High 11 Excessive College Soccer Video games to Watch from Tri-County in 2021
Football is almost back – and it’s going to be bigger than ever for The News-Journal and the St. Augustine Record.
As the two newspapers join forces, there are now 23 teams spanning the redesigned Tri-County coverage area, based in Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns Counties. That corresponds to 230 games planned for the coming autumn, and there is no shortage of festival tent matches.
Instead, this is just an example. Whether it’s a traditional rivalry, an important district duel with major playoff implications, or just a pair of high-quality opponents, these are 11 games that should inspire fans for the fall.
NOTE: All games are scheduled for 7pm kick-off unless otherwise noted.
Jacksonville Episcopal School in Tocoi Creek, Aug. 27
It has been more than a decade since a new school in the triangle opened its doors; The university did this in 2010. So there will be a lot of excitement in the Tocoi Creek community when the Toros first step into the field. Tocoi Creek will go FHSAA independent this fall – as will St. Joseph and Trinity Christian. The college’s longtime defensive coordinator Mike Kolakowski is in charge and will seek to lay the foundation for future success.
Tocoi Creek Football:The new school in St. John’s will be young as the coach works to build culture
Nease in Ponte Vedra, August 27th
Traditionally, Week 1 has a huge number of rivalry games, and that goes for the entire three-country area – DeLand-Mainland, Deltona-University, Matanzas-Menendez, Seabreeze-Spruce Creek, etc. The Battle of the Bridge has this one But sometimes a little more juice. Nease has two Division I commits in Tight End Grant Stevens (Coastal Carolina) and Offensive Tackle Sam Dec (Army). There is now a changing of the guard in Ponte Vedra, where Steve Price, who led North Florida Christian to a Class 2A state title in 2018, is now in charge.
Miami Columbus on Bartram Trail, September 3rd
Fresh from a regional final run and returned with a number of Division I recruits, the Bartram Trail schedule is adequately filled. The Bears open with a trip across state lines to visit Waycross, Ga. Ware County, and they have a showdown with Tallahassee Lincoln in September. However, we are circling that clash with Columbus – a program only two seasons away from Class 8A glory.
Pollard commits to:Micah Pollard, Bartram Trail 3-Star Linebacker, Announces College Football Engagement
Weatherly’s choice:Bartram Trail RB Eric Weatherly Reveals College Decision
Mainland on the Flagler Palm Coast, September 3rd
Travis Roland led FPC to playoff appearances in each of his four responsible seasons, setting a 28-12 record. In April, however, he left for his alma mater, the mainland. The new boss of the Bulldogs arrived in similar circumstances when Robert Paxia resigned from Lakeland Lake Gibson to return to the school he calls home. On the field, this should be a fun match-up too; It is the first time since 2015 that the Bucs and Bulldogs compete against each other.
Heading HOME:Mainland hires Travis Roland as its new soccer coach
Spruce Creek on the mainland, September 10th
To stay with the Bucs, the next game on their schedule will be Volusia County’s bragging rights. Spruce Creek heads into 2021 with plenty of playoff experience, massive size in the trenches and hunger for the next step. Mainland won last year’s opener 13-10, supported by a pick-six and James Randle’s first high school -Touchdown reception. Damarcus Creecy, Kevin Minckler, and the rest of the Hawks will be out for revenge.
Creeks Stars:Spruce Creek wins 7v7 soccer tournament over the mainland. Which area players stood out?
Seabreeze in Deltona, September 17th
Opportunities are presented to these two longtime enemies in a redesigned District 7-5A. The winner of this game has a very good chance of winning the title in a home game against unaffordable favorites Orlando Bishop Moore (Atlantic and Pine Ridge round out the field). Last season, Seabreeze defeated Deltona 30-8 in the opening week when Dimitri Campbell sat down for a touchdown with three interceptions and a fumble return.
FHSAA makes changes:FHSAA publishes soccer classification. This is what it means for Volusia Flagler teams
Bartram Trail in St. Augustine, September 24th
The main St. Johns County’s rivalry takes center stage in Week 5. The host’s Yellow Jackets celebrated an impressive 19 straight wins in the series; Bartram Trail finally cracked the skid in 2018 and has since taken another pair of wins. St. Augustine narrowly missed a place in the Class 6A championship game last fall, losing 49-48 in three extra time to Lake Minneola. There will be some retooling, with key players like Sammy Edwards and Dequan Stanley graduating, but this should still be a highly competitive competition.
Mainland at Orlando Jones, October 15th
Only a few times during the Bucs’ active 27-year playoff streak has it been this difficult to qualify. You join the aforementioned state finalist Lake Minneola, runner-up in Class 5A of 2019 Jones, New Smyrna Beach and Groveland South Lake in one of Central Florida’s toughest groups. Jones is still building a roster awash with talent, including quarterback Julian Calvez and tight end Anthony Rucker.
Spruce Creek at University, October 15th
This could very well be for all of the marbles in District 4-7A, especially considering how the Titans dismantled Lake Howell, Lyman, and Winter Springs head-to-head during the 2020 campaign. The Hawks and Titans went blow after blow in a 27-22 game in the fourth quarter of last October, with Cyncere Wilson’s 75-yard kick return for a touchdown, multiple changes in leadership and a hold call that obliterated a would-be player , occurred. The 59-yard touchdown run for university quarterback Tazz Figueroa starts.
Flagler Palm Coast in DeLand, October 22nd
FPC and DeLand have been an integral part of the schedule for most years and not as originally intended in 2020. Instead, on October 30th last year, DeLand made arrangements to house an extremely high profile opponent, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. That shift didn’t go well with FPC’s administration, though the Bulldogs found a substitute game and later angered reigning Class 1A champ Madison County. The two teams were moved to Districts 2-8A together, so this game will take place unless something really unexpected happens. It’s teacher versus student as DeLand trainer Steve Allen shares his wits with Paxia, one of his former linemen at FPC.
University at Kissimmee Osceola, November 5th
There is no break on the route for either Spruce Creek or the university. While the Hawks leave for Cocoa on October 22nd, the Titans end the campaign with the runner-up in Class 8A, Osceola. With the RPI ranking system reintroduced for Playoff Qualifiers in 2021, every game will matter. The Titans could give their playoff return hopes a big boost by knocking out an Osceola team anchored by senior quarterback Chad Mascoe and top junior pass rusher Derrick LeBlanc.