Chase Rocker: Has earned 10 varsity letters in track and field, weightlifting and sideline cheer. She qualified twice for the state track and field championships in pole vault. She is also active as a youth leader at her church and has served on several mission trips to Costa Rica. And she is a cheer coach in special needs classes. Chase is Creekside’s valedictorian and finished her high school career with a 4.7 weighted GPA.
Brandon Dickman: Creekside’s first four-year district wrestling champion placed three years in a row at state, finishing fifth as a sophomore and third as a junior and senior. Brandon had a 3.37 weighted GPA and will continue his wrestling career at Newberry College. He was also a three-year varsity football player.
Creekside (21-7) eliminated St. Augustine (18-12) in an intra-county regional playoff game at Flagler College’s Drysdale Field.
Two thousand, five hundred and fifty five minutes after he was scheduled to start, St. Augustine’s Nick Phifer delivered the first pitch.
It was an 84-mph fastball over the outside corner that Creekside’s Connor Hults flipped toward short.
The two would meet again. Their roles would be reversed; but, before they did, the Knights and St. Augustine played nine high-stakes innings in an FHSAA Region 1-7A baseball semifinal.
Creekside staved off the top of the St. Augustine order to win 3-2 in extra innings on a rainy Thursday afternoon at Drysdale Field at the Flagler College Athletic Complex.
Creekside (19-7) at Lake City Columbia (16-12)
When: 7 p.m.
Potential Starters: Creekside — senior Hunter Bratek or junior Connor Hults will get the baseball. Columbia — Davion Love (5-4, 2.03) is a senior southpaw who has been the Tigers ace all season.
Analysis: Creekside hits the road after being stunned by St. Augustine in the District 4-7A final. The Knights rode their offense all season and will look to do so against the Tigers.
Daniel Cantu, Nick Tripp and Hunter Bratek have led the way offensively. Josh Emerson, who had a strong April before sustaining an injury, should be back in the lineup. Sophomore Jacob Topping has provided a spark at the bottom of the lineup, with 3 RBIs and two runs scored in the district tournament.
Cantu and Bratek are among the left-handed bats in the Creekside lineup. Columbia baseball coach Brian Thomas believes the left-on-left matchup may go a long way toward deciding who moves on to the Region 1-7A semifinals next Tuesday.
“They have kids who can swing it,” Thomas said. “Lefty on lefty is big. When you can throw with movement a lefty has a tendency to not dig in a lot. Davion, that’s his (modus operandi) He gets in on your hands as a righty and in on your hands as a lefty. If he can frustrate hitters, it’s going to be a good day for him.”
Up Next: The winner will face the winner of St. Augustine and Gainesville on May 15. Creekside would travel to St. Augustine and host Gainesville.
Creekside’s Claire Openshaw won a state championship and made history doing it. The sophomore became the first St. Johns County girls runner to win a state title in the 3,200 meters, winning the Class 3A final Friday on the first day of the state track and field championships at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium. Openshaw won with a time of 10:40.24, beating second-place Valarie Lastra of Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy (10:44.55) by more than four seconds.
The Creekside junior drove in the first run of Tuesday’s District 4-7A baseball tournament semifinal. He trotted to the mound and quickly retired Bartram Trail to keep the momentum in the rivalry game with the school representing the red half of St. Johns.
Creekside sophomore Claire Openshaw and her teammate Makhaila Mills handled business in their premier events Thursday at the Region 1-3A track and field championships at Tallahassee Chiles.Openshaw breezed to the regional title in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 5.41 seconds, four seconds ahead of Chiles junior Emily Culley. Later, Openshaw beat Culley by two seconds to claim the 3,200-meter title with a time of 10:52.28. Neither of Openshaw’s times were remotely close to her