities by saying, "Joe is a geat leader both on and off the field. He plays with great energy and passion.  He is a team-first player. Many of our plays were called right behind the blocking of Joe Grelli." Grelli is also a wrestler and weightlifter for the Blue Devils.  he plans on sserving in the Coast Guard upon completing his senior year.

    Cody Wells of Keystone Heights will complete his senior year with the knowledge that he left it all out there on the field.  A three-year starter for the Indians on the offensive line, Wells was also a team captain. "He is a great team player and excelled this year as a football player," said Coach Dickinson.  Wells plans on going into law enforcement next year. He will be missed by the Keystone Heights team.

    Finally, offensive lineman Jalen Rivers is a fixture for the Oakleaf Knights.  The highly decorated lineman will play on Saturday's next year and is considered a "highly skilled big man with exceptional footwork," said Coach Frank Garis.  "Hie is a great human being and makes being a coach a dream job." It is only fitting that "Remember the Titans" is his favority movie. Football is not his only sport, Rivers also plays basketball, track and weightlifting during the year.  Opposing schools are glad to see Rivers graduate.

    Terrance Anthony, a junior for Oakleaf, holds down one of the wide receivers positions on the "1st-Team." "He is super competitive and a hard worker," said Coach Garis.  Upon graduating in 2021, Anthony hopes to go to college and major in communication. The junior also runs track for the Knights and will make his senior year a stellar year.  Favorite class and movie - math and "Next Friday."

    The other selection for wide receiver is Ridgeview's Glen Miller. A large receiver at 6'3' 200 pounds, the 2019 season was the first for Miller at this position. He snagged 40 receptions for 856 yards for the Panthers.  He also had 8 touchdowns. "Glen was a booming force for us this season," said Head Coach Knauss. "He had many big hits and was the backbone of the Ridgeview football lteam on both sides of the ball. He has committed to Maryland."

    At the tight end spot, Miller's teammate, Josh Dorsanville, earned "1st-Team" honors.  Only a junior, Dorsanville became the fulltime tight end for the Panthers and displayed his talents. "Josh is a big bodied tight end who can both block and catch the football," said Coach Knauss.  Dorsanville led all Clay county tight ends in receptions (16) for the 2019 season.  

    All of the Head Coaches agreed that the team should have a selection labeled "Athlete."  And, at that position Orange Park's Diego Soto was chosen. The senior plans on attending a 4-year university and major in communications.  "He is one of our best all-around players," said Coach Tom MacPherson. "He can play both sides of the ball and on the special teams." Also a wrestler, weightlifter, and track athlete, Soto did it all.  His highlight for the 2019 season - "the back-and-forth game we had with Bishop Kenny.

    Representing the county at the punter position is Middleburg's Joe Justino.  The senior hopes to play football at the next level and will study civil engineering at that college.  The teams comeback victory over Baldwin was his highlight for the season. Coach Karl Smeltzer said this about his senior, "Joe does it all.  Has a 4.1 GPA, was our QB, punter, kicker and leader. What a great kid!" Justino also plays basketball and baseball for the Broncos.

    First-team kicker selection goes to Garret Godfrey of Fleming Island High School.  The senior was very relaiable on extra points and field goals. And, he had great range.  His game winning field goal versus Lake Minneola and First Coast were high highlights and memories for the year.  Godfrey plans on attendin a four-year university in 2020.

    On the defensive side of the ball, aggressive players abound. For the "athlete/utility player" position, Jayden Bryan from Clay High School led the way.  The junior hopes to become a pilot down the road, but in the meantime, the Blue Devil athlete earned the "2019 Skills Award" for the team. "JB is a special player.  He is so versatile and showed it by playing both cornerback and safety while playing wide receiver and returning punts," said Coach Stilianou. Bryan also runs track and is on the weightlifting team.

    At the safety position the county is represented with Donovan Thomas of Oakleaf High School and Glen Miller of Ridgeview High School.  Thomas, a senior, will continue his football career in college and major in electrical engineering. Coach Garis describes his player as "a gifted athlete and smart player."  A "pick-6 against Sandalwood" was high highlight of the year. Miller, mentioned at the Tight End position, displayed his receiving skills in the defensive backfield. Again, an overall athlete who plays both ways. 

    Cornerbacks Darrell Livingston (Oakleaf High School) and Courtney Williams (Fleming Island High School) were solid all year for their teams. The junior player for the Knights, Livingston, hopes to play D1 football upon graduation.  "Darrell has swag and is a leader on the defense," said Coach Garis. "Breaking up passes and having 2 big hits against Lake City Columbia was my biggest memory," said Livingston. 

    At the same time, Williams helped lead the Golden Eagles to a 10-1 record for the year and the coveted "St. Vincent's Cup."  He plans on studying editing and design in college and hopes to play football. When not playing football, Williams participated in weightlifting and track-and-field.  His highlight - "winning our first playoff game and going undefeated in the regular season."

