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Spring Swing football: Twenty days to get better for Bartram Trail

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – NewsJax’s high school football Spring Swing continues daily throughout spring practice across the First Coast. Today, we’ll take a quick look at Bartram Trail. 

The Bears’ biggest change entering 2019 is the move up in classification, joining an all-local District 1-8A. 

The Bears’ new district opponents include Mandarin, Nease, Oakleaf and Sandalwood.  

The Bears went 7-3 last season and missed the state playoffs in Region 1-7A when the Week 11 dominoes fell. It was just the third time Bartram has missed the postseason since its first year of playoff eligibility in 2001. The Bears were the state runner-up in 2017. 

What’s the goal this spring for coach Darrell Sutherland, who has been at the program since its first season in 2000? The Bears want to maximize their 20 allotted practice days and come out on the other side stronger. 

“Really two things one,” he said. “We want to see that we’re not just 20 days older, we want to be 20 days better. And then the other part of it is, our character curriculum this spring is about being a real man. And we talk about respecting others, especially women. E is for engage; if we see it or hear it becomes our responsibility. 

“A is always do right and then L is legacy, live a life of significance. We want our guys to really buy into that and to be men built for others.” 

One player back in the huddle is rising senior quarterback Chad Dodson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during a win against Creekside on Sept. 28. 

“Really excited. Team’s really excited to get back out. It’s going to be a good year I think,” Dodson said. 
“We’ve got a lot of new guys, a lot of younger guys got to step up just getting them familiar with the offense, defense and coming together as a team. That’s our main goal.”

Note: The 2019 schedule will be added when complete. 


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