Ridaught: It feels like the first time

Trenton's Cameron Porch (left) and Buchholz's Chuck Bell picked up their first career head coaching football wins last week.
Trenton's Cameron Porch (left) and Buchholz's Chuck Bell picked up their first career wins at their respective schools last week.
Photos by C.J. Gish

Last week there were a handful of area football coaches who got their first win.

Cameron Porch won his first game for Trenton on Thursday, Willie Jackson got his first win for P.K. Yonge on Friday night, and Chuck Bell won his first game for Buchholz on Saturday.

Although this is Porch’s second year as head coach of the Tigers, last week’s 28-0 win at Bell was his first victory as head coach. Trenton (1-0) is aiming high this year despite an 0-9 finish in 2022.

“This is year one for us,” Porch said after the win. “Last year was year zero. This is where it happens. We expect to win now. Kids have worked their butt off for nine months. We expect more than what we did tonight as far as execution goes, so a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouth still, but we’ll bounce back this week and execute better next week.”

Trenton will travel to Dixie County (Cross City) this Friday night. The host Bears (0-1) dropped a close 7-6 game at home to Lafayette (Mayo).

P.K. Yonge coach Willie Jackson.
Photo by C.J. Gish P.K. Yonge coach Willie Jackson.

Despite only fielding a roster of 22 players, P.K. Yonge (1-0) won its first game of the season.

The Blue Wave defeated Father Lopez, 46-12, in Daytona Beach to give new head coach and alum Willie Jackson his first win as head coach of the Blue Wave.

P.K. Yonge, which is off this week, will travel to Mount Dora Christian Academy on Friday, Sept. 8.

The Buchholz football program had to replace head coach Mark Whittemore and Mr. Football Creed Whittemore.

But the Bobcats made a statement over the weekend with a 41-13 win against Columbia (Lake City).

Buchholz, which is ranked third in The Prep Zone Power Poll, built a 14-0 lead in Lake City on Friday before the game was suspended. They resumed the game on Saturday at Citizens Field with Buchholz adding a quick score for a 21-0 lead.

Following a Columbia score, the ‘Cats scored 20 unanswered points to give Bell his first win at his alma mater.

“I’m pretty emotional right now,” Bell said after the game. “Not a whole lot of things have felt like this in my life.”

Buchholz will travel to Riverview (Sarasota), which routed Southeast (Bradenton), 54-0, at 7 p.m. on Friday night in a matchup of unbeaten teams in Class 4S.

Ian Scott 
lost his debut at Gainesville High.

Gainesville coach Ian Scott
Photo by Tim Rodriquez Ian Scott

The Hurricanes (0-1) did manage to make the game respectable. After trailing 34-7 at Braden River in the fourth quarter, GHS scored twice before losing, 34-20, against the Pirates in a Class 3S game in Bradenton.

Scott will seek his first win this Friday night at 7 p.m. against Leon (Tallahassee). The Class 4S Lions (1-0) defeated North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), 31-23, at home last Friday.

Another first-year coach will make his debut this Friday.

Steve Reynolds, who has been a head coach at Oakleaf (Orange Park) and Bradford (Starke), was hired in January as the head coach at Keystone Heights.

He is the first to coach the Indians since the 1990s.

Chuck Dickinson, who remained the athletics director, stepped down as the Indians’ coach after 24 years.

“Coach Dickinson has done so much as a player, as an assistant, as a head coach and as an athletic director for Keystone Heights,” Reynolds said. “He really set the precedence of putting the kids first, the players, athletes first in your program. Following through with that and making it more about them and their success, doing things the right way, strong academics. There is a standard of excellence that has been set for many years.”

Reynolds said he is transitioning based on those base principles that Dickinson established.

“And then try and add my flair to everything,” he said.

“Trying to remain loyal to tradition and at the same time really pushing a culture that I believe in and that I see, and add my flair and spin on to the offense and defense,” Reynolds said. “That whole package of being the head coach the first year is difficult.”

Keystone Heights, which had a rare week off in week one, will host Eastside at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night. The visiting Rams (1-0) defeated Inlet Grove (Riviera Beach), 28-9, at home last Friday.

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