    Certainly a big part of any defense are the linebackers.  The trio of linebackers chosen for the "1st-Team" is an outstanding group.  All are seniors and all can lay a big hit on opposing players. Korei Sheppard (OHS), Andrew Cox (KHHS), and Zach Payne (FIHS) fit the bill for this position.  Cox plans on attending a college and lists "math" as his favorite class. Football and baseball are his main sports during his years at the school. "Andrew is a very dedicated athlete that is probably the best team player I have ever coached," said Coach Dickinson. "He has played every position on the football team and has never complained."

    Sheppard, also a wrestler for OHS, is characterized as a "hard worker and great tackler" by Coach Garis and was the team's "Defensive MVP."  While Sheppard is not certain as to what college he will attend, he lists the "fourth down stop versus Bartram Trail" as his highlight. The senior was a problem for offenses around North Florida for several years.

    Like Sheppard and Cox, Zach Payne was a standout.  Chosen as the "VyStar Athlete-of-the-Week," Payne recorded 94 total tackes for 2019 and was a menace on the defensive side of the ball. Planning on majoring in pre-med and focusing on orthopedics, Payne was a leader for the Golden Eagles.  He will be difficult to replace.

    As a defensive lineman, Chantz Williams has been an example of outstanding play for several years.  Williams, a senior from Oakleaf High School, was described by his coach as "the best player/athlete that I have ever seen with my own two eyes."  Pretty high praise from a coach that has several outstanding athletes on his team. The Under-Armor All-American is an early enrollee to the University of Miami.  The future Hurricane displays his ability not only on the football field, but on the basketball court and on the track. Clay football fans will hear plenty from Williams over the next several years.

    Jeremiah Jackson of FIHS has had an outstanding career with the school.  Throwing the shotput and participating on the weightlifting team has helped with this skills on the defensive line.  He plans on playing football at Furman University next year and lists "winning my first playoff game" as a highlight.

    Cole LeClair, as mentioned above for the offensive lineman position, performed as well on the defensive side of the ball.  With an outstanding career at MHS, LeClair will be missed in the hallways of the school.  

Golf Selections

  • Golf in Clay County Remains at a High Level

     
    Once again, the Clay county schools excelled at golf.  Both the boys and girls teams continued to shine and the "1st-Team" selections for the "Clay All-County Coaches Teams" proves it.  The 2019 golf season had two teams, in particular, that led the way - Fleming Island boys team and the Keystone Heights girls program.  While these two teams stood out, several up and coming stars are on the horizon.  
     
    Fleming Island High School placed four members on the boys "1st-Team" selections.  The scary news for the other schools is that three are sophomores and 1 is a freshman.  Look for this team to be strong for awhile!
     
    Sophomores Charles Lonsdale, Andrew Davis, and Jameson Adams helped Fleming Island go deep into the state championships.  Lonsdale stated that the highlight of the year for him was "qualifying as a team for the regionals."  No easy feat when you think of all the strong opposition in Northeast Florida.  Lonsdale hopes to play Division 1 NCAA golf when he graduates and enjoys math and history during the school day. The sophomore was a member of the "All-St. John River Athletic Conference," medalist or tied in 3 of his matches this year, and is constantly improving. "He is a hard worker.  Charles plays in many junior events throughout the year and shot the lowest 9-hole score for the season," said Coach Bruce Cloud.
     
    Fellow sophomores Davis and Adams had stellar seasons as well.  Davis helped his team place second at the county tournament by shooting a "75."  He would also like to play at the collegiate level and lists "Happy Gilmore" as his favorite movie.  Probably most golfers would agree. "Andrew gets the most out of his game," said Coach Cloud. "He has probably improved the most since his freshman year."  This is supported by the fact that Davis recorded the lowest regional score for the Golden Eagles.  Like Lonsdale, he was the medalist or tied for medalist in 4 matches during the season and was "All-SJRAC."
     
    Adams shot "75" at District and a "76" in the Conference tournament.  Like the other sophomores, he brings a big game to the tournaments. "He is a true team player and finished the season strong for us," said Coach Cloud. Adams made the "All-SJRAC" team and was in the top 10 golfers in the District tournament.  His future plans are to play collegiate golf as well.
     
    Joining these outstanding sophomores are freshman Colton Swartz.  Get used to hearing this name because he excelled this season.  Ranked #1 on the Fleming Island team, Swartz won the county tournament with a blazing "70."  He also was consistent throughout the season.  This was demonstrated by him having the lowest average for the season. "He is one of the hardest working members on the team," said Coach Cloud. "He was the medalist or tied for the medalist position in 7 matches this year."  
     
    The other member of the "1st-Team" should sound familiar to Clay County golfers.  Chase Carroll, from Middleburg High School, is the brother of Cody Carroll who now plays for the University of North Florida.  Chase, a freshman, made it to the state tournament this year.  Coach Travis Tipton says this about Carroll: "Chase is one of the most resilient young men I have ever coaches.  He has an incredible work ethic.  He also continually helps and encourages his fellow golfers."  Quite a compliment for this young man.  Carroll was the medalist in all but one of his team's matches this year.  Look for Chase to make this team pretty regularly.
     
