Spring football games are back on Friday night

Bradford football coach Brian Tomlinson
Bradford football coach Brian Tomlinson

COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 spring football season, but tonight four area teams will play a spring football game – Trenton, P.K. Yonge, Newberry and Bradford (Starke).

Class 1A Trenton will host 3A Interlachen. After having a year off, Trenton coach Bill Wiles said his team is looking forward to the spring scrimmage.

“Our kids have practiced and deserve an opportunity to play,” he said. “I am very proud of this group for making it arguably the most difficult school year I can recall. I simply can’t wait to watch them play ball, smile and have fun. We want to have fun, take a break and then have a great summer in preparation for the 2021 season.”

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Kevin Doelling has taken over as head coach for Marcus McDonald at P.K. Yonge so this is his first spring as the leader of the Blue Wave.

“Spring ball was a great time for us,” he said. “I challenged the boys early with their desire to learn some new things on offense and they accepted the challenge. I was happy to be back with the same guys I started with seven years ago and Friday is an exciting step for us.”

P.K. Yonge will travel to Class 2A Orangewood Christian (Maitland) for its spring game.

“I’m just really excited to be back on the sidelines,” Doelling said. “Our boys have been flying around having fun hitting but it’s time to see how they handle a new face wearing a different jersey. They’ve given us great effort these last three weeks and if they can do it for us one more time, I’ll be happy.”

Class 1A Newberry is coached by Ed Johnson. The Panthers finished 8-2 last season with a loss to Wildwood in the regional semifinals.

“Spring practice has been fairly good for us,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of new guys in new positions that we are excited about seeing progress in the future.”

This could be a potential playoff game in 2021 as Bradford drops from 4A down to 1A this year. It will be a good spring test for both teams.

“We are looking for our guys to go out, compete and learn from some game experience,” Johnson said. “We want to get everyone on film so we can evaluate exactly where we are heading into the summer.”

Bradford coach Brian Tomlinson said that “spring practice has gone very well.”

“The players and coaches have been excited to be back on the field,” he said. “We return a lot of young guys, so getting them more experience has been our biggest goal this spring.”

Tomlinson has the same hope as Johnson for Friday’s game.

“I think we all just want to get the guys game reps on film and keep everyone healthy going into the summer,” he said.

Spring Football Games

Friday, May 14

Newberry at Bradford (Starke), 7 p.m.

Interlachen at Trenton, 7 p.m.

P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) at Orangewood Christian (Maitland), 7 p.m.

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