Johnson takes the helm as the Newberry Panthers stalk a state title in 2020


 Today’s Rising Senior spotlight is on Makai Johnson of Newberry High School. 

 Johnson will play football and baseball his senior year. This past spring he was batting .500 through seven games for the Panthers’ baseball team with a team leading 11 hits. 

Makai Johnson of Newberry High School

His favorite high school sports moment was during his junior year when Newberry defeated Santa Fe (Alachua) to win the Class 5A-District 5 baseball title. 

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Johnson was a Gainesville Sun first team All-Area selection in 2019 after hitting .370 with nine doubles, one home run, 21 runs driven in and 18 stolen bases.

Johnson will play quarterback and strong safety for the Panthers’ football team this year. Last year, he helped Newberry to a 9-1 regular season and a playoff appearance after throwing for 546 yards with 9 TD’s, and rushing for 259 yards and three touchdowns. 

Johnson, who is a member of the National Honor Society and an A-B Honor Roll student, has college baseball offers or interest from Florida State, Jacksonville, Florida Atlantic, Wofford, Cincinnati, Florida A&M, and Florida Gulf Coast Universities.  

If you or someone you know is a student-athlete, and rising senior, we want to hear from you. You can either send us an audio shout out which we will play on the radio, or send us your bio and I will voice it for you.  For more information, please email

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Mike Ridaught is the founder and publisher of, the foremost website for high school sports in northeast Florida.

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