(Fleming Island) Following one of their more disappointing seasons in the last 4 years, the Eagles are looking for that shot in the arm to get back on top of District 3 and make a serious push into the playoffs. Not the season Coach Springs has become accustomed to after reaching a 10-1 overall record in 2019 and an appearance in the regional semifinal. The 21-22 season ended with a blowout loss to Buchholz 35-7 and a lackluster 6-5 overall record that left them in the 29th spot in Florida 7A.
Hopefully, improving their O Line play has been a focus during the summer heading into the Pre-Season Classic this Friday versus Westside. The season depends on the defense and 4 Star recruit Sam Singleton, who recently committed to Florida State University. Singleton carried himself to 105 yards rushing per game and worked extremely hard at times with little help from the offensive line.
This roster is Senior saturated on both sides of the ball. Offensively the pulse is Singleton, who led the team in total touchdowns in the 21-22 season with nine on the ground and 1 through the air. Quarterback play is another piece of the puzzle that needs to be improved. Last season, that position produced 7 touchdowns and a 55% completion percentage. The team should be hoping for an uptick on those numbers going into the season opener versus arch-rival Clay High Devils on August 26. The game is on the road for the Eagles, and the road was not exactly their friend in 2021. Last season, the Golden Eagles posted a 2-3 record away from “The Rock.”
Fans should expect to see the same defensive players this season that were atop the defensive stat sheet all last season—seniors like Abram Wright, Jhace Edwards, Jhoel Robinson, Walker Whiddon, and JR Joey Couch. Edwards was a force to be reconned with defensively and offensively. Jhace was second on the defense with 6.5 sacks, 1 interception, 6 quarterback hurries and not to be done out by Singleton offensively, Edwards racked up 7 rushing touchdowns when asked to play running back. Walker led the team with 8.5 tackles per game, and Wright led the defense with 7 sacks. This is a bunch of ball hungry aggressive players, and it’s safe to say they’re coming to do damage again this year.
Fleming has a tough stretch early on with Clay High(21-14 L), Nease(35-14 L), and Oakleaf(49-34 W) within their first four games, with Clay and Nease on the road. Besides the Battle of the County versus Clay, the game that fans should circle is the revenge game at Buchholz on October 28, which embarrassed the Eagles in their one playoff game.
The 2022 season could be fun for the Eagles as long as the Seniors not only continue to be leaders on the field but grow as leaders within their locker room and realize this is their last season at the Rock. Football is a game that creates a brotherhood within the weight room, locker room, classroom, and on the field. It’s time for these Seniors to come out and fight for themselves, their families, their coaches, and most importantly, for each other: their brothers.