Football players get back to work and school in Clay County

The Knights play their first game of the season on September 11th a date that is quickly approaching so the coaches know they need to make sure their players focus their energy on getting better.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – It was a day filled with energy.

Tuesday was also the first day of school in Clay County and at Oakleaf High School, coach Frank Garis said he knew his guys would be excited for practice this afternoon. The Knights play their first game of the season on Sept. 11, date that is quickly approaching so the coaches know they need to make sure their players focus their energy on getting better.

“Yesterday, the first day is always hectic, but it is good to have the kids around. I think the kids are excited [to be back in class] but more excited today because they are back in school and seen some people they haven’t seen in five or six months. So, from that standpoint I think we are going to have a better day today.”

Oakleaf is just over two weeks away from opening its season against Gainesville Buchholz. The Knights, just like many other high school football teams here in Florida were permitted to begin holding their first practices of the year on Monday.

With such a short time frame to prepare for their first game, Garis said he wants to keep things simple for his players.

“I think the biggest thing is, while we are going to be simple, is to make sure we are great at being simple we are not going to ask kids to do a billion things that they can’t do,” he said. “We are going to ask them to do a couple of things that they can do.”

This season will be different for a lot of reasons. On Tuesday, Oakleaf experienced one of them first-hand. In July, Florida passed the Zachary Martin Act that put new heat regulations into effect.

Fittingly, the Knights’ practice was cut shot because of the new heat rules.


About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.