Ridaught: Senior spotlights

Various sports balls

We’re getting closer to the start of the 2022-23 school year.

New school supplies have been on sale everywhere.

And the first day of practice for the fall sports (football, volleyball, swimming & diving, cross country, golf and bowling) are only three weeks from today on Monday, August 1.

Plus, we are just one week away from the North Central Florida high school football media day, which is hosted by Varsity Sports Network and FloridaHSFootball.com on Monday, July 18, at Hotel Indigo in Gainesville. 

A total of 16 Media Day events are planned around the Sunshine State and according to FloridaHSFootball.com publisher Joshua Wilson, a total of 31 schools have signed up for next week’s event in Gainesville.

High school football media day officially kicks off our coverage for 2022.

But before we look ahead, I want to look back one last time at 2021-22.

During the last three weeks of July, I’ll be spotlighting some of the top seniors from the Class of 2022.

In case you missed it last summer, among some of our top seniors we spotlighted from the Class of 2021 included Newberry’s Justen Crews, who led the Panthers to their first state baseball title in school history last May, Eastside’s (Gainesville) Taylor Jania Hill-Miles, who was a National African American Scholar (top 2.5% PSAT score for demographic) and was named the Ram of the Year (student of the year at EHS), and Dre Lawrence of Hawthorne, who helped lead the Hornets’ football team to the state title game and won a state title in basketball in March 2020.

Our Senior Salutes for this year, which begins on Tuesday, July 12, will mostly feature student-athletes who played multiple sports this past school year. Later, in August, we’ll put the spotlight on the “Rising Seniors,” or the top athletes for the Class of 2023.

One of our first “Rising Senior” spotlights last August was on Caleb Moncrief of Keystone Heights.

He will be our first Class of 2022 spotlight tomorrow.

Recently, the four-sport athlete was recognized by the Florida High School Athletic Association. Moncrief was named the 2022 FHSAA Ronald N. Davis Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

We’ll revisit other top seniors we previewed this past fall, like Emma Hutto and Michelle Heilig of Bell High School, and Jesse Williams of Bronson, who was All Area in football and basketball this past year.

But there will be several seniors who we didn’t spotlight this past fall that we will recognize this month.

And later this week, I’ll take a look at some of the top high school football games each week that are coming up this fall. A couple of weeks ago I previewed the top Tri-County football games in 2022.

Buckle your seat belt. Our coverage of high school sports is about to take off.

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