    On the girls side, Keystone Heights, like Fleming Island, also placed 4 team members on the "1st-Team."  Many of these names should sound familiar.  Camille Jackson leads the way for the Indians.  The outstanding junior golfer is continuing her career as a leader for the school and should be on a college team in the future.  Highlight of the year for her - "driving the green on a par 4 at the prestigious "Jill Darr/Alachua County Championship" and making the putt for an eagle!"  For a team accomplishment, the team made the State tournament.  An additional goal of Camille's is to make all "A's" during her high school career. Coach Billy Jackson said this about his junior player: "Camille has lead this team for the last five years and we have 5 consecutive District Championships.  And she has been to the State tournament for 4 years."  Another piece of evidence for her dominance is the fact that for the criteria to be selected to the "All-County Coaches Team" you are to submit your 7 best scores.  Her average - 1-under par. Probably equally impressive is her 4.37 GPA.
     
    Fellow junior Sloane Siebert lists her highlight-of-the-year as "shooting "75" at Districts and making it to the State championships."  She hopes to play collegiate golf and lists "Facing the Giants" as her favorite movie.  When asked about Sieberts' game, Coach Jackson said this, "Sloane has been a stalwart for our team for 5 years and has been the #2 seed almost the entire time.  She works hard on her game and is a very good student with a 3.9 GPA." Siebert will undoubtedly get better between now and her senior season.  Look for that one to be a great season.
     
    Graduating this year for the Indians will be Savannah Heinz.  LIke the other ladies, "going to the State tournament was a thrill."  Heinz has played 6 years on the varsity golf team at KHHS (7-12 school).  "Her best 7 scores average was only 4 over par.  She has been a steady starter and has been balancing Dual Enrollment classes and a 3.0 GPA.  We will miss her next year," said Coach Jackosn. Savannah hopes to continue her career at the college level.
     
    Sister Candace Jackson, only a freshman, rounds out the 4 KHHS players.  Finishing #2 on the team at the State championship, like Heinz, her best 9-hold average was 4-over par for the season.  "I would like to go to college and then become a teacher," said Jackson. Her favorite subjects are English Language Arts and Agriculture. "She also has a high GPA - 4.0," said Coach Jackson. "She stepped up her game this past season."  Jackson - a name you will hear in golf circles for a long time.
     
    The other member of the "1st-Team" is Taylor Young of Clay High School. Young, a 9th grader, lists Advanced Placement Human Geography as her favorite class.  Coach Clay Richardson praised Young by saying, "Taylor started this year as our top seed and helper her team to a 12-2 record.  She helped the newer golfers with their swing and advice.  She will be a top golfer in the district for the next couple of years."  Yong finished second out of 25 players at a tournament at Eagle Harbor and 2nd at the District competition.  She hopes to play college golf and become a golf coach.  Her favorite experience this year: "attending the Regional tournament in Pensacola with my teammates."
     
     
    Girls' Golf                                       Boys' Golf
     
    1st-Team                                        1st-Team
     
    Camille Jackson - KHHS                Jamie Adams - FIHS
    Candace Jackson - KHHS               Chase Carroll - MHS
    Sloane Siebert - KHHS                   Andrew Davis - FIHS
    Savannah Heinz - KHHS                Charles Lonsdale - FIHS
    Taylor Young - CHS                         Colton Swartz - FIHS
     
    2nd-Team                                         2nd-Team
     
    Ashton Ludwig - KHHS                    Michael Amendola - FIHS
    KC Francis - FIHS                            Zach Maples - OHS
    Jenna Roach - FIHS                         Nolan McCormick - OHS
    Natasha Sur - CHS                           Benny Opperman - FIHS
    Sarah Theus - FIHS                          Chris Ostrow - FIHS
     
    Honorable Mention                            Honorable Mention
     
    Erica Lipke - OHS                             Braden Hill - OHS
    Sophia Maurer - CHS                        Jack Hickey - OHS
    MJ Rivera - KHHS                             Enrique Trabal - FIHS
    Aliya Sarmen - CHS                          Tyler Thomas - KHHS
    Aspen Windesheim - OHS                Luke Whitaker - RHS                           
     

Girls Swimming Selections

  • CLAY SWIMMERS EXCEL IN THE POOL ONCE AGAIN
     
    Several swim programs, once again, sent numerous swimmers to the State meet for the 2019 season.  Some familiar names are on the "1st-Tam All-County Coaches Teams" and several personal records were set.
     
    Starting with the "All-County Coaches Team" for the ladies is Emma Grimm of Fleming Island High School.  Grimm led the way in the "50 Freestyle" and was a major part on the "200 M Relay" team with sister Sarah Grimm, Abree Clark and Christine Johnson.  Grimm, a junior, hopes to go to the Universityof Florida in the future and lists Biology as her favorite school.  Coach Jordan Bright commented on his swimmer: "She is a great talent in the pool.  And she excels in every stroke.  Her speed is amazing and she will be even faster next year."  Bad news for her competitors.  The relay team was runner-up in the State championships while individually she finished fifth in the State in the "50 Freestyle."
     
