Spring swing football: Fort White looking for extended playoff run

Indians lost in the first round in 2018

Ft. WHITE, 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 Fort White. 

Fort White has consistently been a playoff team in the 12 years that Demetric Jackson been the head coach. Getting to the postseason is no longer the goal for the Indians. They want to do something that’s never been done in school history.

Advance past the second round of the playoffs. 

“The last couple of years we’ve been knocked out in the first round,” said Jackson. “That’s been bittersweet.” 

Fort White was one of the smallest 3A schools in the state. This season, they’re moving down to 1A. 

“Now we’ll get a chance to play teams that are our same size,” said Jackson. “Hopefully we can teach our guys over the summer and finish out this spring strong. So that we can go beyond that first round." 

The Indians will run a multiple-dimensional offense. They’ll develop a game-plan each week based on their opponent. 

Defensively, they’ll be led by senior linebackers Derrick Roberson and Kameron Calhoun.

“Everybody is tired of going home early,” said Calhoun. “That’s pushed us to put in the extra sprints and get in extra running. We have to make sure we don’t go home early.”

All of that extra running is going to come in handy. Fort White could have less than 30 players on their roster when they open fall camp. Most of the team will have to play both ways. 

“We’ve realized that we don’t have many players,” said Jackson. “So guys will have to play both ways in order for us to be successful. We didn’t have to do that the last couple of years. We had enough guys. But now our guys are saying, man coach I’ve got to get in better shape.”

Next Friday, they Indians will face Baker County for their spring game. They view this matchup as a measuring stick for what they can expect in the fall.

“I just want us to make sure that we leave that game knowing we left everything on the field,” said Roberson. “They’ll know that we never gave up. Or had any bad turnovers and silly mistakes. We can’t afford those things because that’s the difference between winning and losing.”

Fort White 2019 football schedule

Aug. 23, Suwannee at Fort White, 7:30

Aug. 30, Fort White at Hamilton County, 7:30

Sept. 6, Santa Fe at Fort White

Sept. 13, TBA

Sept. 20, TBA

Sept. 27, Fort White at Taylor County

Oct. 4, Ocala Trinity Catholic at Fort White

Oct. 11, Fort White at Baldwin

Oct. 18, TBA

Oct. 25, Fort White at Newberry, 7:30

Nov. 1, Bradford at Fort White

All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated