ALL-NORTH CENTRAL TEAM
EVEN IN A DOWN YEAR, THERE IS ALWAYS TALK of Gainesville High School competing for a cham- pionship. Last season, GHS finished 7-6 but the Hurricanes won their third straight district title and
once again advanced to the regional final.
Gainesville, which appeared in the 6A state title game in
2012, is seeking its seventh consecutive playoff appearance.
Eight starters return on offense for the Hurricanes, including
three-year starting quarterback Caelan Christian, who threw for
2,293 yards and 23 TDs in 2014. In addition, leading rusher
Demari Medley is back, along with two-way standout Jordan
Giberti, who has an offer from South Carolina.
Despite a last-second non-district loss to city rival Buchholz
a year ago, and a 5-5 regular season record, Gainesville was
the only Alachua County team to make the postseason. The
Hurricanes will be in the mix again for the 6A-District 5 title.
The two best players in the region are a little further south
in Marion County.
Wide receiver Freddie Swain of North Marion is considered
one of the top players at his position. Swain (841 yards
receiving, 6 TDs in 2014) is a four-star receiver with more
than 40 scholarship offers. He’ll be receiving passes from
junior quarterback Caleb Seiler ( 2,187 yards, 15 TDs), who
led Marion County in passing a year ago.
Trinity Catholic’s Jordan Woods is the area’s top defensive
player. He led the county in sacks and is one of the top
defensive linemen in the country.
WIN AND YOU’RE IN
It’s just a three-team race in Class 5A’s new District 6, which
consists of only Belleview, Eastside and North Marion. With
standouts Caleb Seiler and Freddie Swain on offense, the Colts
are considered the favorite, but defense is Eastside’s forte.
With Belleview struggling ( 1-9 last year), a win over the Rattlers
by both Eastside and North Marion would set up the district
championship game at North Marion on Oct. 2.
Several area teams should benefit by dropping down in
Despite a 7-3 overall record last season, Santa Fe missed out
on the 5A state playoffs to North Marion and Suwannee, both
of whom remain in Class 5A. However, the Raiders drop down to
4A and will be the front runner for the District 3 crown.
Dunnellon and South Sumter drop from 5A to 4A and are
in District 4. The Tigers bring back nine starters on both
sides of the ball and have a good shot at the postseason,
while the Raiders have finished unbeaten during the regular
season three years in a row.
Dunnellon was the only team of the four to not make the
postseason last year. Umatilla, which won eight games in
2014, and South Sumter, which won 11, were both district
champions. Mount Dora, which won nine games in 5A, was a
Fort White makes the biggest drop from 4A to 1A. The Indians
finished as district runner-up to Madison County, which drops to
Class 1A’s District 5. Fort White will now compete in District 6
with Baldwin, Hilliard, Union County and Hawthorne. As a playoff
team in 4A a year ago, Fort White will have a target on its back
in the smallest classification. – Mike Ridaught
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
The Gainesville defense will
look to lead the Hurricanes to
their fourth straight district
title and seventh consecutive
QB N’ Kosi Perry, Vanguard
RB J. T. Taylor, South Sumter
RB Justin Watkins, North Marion
WR Freddie Swain, North Marion
WR Maurice Goolsby, Dunnellon
OL Cary Samedi, South Lake
OL Brett Heggie, Mount Dora
OL Myron Haggins, Vanguard
OL Blake Vinson, Trinity Catholic
OL Jacob Tinch, Weeki Wachee
UT Shawn O’Gorman, Weeki Wachee
UT Caleb Robinson, Umatilla
DL Cory Durden, Newberry
DL Montel Presley, South Sumter
DL Jalin Parks, Newberry
DL Jordan Giberti, Gainesville
LB Jordan Woods, Trinity Catholic
LB Eron Carter, Palatka
LB Tyric Reid, Eustis
DB Jalen Patterson, North Marion
DB Roger Cray, Columbia
DB Hamp Cheevers, Trenton
UT Laqavious Paul, Columbia
UT Joshua Williams, Dunnellon
2. North Marion
3. South Sumter
4. Trinity Catholic
5. Santa Fe