    As mentioned earlier, Sarah Grimm also shines for Fleming Island.  The junior also plans on attending the University of Florida with her sister. "Sarah is a powerful swimmer.  She is determined to push herself daily," said Coach Bright.  District champion in the "100 Freestyle"  and the "100 Backstroke" makes her very versatile.  Like Emma, she helped her team to the county selection for the "200 Medley Relay" and the "200 Freestyle Relay."  The competition between the sisters has undoubtedly helped their competitive edge.  Again, she is back for another year and look for Sarah to make several of the teams chosen by the coaches.
     
    Ashlynn Nieuwenhuis of Fleming Island earned top spots  in the "200 Freestyle" and the "500 Freestyle," a grueling race.  She also excelled in the relays by helping her school win the "400 Freestyle Relay" along with Reagan Crosby, Abree Clark, and Emily Ramsden.  Nieuwenhuis, also a junior at the school, says that "going to the State meet and turning in a time of 5:19.99 in the "500 Freestyle" was the highlight for her."  Coach Bright added, "She is an amazing athlete with tons of potential heading into her senior year.  She has great self-discipline and stays focused."
     
    Fleming Island's Christine Johnson helped the "200 Medley Relay" team to the best time in the county this year.  Unlike the other Golden Eagles mentioned, Johnson is a sophomore and has gained experience that will be beneficial for her last two years.  Coach Bright sees this and states, "She is an amazing talent.  Every stroke in every event she participates in she displays hard work and is determined to succeed."  Her future plans: "continue to work hard and get more gold medals and maybe swim in college."
     
    Senior Emily Ramsden helped the "400 Freestyle Relay" team at Fleming Island earn top honors.  Along with Crosby, Clark, and Niewenhuis, the team led the way among the relay teams.  Attending Duke University and major in pre-medicine is her goal and lists "Bohemian Rhapsody" as her favorite movie.  "She was the captain of the squad and had an amazing senior year," said Coach Bright.  
     
    Abree Clark, "1st-Team" honors for the "200 Medley Relay" and the "200 Freestyle Relay," is a veteran swimmer for the Golden Eagles while only a junior.  Her highlight-of-the-year: "making memories with the team and becoming State champions!"  Illustrating her comment is Coach Bright's, "She is a selfless team player.  An amazing attitude and spirit.  Abree puts team needs ahead of her own."  Quite a compliment on such a successful team. Upon graduating from Fleming Island, Clark hopes to attend the University of Florida and enter the veterinary program.
     
    Oakleaf's Kylie Loving earned the number 1 sport for the "100 Breaststroke."  Loving, only a sophomore, is a standout swimmer for the Knights.  She was a State finals qualifier in the "100 Breaststroke" and on the medley relay team.  She also holds the team record in the breaststroke.  "Kylie is the complete athlete package," said Coach Kathleen Swartz. "She has a great work ethic, great GPA (4.176), speed in the pool and strength.  And, she gets along well with her teammates and is respectful to the coaches." Loving also competes on the cross-country team at the school and hopes to swim at the collegiate level.
     
    For the first time, the "Clay All-County Coaches Teams" is including a selection in the category of "Diving."  Arden Jackson earns the top spot and is only a 9th grader.  The Ridgeview High School student said that "Having more people on the team this year made it fun.  And, going to regionals with my team was enjoyable."  Coach Jacey Skrzypczak had this to say about her freshman diver - "Arden has been a tremendous boost of athleticism and character to the team.  She is a great diver and even better teammate.  Her drive and dedication inspires others around her."  For a freshman, being a State finalist is quite an honor.  Look for a possible title down the road.
     
    From Clay High, the "1st-Team" has Sara Stotler, a familiar name amongst swimmers.  Stotler earned top honors for the "100 Butterfly" and "200 Intermediate" for a program known for swimmers.  The junior plans on swimming at the University of Tennessee and lists English as her favorite subject.  Coach Carol MacDougall describes her outstanding junior like this - "I continue to see great things in Sara's future.  She has verbally committed to the Tennessee Volunteers program.  She should have a very successful senior year next year."  Stotler will be difficult to overtake in these events in 2020.
     
    For the boys swimmers, Michael Johnson led the way in the "100 Breaststroke."  His time helped lead Ridgeview High School to a successful season.  Johnson lists "qualifying for and swimming at States in two individual events" as his highlight-of-the-year.  Johnson has set 7 school records, is a 4-year letterman, is on the Athletic Leadership Council at RHS, District champion in the "100 Breastroke," and District Runner-up in the "100 Free."   Coach Skrzypczak made this comment about Johnsons' abilities - "Michael is an outstanding example to his teammates and what hard work and dedication looks like.  his ability in the pool and in the classroom is an inspiration to his teammates."
     
    Fleming's Ernest Robbie Jones helped the "200 Freestyle Relay" team to top honors.  The senior plans on attending the University of South Florida and major in Business while at the Tampa school.  Also a track-and-field athlete, Jones "is a powerful sprinter," said Coach Bright.  "Hacksaw Ridge" is his favorite movie.  Look for Jones to place on the "All-County Coaches Teams" in track-and-field later this year.
     
    Like Jones, Justin Lebesch helped the "200 Freestyle Relay" team to new heights.  In fact, he lists "placing in the 200 Free at the State" as his highlight.  While just a junior, Lebesch looks to participate in more of the events in 2020.  He will attend college upon graduation (undecided) and lists Physics as his favorite subject at Fleming Island. "Justin is a pure sprinter and is a gifted athlete in any sport he pursues," said Coach Bright.
     
