86ºF

History-making Vikings share secrets to success

Raines High football team wins back-to-back state championships

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Raines High's unforgettable back-to-back football titles cemented the Vikings' place in Northeast Florida history as the first Duval County public school to repeat as state champions.

The two-time Class 4A victors sported new hardware -- championship medals and rings -- as they discussed their recipe for success with News4Jax.

"Coming together as one -- focus, dedication and hard work. Our coach, every day after practice, would give us a talk. Let us know to be consistent, come out every day and practice,” senior wide receiver Matthew Drayton said.

The season started rough with a one-point loss to Lee High, but the Vikings went on a tear, winning out for the rest of the season and topping it with a 27-13 victory over Cocoa in a rematch of last year's title game.

"These guys are very very resilient. I had no worries about where they wanted to go. They were very determined to get back to state and win it,” coach Deran Wiley said.

RELATED: Seniors give Mandarin High parting gift: Team's 1st state title

The players said it was team unity and support from their fans that propelled the Vikings to another state title victory.

WATCH: Raines football players on The Morning Show

"They've been showing love. They always show love throughout the whole season, even when there's a rainy game. They come and show their support,” senior running back Brandon Marshall said.

With the season over, more than a third of the Raines football team turns its focus to graduation -- with many of those planning for careers in college football and beyond.

Raines High isn't the only Jacksonville public school making history. For the first time, Mandarin High clinched a state title with 37-35 victory over Columbus in the Class 8A game.


About the Authors: