J.T. Wood was a scrawny freshman sitting in the top of the stadium stands as a junior varsity player and spectator in 2014 the last time Creekside won a football game. On Friday, the senior shook off three years of frustration with two touchdown receptions and a decisive kickoff return score to lead Creekside to a 48-21 victory over Class 8A Winter Springs, ending the Jacksonville area’s longest losing streak at 22 games and starting a new tradition for the Knights.
Athletic director and former baseball coach, Luke Marabell announced the hire this week. This is the first varsity head coaching position for King, who has been in local baseball circles for more than a decade.
The Knights went on the road and beat county foes Nease 25-22, 25-12, 25-18 in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night. Creekside (1-0) will face Bolles on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Nease (0-1) travels to Ponte Vedra on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Boys cross country: 5 to watch
Creekside: They’re coming off two state titles, part of an extraordinary run of success that’s made St. Johns County history. There’s a lot of speed to replace: Top runners Matthew Clark, Nick Deal and Jackson Storey have all graduated and now run in college. But the Knights always find fresh talent. This year, that means it’s time for Matt Ortiz and a promising new crop to shine.
Creekside: The speedy Openshaw sisters are set to strike again for the Knights. Claire Openshaw is a sophomore, Tara Openshaw is a senior, and between the two, they should give Creekside a powerful 1-2 punch at the top.
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High school volleyball season begins Monday. A look at five teams and five players to watch as the season opens.
Creekside: The Knights are a perennial state contender and, even with a handful of big graduation losses, will be so again under coach Megan Bowers. A somewhat senior-heavy lineup is led by powerful middles, with 6-foot-1 Milla Ciprian, a Virginia commit, arguably the best in the area. She had 221 kills, 163 digs and 64 blocks last season. Caroline Webb is also back in the middle, Brooklyn McBride flanks the outside and libero Margaret Gupton also returns.
Tonight’s game: vs. Menendez, 7 p.m.
Knights will play: starters into the third quarter, primary backups into the fourth quarter, backups and some JV players to close out the game.
Keep an eye on: the Knights’ effort. Creekside won its spring game against Stanton in May, its only win of any sort since the 2014 season. Tonight, the Knights will be up against a more athletic squad in Menendez. “We want to see how much effort (our players show) and how willing they are going to be physical,” first-year coach Sean McIntyre said. “As long as we execute fundamentals and play with great effort, we’ll feel good about it.”
Season opener: Aug. 25 vs. Winter Springs.
Top Returnees: The girls will rely on the Openshaw sisters as well as Karson Gruber and Lydia Karl to qualify for state for a 10th straight year. Claire Openshaw finished sixth at the Class 3A state championships as a freshman. Tara Openshaw, a senior, is the only holdover from the 2014 team that won the state title. The boys face the gargantuan task of replacing three runners who finished in the top 10 at the state meet. Senior Riley Strauch, junior Matt Ortiz and sophomore Ian Smith will be tasked with leading the team this fall.