    On the "200 Freestyle Relay" team is Alex Bilyeu.  The sophomore from Fleming Island helped continue this school's dominance in the relays.  With future plans of "flying for the Air Force," look for Bilyeu to fly for the Golden Eagles for two more years.  With the freestyle as his specialty, Coach Bright states, "he is very talented in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles."  Since he and other Fleming Island students made it to the State meet, look for a repeat of several of these swimmers, Bilyeu included.
     
    Ethan Schroeder excelled individually and for the relay teams.  In the "50 Freestyle," Schroeder was a force.  While winning county honors in the "50 Free," he also set the school record for Oakleaf High School in the "100 Freestyle."  The junior would like to swim competitively in college down the road, but until then, look for him to give all of the other schools trouble, especially in the freestyle races.  For the school, he helped his "200 Medley Relay" team earn the number one position, along with Tristan Manley, Jeremiah Bredeson, and Logan Myers.  "Ethan is a total team player and willing to help the team however he can," said Coach Swartz. "He is also a very versatile swimmer.  he is admired and respected by his teammates."
     
    Tenth-grader Logan Myers specialized in the difficult "100 Butterfly" for Oakleaf.  In addition, he was the county best in the "200 IM" this year. "Logan shows up to practice every day with a smile on his face.  He absolutely LOVES competitive challenges and pushes himself and his teammates to achieve goals and win!" said Coach Swartz.  Myers hopes to earn a college scholarship and will most likely get that with two years left on his eligibility.  His highlight for 2019 - "Breaking the 400 Freestyle relay school record with my teammates."
     
    Junior Jeremiah Bredeson, also of Oakleaf, was one of the fast swimmers in the "200 Medley Relay" team. While still one year away from graduation, Bredeson hopes to become a"marine biologist and travel the world in order to protect the environment."  Coach Swartz commented on Bredeson's ability: "Jeremiah is a natural athlete and a very competitive swimmer.  He would do anything for his teammates."  Something all coaches would like to see.  Biology is his favorite class and "Creed 2" his favorite movie.
     
    Like some other swimmers, Tristn Manley earned honors individually and as a relay team member.  individually, Manley led the way in the "100 Backstroke."  The AICE student from Oakleaf enjoys physics and math classes as a Knight and has a 4.38 GPA. "Tristan is extremely coachable.  He is a hard worker and a very supportive teammate.  And, he's a positive person to have on the team," said Coach Swartz.  With another year on his eligibility, Manley may improve his times both individually and in the "400 Freestyle Relay" team.
     
    RyLee Kriener, a senior at Oakleaf High School, helped Myers, Manley, and Schroeder win the top prize for the "400 Freestyle Relay" team.  Kriener helped this group break the school record in this event at the Regionals this year.  he will pursue a degree in electrical engineering at the Naval Academy in 2020.  Swartz commented on Kriener by saying, "RyLee is a fantastic team captain.  he is dependable, hard working, and a positive influence for the younger swimmers.  He will be missed next year."  Good luck to RyLee.
     
    Daniel Hinkle is another familiar name to the swimming world.  The senior from Orange Park is not new to the State meets.  The team captain for the Raiders excels in the pool and in the classroom.  Holding a 4.45 GPA and ranked 4th in his class, "he is one of the rare swimmers who can win a "500 Free" and then turn around and anchor the "200 Free Relay" event and have the team's fastest split," said Coach Susan Johnson.  A former "Clay County Athlete-of-the-Month, Hinkle plans on attending college to study Exercise Science and then go on to graduate school and earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.  Being the best in the county at the "200 Freestyle" and the "500 Freestyle" means the Raiders will miss Hinkle next year.
     
    Fellow Raider Jose Medina,  held down the "100 Freestyle" position in the county.   The sophomore has a lot of drive and big plans in the future.  He wants to become a professional swimmer and compete in the 2024 Puerto Rican Olympic trials.  And he may make it.   Johnson says this about Medina: "JD is an extremely talented swimmer, and excels at all distances of freestyle.  He is willing to do whatever training it takes to reach his goals. Having earned 2 Bronze medals in the "Puerto Rican Nationals," look for more honors from Jose Medina.
     
    No information for Joseph Cannon.
     
    ----

    Clay County is proud to announce the selections for the 2019-20 "Clay All-County Coaches Teams" for Girls Swimming. The selection of team members (1st-Team, 2nd-team, Honorable Mention) is determined by the criteria that the Head Coaches established. Below are the selections:

     
    Girls Swimming
     
    1st-Team
     
    Event                      Name                              School
     
    50 Freestyle          Emma Grimm                 Fleming Island High School
    100 Butterfly          Sara Stotler                    Clay High School
    100 Freestyle        Sarah Grimm                  Fleming Island High School
    100 Breaststroke   Kylie Loving                   Oakleaf High School
    100 Backstroke     Sarah Grimm                  Fleming Island High School
    200 Freestyle        Ashlynn Nieuwenhuis     Fleming Island High School
    200 IM                   Sara Stotler                    Clay High School
    500 Freestyle        Ashlynn Nieuwenhuis     Fleming Island High School
    Relay-200 M         Fleming Island High School - Sarah Grimm, Emma Grimm, Abree Clark, 
                                                                         Chrstine Johnson
    Relay-200 Free     Fleming Island High School - Emma Grimm, Sarah Grimm, Christine
                                                                          Johnson, Abree Clark
    Relay-400 Free     Fleming Island High School - Ashlynn Niewenhuis, Reagan Crosby,
                                                                          Abree Clark, Emily Ramsden
     
