Coming from Jacksonville, it gives me great pride to talk about Jacksonville high-school football stars who are playing on Saturday.
From Jeff Holland and Jabari Davis at Auburn, to DJ Matthews (Florida State), Kendrick Norton and Michael Pinckney (Miami). It is great to see Jacksonville natives playing on Saturday in key roles at some of the biggest universities in the country.
Jacksonville has produced some of the best high school football players over the last decade or so. A lot of these young players are rated in the top-10 at their respective positions. A lot of the credit for some of these outstanding high football prospects has to go to the pop warner coaches in the Jacksonville area. These are volunteer coaches and parents who teach these kids about the game of football. Many of the best Pop Warner football parks are in Jacksonville; Sweat Water, Grand Park, West Side, Forest View, and many others.
The next major step in the development of these great athlete happen when they decide to go to a local high school to continue their education and playing the sport, they love. Jacksonville is home to some of the best high school football programs in Florida. With teams like University Christian, Trinity Christian, Raines, and Bolles.
Trinity Christian which is a private school is one of the best high school football programs in the country, winning 4 of the last 5 state titles in their respective divisions. Trinity Christian has been shown on ESPN countless of times. They are known in Jacksonville as the school that can get you into college to play football. Every year Trinity sends a good amount of their players to college. Players like Florida State freshman, DJ Mathews, or even LSU sophomore corner Kevin Toliver II, are all products of Trinity Christian.
There are a few outside forces that also help Jacksonville high school football players develop into more elite players. Pro Impact Sports, which is an organization that prides itself on developing young talent so that they are prepared once they leave high school and go on to college. Pro Impact Sports has of the best 7 on 7 team’s year in and year out, playing during the off-season. The team is comprised of some of the best high school football players in the Jacksonville area. Ohio State freshman corner, Shaun Wade, is a product of Trinity Christian and Pro Impact Sports.
Since from Jacksonville I’ve always seen Stars leave from Jacksonville and come back within a couple of months because they could not crack the starting lineup. Kendrick Norton from Trinity Christian and Michael Pickney from Raines High School, both played a key role in the stout defense of the Miami Hurricanes. who are now ranked No.11 in the country.
Jacksonville’s Friday talent will once again shine on Sundays very soon.