    2nd-Team
     
    50 Freestyle          Haylie Pinola                  Oakleaf High School
    100 Butterfly          Christine Johnson          Fleming Island High School
    100 Freestyle        Lauren Galloway            Oakleaf High School
    100 Breaststroke   Emma Grimm                 Fleming Island High School
    100 Backstroke     Kinsey Williamson          Clay High School
    200 Freestyle        Kelsie Craig                    Oakleaf High School
    200 IM                   Kylie Loving                    Oakleaf High School
    500 Freestyle        Olivia Votava                   Oakleaf High School
    Relay-200 M          Oakleaf High School - Haylie Pinola, Kelsie Craig, Kylie Loving,
                                                                         Lauren Galloway
    Relay-200 Free      Oakleaf High School - Haylie Pinola, Kelsie Craig, Kylie Loving, Lauren 
                                                                           Galloway
    Relay-400 Free      Clay High School - Jessica Voigt, Marley Meyers, Jayde Dillevig,
                                                                         Kinsey Williamson
     
    Honorable Mention
     
    50 Freestyle           Ariel Alexander               Orange Park High School
    100 Butterfly           Haylie Pinola                  Oakleaf High School
    100 Freestyle         Carson Cain                   Ridgeview High School
    100 Breaststroke    Elysia Addison               Clay High School
    100 Backstroke       Avery Levesque             Orange Park High School
    200 Freestyle          Jessica Voigt                Clay High School
    200 IM                     Christine Johnson          Fleming Island High School
    500 Freestyle          Olivia Klingler                 Orange Park High School
    Relay-200 M            Orange Park High School - Avery Levesque, Linnea Stuart, Ariel
                                                                        Alexander, Lillie McNeely
    Relay-200 Free        Clay High School - Elysia Addison, Jayde Dillevig, Kinsey
                                                                        Williamson, Sara Stotler
    Relay-400 Free        Oakleaf High School - Grace Hejmanowski, Samantha Balassaitis,
                                                                         Olivia Votava, Paxton Shuppert
     
    Diving
     
    1st-Team
     
    Arden Jackson             Ridgeview High School
     
    2nd-Team
     
    Jillian Labelle               Fleming Island High School

Boys Swimming Selections

  • Clay County is proud to announce the selections for the 2019-20 "Clay All-County Coaches Teams" for Boys swimming. The selection of team members (1st-Team, 2nd-Team, Honorable Mention) is determined by the criteria that the Head Coaches establish. Below are the selections:

     
    Boys Swimming
     
    1st-Team
     
    Event                        Name                             School
     
    50 Freestyle           Jacob Cooper                  Middleburg High School
    100 Butterfly            Logan Myers                Oakleaf High School
    100 Freestyle          Jose Medina                  Orange Park High School
    100 Breaststroke     Michael Johnson            Ridgeview High School
    100 Backstroke       Tristan Manley               Oakleaf High School
    200 Freestyle          Daniel Hinkle                 Orange Park High School
    200 IM                     Logan Myers                Oakleaf High School
    500 Freestyle          Daniel Hinkle                 Orange Park High School
    Relay-200 M           Oakleaf High School       Tristan Manley, Jeremiah Bredeson, Logan Myers,
                                                                     Ethan Schroeder
    Relay-200 Free       Fleming Island High School  Alec Bilyeu, Joseph Cannon, Ernest Jones,
                                                                          Justin Lebesch
    Relay - 400 Free     Oakleaf High School          Logan Myers, RyLee Kriener, Tristan Manley, 
                                                                        Ethan Schroeder
     
    2nd-Team
     
    50 Freestyle            Ernest Jones                  Fleming Island High School
    50 Freestyle            Ethan Schroeder            Oakleaf High School
    100 Butterfly           Michael Johnson             Ridgeview High School
    100 Freestyle          Ethan Schroeder             Oakleaf High School
    100 Breaststroke     Sam Bement                  Clay High School
    100 Backstroke       Gage Quigley                  Ridgeview High School
    200 Freestyle          Alec Bilyeu                      Fleming Island High School
    200 IM                     Sam Bement                 Clay High School
    500 Freestyle          Gage Quigley                  Ridgeview High School
    Relay-200 M            Fleming Island High School  Alec Bilyeu, Ernest Jones, Joseph Cannon,
                                                                           Justin Lebesch
    Relay-200 Free        Orange Park High School  Jose Medina, Tyler Childress, Ryan
                                                                       Pritchard, Daniel Hinkle
    Relay - 400 Free      Ridgeview High School     Gage Quigley, Hunter Bice, Matthew Koehly,
                                                                       Michael Johnson
     
    Honorable Mention
     
    50 Freestyle              JD Medina                       Orange Park High School
    50 Freestyle              Ernest Jones                   Fleming Island High School
    100 Butterfly             Bruce Arauz                    Orange Park High School
    100 Freestyle            Alec Bilyeu                      Fleming Island High School
    100 Breaststroke      Ryan Pritchard                 Orange Park High School
    100 Backstroke         Jared Kiep                       Orange Park High School
    200 Freestyle            Matthew Trinidad             Oakleaf High School
    200 IM                     Ryan Pritchard                 Orange Park High School
    500 Freestyle            Niko Aguirre                     Oakleaf High School
    Relay-200 M             Orange Park High School   Jared Kiep, Ryan Pritchard, Daniel Hinkle, 
                                                                          Jose Medina
    Relay-200 Free         Oakleaf High School          Jeremiah Bredeson, Sebastian Bamber
                                                                          Isaiah Mills, RyLee Kriener
    Relay-400 Free         Orange Park High School    Bruce Arauz, Tyler Childress, Parker Meeks,
                                                                           Joseph Crawford
                       

Volleyball Selections

  • Once Again, Clay County Shines On the Volleyball Court
     
    Clay County had several volleyball teams that led the area for the 2019 season.  The outstanding play of the teams is due to strong coaching and outstanding players.  This year's "Clay All-County Coaches Team" is represented by some outstanding young ladies. And here they are:
     
    At the setter position, two athletes led the way.  Fleming Island's Kailey DiPaula and Ridgeview's Abigail Tennant were the coaches on the floor for their teams.  And, both performed at a high level. DiPaula, a senior, was the team captain and was selected for the "1st-Team" for the second year in a row. "Kailey is the epitome of what a student athlete and school leader should be.  She has been our starting setter since her freshman year," said Coach Amy Walker. For a strong team year in and year out, being a starter for four years says a lot about the senior.  DiPaula plans on attending the University of Florida and majoring in nursing in order to become a nurse practitioner. The highlight-of-the-year for DiPaula - "senior night against Ridgeview.  It went to 5 sets and the energy was crazy."  Well done DiPaula.
     
    Joining DiPaula on the "1st-Team" as a setter is junior Abigail Tennant. Tennants hopes to continue her stellar career at the collegiate level and earn a degree in Early Childcare.  She was also the team captain and started in the program her freshman year.  Tennant was voted by her team as the "Most Improved Player" her freshman year, received the "Panther Award" her sophomore year, and placed in the top two at the Select 50 EXOS Camp. "She is the most humble, hardest working individual on the court," said Coach Destiny Brightman. "Abigail sets such a tone of peace on the court that our team performs at a higher level. Her favorite classes are math and childcare education and lists "The Blind Side" as her favorite movie.  
     
    In the middle position, the Head Coaches chose Jazmine Robinson of Fleming Island as the top player.  "Giving an opponent a face mask during a competitive game" was her favorite memory of the season.  This certainly illustrates her competitive fire.  The junior Golden Eagle hopes to go on to nursing or forensic science upon graduation from high school.  Coach Walker had this to say about Jazmine, "She is one of the top power hitters in Jacksonville.  And, she is quite a presence at the net and is respected by her opponents."  With one more year left to compete, it looks like opponents will grow tired of her "face masks."
     
    As the defensive specialist on the team, Ashlyn Halford of Ridgeview High School, is known for being a go-getter.  In fact, Coach Brightman describes Halford's play as: "Ashlyn is a go-getter! She works hard from the minute she steps on the court. She is vital to our defensive schemes. She always confident and mentally tough on the court."  Halford also plays softball for Ridgeview and like DiPaula, lists the 5-setter against Fleming Island as a memory.  Halford plans on going to college and play at that level.  Her favorite movie - "Nemo."
     
    Recording a large amount of kills are outside hitters Shaniece Steer of Ridgeview and Bryanna Parrett of Oakleaf High School.  Steer, a senior, has been elected the team captain for each of her 4 years on the team.  In addition, she was selected as the "Most Valuable Player" her freshman and senior years and made the "1st-Team" as a sophomore. "She is a natural leader," said Brightman. "Her intensity and drive makes the other girls want to play with her on the court. She is not only talented offensively, but players great defense." She plans on attending Pasco Hernando State College and seek a degree in Sports Management in the future. Steer also plays flag football and runs track for the Panthers.
     
    Another strong player selected for this position is Bryanna Parrett. "The favorite part of the year for me was when the team went to team camp and we instantly bonded as a group," said Parrett.  She has earned a scholarship to Pasco Hernando State College to play volleyball and plans on studying occupational therapy.  Coach Jennifer Meyer said, "Bryanna is a remarkable student/athlete.  She maintains a job, involved in sports, and keeps her academics at a high level (4.2).  And, she displays admirable leadership skills to her teammates."  Parrett was the MVP of the North Florida Classic for the East team and has been selected as a Clay County Athlete-of-the-Month.
     
    Rounding out the "Clay All-County Coaches Team" selection at the utility player position is Elaina Reynolds of Ridgeview.  Reynolds, only a sophomore, was able to play multiple positions for the school.  She was this year's "Most Improved Player" and was last years "Offensive Player of the Year" for Ridgeview.  "Elaina is one of my younger and very talented all-around players. She has grown so much on the court it has truly been a pleasure to watch," said Brightman.  She enjoys math classes and also participates in track-and-field at RHS. "Being able to be a part of winning districts for the 4th and 5th times at RHS has been exciting," said Reynolds.  "And being selected to the "50 EXOS" camp for volleyball." 
     

    Clay County is proud to announce the selection of the 2019-20 "Clay All-County Coaches Tams" for volleyball. The selection of the team members is determined by the criteria set by the Head Coaches. Below are the selections:

     
    1st-Team
     
    Position                  Name                                     School
     
    Setter                 Kailey DiPaula                        Fleming Island High School
                               Abigail Tennant                     Ridgeview High School
     
    Middle                Jazmine Robinson                   Fleming Island High School
     
    Defensive           Ashlyn Halford                        Ridgeview High School
    Specialist
     
    Outside Hitter     ShanieceSteer                        Ridgeview High School
                               Bryanna Parrett                    Oakleaf High School
     
    Utility Player       Elaina Reynolds                       Ridgeview High School
     
    2nd-Team
     
    Setter                  Dejah Johnson                    Oakleaf High School
                               Mone Gordon                      Middleburg High School
     
    Middle                  Brittany Range                   Middleburg High School
     
    Defensive            JJ Ramirez                           Fleming Island High School
    Specialist
     
    Outside Hitter      Jenna Sypniewski                Middleburg High School
                              Emma Richard                     Fleming Island High School
     
    Utility Player        Maya Walker                        Fleming Island High School
     
    Honorable Mention
     
    Setter                  Kaitlyn Foltz                         Orange Park High School
                               Emily Loose                          Keystone Heights Jr.-Sr. High School
     
    Middle                  Khalia Thompson                  Clay High School
     
    Defensive              Keelie Johns                        Clay High School
    Specialist
     
    Outside Hitter       Mackenzie Wright                 Clay High School
                               Madison Heskett                   Keystone Heights Jr.-Sr. High School
     
    Utility Player         Lauren Ellis                          Orange Park High School 

Cross Country Girls and Boys Selections

  • Clay County is proud to announce the selection of the "Clay All-County Coaches Teams" for Cross Country for girls and boys. The selection of team members (1st-Team, 2nd-Team, Honorable Mention) is determined by the criteria that the Head Coaches established. The selections are:

     
    Girls' Cross Country
     
    1st-Team
     
    Name                                   School                         Time
     
    Mei Chiang                           FIHS                           18:56.30
    Camryn Williams                  KHHS                          19:32.20
    Grace Adams                       FIHS                            19:47.96
    Morgan Erler                        FIHS                             19:51.40
    Lauren Schaudel                 FIHS                              20:08.56
    Marisa Kortright                   FIHS                              20:17.20
    Jennifer Fliess                     FIHS                              20:29.30
     
    2nd-Team
     
    Hannah Johnson                  OHS                             20:29.92
    Emma Millson                      FIHS                             20:34.05
    Anna Rafalski                      FIHS                              20:44.60
    Emma Mussante                 MHS                              20:53.18
    Jordan Detwiler                   FIHS                              21:21.26
    Anna MaGruder                   RHS                              21:21.31
    Kayla Herman                     FIHS                              21:36.70
     
    Honorable Mention
     
    Emma Brown                      OPHS                            21:45.97
    Katherine Harlamor             FIHS                             22:13.40
    Kylie Loving                         OHS                             22:40.00
    Brooke Cassada                  MHS                             22:43.40
    Brynn Kneisley                    FIHS                              22:46.01
    Abbey Sanderson               MHS                              22:50.45
    Madisyn Blackburn              CHS                              22:51.50
     
    Boys' Cross Country
     
    1st-Team
     
    Kameron Wallizada             FIHS                             16.03.67
    Will Livesay                         FIHS                              16:03.84
    Dylan Nelson                       OHS                              16:11.92
    Landon Opp                        FIHS                               16:20.69
    Jayden Scherer                   FIHS                               16:34.06
    Ajani Stokes                         OHS                               16:39.49
    Jack Mcdade                       FIHS                               16:49.49
     
    2nd-Team
     
    John Brinkman                    FIHS                                16:59.70
    Brendan Fitzgerald             FIHS                                 17:07.01
    Jacob Walrod                      FIHS                                 17:17.07
    Alex Bendig                        FIHS                                  17:18.10
    Tyler Shaw                          KHHS                                17:24.00
    John Scholz                        MHS                                  17:28.00
    Michael Lyon                      FIHS                                   17:35.00
     
    Honorable Mention
     
    Dominik Frietze                   RHS                                  17:36.98
    Carlton Waiguru                  CHS                                   17:44.48
    Owen Darfler                      FIHS                                   17:51.67
    Robert Nogales                   MHS                                  17:52.30
    Christian Villanueva            OHS                                   18:03.89
    Jose Paolo                          RHS                                   18:04.46
    Danny Sakowski                 FIHS                                   18:05.82